Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Forgotten - Heleyne Hammersley - travelling towards terror

My Review

A gripping, psychological mystery thriller about self re-discovery.

Imagine waking up in a hospital bed in a foreign country where you speak a different language to those around you, to find you have completely lost your memory, you have no ID, you can’t remember who you are, why you are there nor even where you come from. Scary huh?

That’s what happens to Kai, though even Kai is a name bestowed on her by the doctor who is treating her in the hospital in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Gradually, with the help of Dr Ekachai she pieces together that she was injured falling from a cliff on a nature trail whilst travelling in Thailand. She has no documents or belongings of any note apart from a handwritten diary which was found in her bag.

She begins to read the travel diary to try and unravel her memories, but although nothing in the journal triggers any familiarity, it soon becomes uneasily clear that she felt very threatened by someone or something from her past, she was travelling to escape her old life but her amnesia has completed this to the extreme and she becomes desperate to know who she really is and why she set off alone on a trek around Asia.

The book alternates between what’s happening now, as she begins to edge towards recovery and the travel diary which reads very authentically about her trip to China, Vietnam and Thailand, this part is obviously based on the authors own experiences and as I enjoy travel I enjoyed reading about these places.

News of her accident makes it into the local papers where the police are also keen to discover Kai’s identity. This leads to a man contacting the hospital saying he thinks he might know her, but when schoolteacher Mark visits, he reveals that she isn’t the fellow teacher he knows after all.

But he’s the first friendly face who speaks her native tongue and Kai warily accepts his gentle overtures of friendship. She also begins to have sessions with a therapist Ellen whom she begins to trust.

But as her diary reveals fears and threats towards her which she can’t recall, the reader is treated to another dark and twisted side to one of the few people close to her, of which she is totally unaware making the reader fear for her safety. As she becomes more desperate to leave the hospital Kai makes an ill-advised decision I found rather difficult to accept, I was going “Oh for heavens sake Kai, are you completely bonkers?” This leads her into deeper danger, the pace increases and events become frantic and terrifying.

Part travel journal part mystery thriller, full of suspense and alarmingly scary, this is a tense, well plotted, entertaining read by an accomplished new author whose future work I’ll be looking out for.

I received a copy of the e-book in exchange for an unbiased review.

The book was published on May 1st and is available from Amazon for your kindle now.

The Blurb:

What if you woke up in a strange place and didn’t know who you were?

A woman wakes up in a Thai hospital unaware of how she got there or who she is. The doctor names her Kai, the Thai word for fever.

Unable to recall what led her to end up at the bottom of a cliff, Kai’s only clue to her identity is a diary. Stuck in a foreign land with no memory, she begins to unpick the truth about her past. And she will discover who she and why she is in danger…

This is Kai’s story.

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