Friday, July 06, 2018

Compelling Memory-Loss Thriller Still Only a Ho-Hum Read

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

It's been two years since the car crash that killed David Hall and erased Jane Norton's memory.  A traumatic brain injury, leading to amnesia, has stolen the last three years from the 17-year-old.  Although Jane can recall events from childhood, she can't remember high school, her father's death, or the "accident" that killed David, her best friend's boyfriend.  The police have what appears to be a suicide note, written in Jane's handwriting, but she can't fathom why she would have been in a car with David, let alone with the intention of ending their lives together.  It makes no sense.  Nothing does for Jane, who desperately wants to remember the one event no one will let her forget. 

When anonymous threats start appearing on social media and at David's grave site, Jane thinks it must be a sick joke.  Someone calling themselves "Liv Danger" claims to know what happened that night.  They also warn that "All will pay."  When idle threats turn into sinister action, Jane knows only she can stop Liv Danger from going any further.  Wracking her shattered brain for clues, the teenager becomes more and more confused.  What really happened the night of the accident?  Jane knows the answers that could stop the violence and maybe even clear her name are hiding somewhere in her head.  Can Jane force them out before it's too late?  Or will Liv Danger get the revenge they're so desperately seeking?

I enjoy a psychological suspense novel that leaves me feeling off-kilter and keeps me guessing what is real and what is not.  Blame by Jeff Abbott does that, which is why I kept reading the novel despite its flat, unlikable characters and its increasing nosedive toward the far-fetched and melodramatic.  Whatever else it might not be, Blame is certainly compelling.  I definitely wanted to know what was going to happen.  Still, the novel's disappointing, eye roll-worthy finale bugged and overall, the story just did not feel very satisfying.  Although Blame has gotten lots of positive buzz, for me, it ended up being only a ho-hum read.  

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other psychological thrillers featuring main characters with memory loss, like Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson; The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins; In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware; Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey; The First Wife by Erica Spindler; and Remember Mia by Alexandra Burt

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (no F-bombs), violence, sexual innuendo, depictions of underage drinking/partying, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find.

3 comments:

  1. Sounds like you felt about this one the way I felt about The Broken Girls. Maybe I should try this one. ;)

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  2. I'll pass on this one! :)

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  3. Oh that stinks that it fell flat even if it kept you reading. I hate when that happens.

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