Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Last Thing She Remembers

The Last Thing She Remembers by J.S. Monroe
Park Row Books: 5/28/19
eBook review copy; 416 pages
ISBN-13: 9780778307822

The Last Thing She Remembers by J.S. Monroe is a highly recommended novel of suspense.

A woman arrives at the cottage of Laura and Tony Masters in a Wiltshire village. She has just flown in from Berlin, realized her bag was stolen, and then couldn't remember her name or any details about her life. All she had was her train ticket home. She is sure that she used to live in Laura and Tony's home. The couple take pity on her and allow her to stay in their guest room. Tony declares that she looks like a "Jemma" while Laura calls a local doctor to set up an appointment. Unknown to Laura, there was a Jemma Huish who used to live in their current home. Twelve years ago that Jemma murdered her friend. She was locked up but then released from the psychiatric facility and no one knows where she is at. While locals in the village try to figure out who the woman is, the underlying question is:  Could mysterious no-name-Jemma be the killer?

The Last Thing She Remembers is an entertaining psychological novel of suspense with several plot twists. You do have to suspend disbelief several times during the narrative. (Right at the start, when "Jemma" shows up at their door, who in their right mind would then invite this stranger to stay with them?)  The good news is that there are enough shifts and twists to keep you guessing if you just make a conscious choice to set disbelief aside and go with the flow of the narrative. While the amnesia plot point makes character development less important than the plot and the action, the twists make up for the lack of initial character development.
The focus of the writing and the narrative is the plot and the many twists and secrets that will eventually come to light. This is a novel that is written for entertainment and it does deliver on that point. Monroe does add several different story lines within the main narrative that add to the intrigue. The Last Thing She Remembers is a perfect airplane book. It will hold your attention and entertain you, but you won't cry if you lose it or misplace it.  (3.5 rounded up)

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Park Row Books.

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