I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.
It’s an idyllic evening in a small English village when a young woman knocks upon the door of a home she believes is hers. A gentleman answers, his wife in the background, as she announces that she’s been away on a business trip, and that this is her house, before she faints. The couple, Tony & Laura, assist her indoors, and offer her some tea. And that’s when she explains that she has lost her handbag, and that she cannot remember her name. All she had to lead her ‘home’ was a bus ticket in her pocket. As the couple consoles her, she stuns them by describing the home in significant detail. Tony tells her she looks like a ‘Jemma’ and offers her their spare bedroom for a few days until things can sort themselves out.
A quick visit with a local physician determines that she likely has amnesia, triggered by some catastrophic event she is unable to recall. A local reporter, Luke, seemingly recognizes her, or thinks he does, but he can’t remember how or from where. As Jemma herself continually searches her memory for clues, she reflects frequently on a friend, Fleur, who is deceased, but is unable to picture her face.
That is the start of a story that takes off like a runaway train and will keep you spellbound with all of its twists and turns and the speed at which they happen. A search of old home records and memories have the townspeople convinced that she may be Jemma Huish, a known murderer. And Luke is diving deep, trying to learn her identity…. But all is not as it seems, and what seems like a book that jumps from place to place and from random character to character, is actually a very well crafted, and horrifying suspenseful read, all coming together seamlessly at the end….and you’ll never look at a seahorse again quite the same…
This was a bit of a depart from my typical genre, but it caught me up in the first few pages, and Jemma’s struggles to remember the events of the past, and the steps she took to do so, had me racing to the thrilling, yet macabre finish. A great read! I look forward to more from J.S, Monroe!!