Monday, 19 December 2016

The Gift - Louise Jensen - gripping page turner

The Gift by Louise Jensen

A compelling, gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist from the author of the Number One bestseller The Sister. 

My thoughts:

This book has been getting a LOT of kudos in the book blogging community and I’ve found it really difficult not to read the many rave reviews which have been popping up all over the place, following the very recent publication of this new title and a hugely successful blog tour. I was a little late to the party as usual and just finished my copy last night and it really sent shivers down my spine.

Oh and just look at the gorgeous cover!

It’s scarily different, tackling the subject of cellular memory syndrome which smacks of fantasy but is in fact a much reported, very real recently discovered phenomenon where a recipient of a donor organ experiences retrospective memories from the donor.

In The Gift we meet Jenna who is recovering from life-saving surgery following a viral infection which caused her own heart to cease functioning and became the recipient of a transplanted heart from a young woman who died in an accident.

As Jenna gradually regathers her strength and tries to rebuild her life, despite breaking with her beloved boyfriend Sam, seeing this as a selfless act of freeing him from being tied to her possibly foreshortened life span and her inability to bear him children.

Being absent from her job in a vets which she loves, for a long time and being apart from her friends has given her time to brood on the fact of which she is constantly aware – another girl has died in order to give her the chance at life, she struggles to come to terms with this and has feelings of guilt and bewilderment that she is still alive.

Heavily medicated, she has regular visits with a therapist to help her cope, yet she still feels a sense of threat, as though she is running away from something or someone. Nightmares plague her sleep and she awakes disoriented and shaking and she experiences dream-like memories of having a sister and being in an accident which she knows have never happened to her, gradually she fears for her own sanity. Are these the side effects of the drugs she takes to manage her condition, or is it something more? Could she really be experiencing fragments of the donors life, and death?

She manages to track down the donors family and in an ill-advised and unethical approach, contacts the dead girl, Callie’s family and finds an instant bond with them.

But this move might have put her in danger! Yet still she obsesses with finding out what actually did cause Callies death and grows desperate to solve the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Callies missing younger sister Sophie.

What evolves is a tense mystery, filled with suspense and lots of red herrings. Loads of great characters all have their own story and all the time Jenna’s new heart beats away the hours as time ticks by, the more she uncovers, the more mysteries are revealed and the more she becomes desperate to know.

We watch her court danger and all the while her obsession builds and the phenomenon of another persons heart transferring feelings is something she begins to admit must be what is giving her a very real craving for strawberries she once loathed, an instant attraction to Callies fiance Nathan, yet doubts about his devotion to Callie become concerns as to whether his protective nature may have been more domineering than at first appears.

There is question after question, mystery upon puzzle upon twisty turny complications. Nothing is straightforward and there is never a dull moment throughout the book as it races towards its terrifying conclusion.

What a fabulous, gripping page turner and a great follow up to the authors superb debut The Sister.

The Blurb

The perfect daughter. The perfect girlfriend. The perfect murder? 

Jenna is seriously ill. She’s lost all hope of getting the heart transplant she needs to live. But just as her life is ebbing away, she receives a donor heart from a girl called Callie. 
Who was Callie and how did she die? Jenna is determined to find out. 

The closer Jenna gets to those who loved Callie, the more questions arise about her untimely death. Someone knows what happened to Callie. Why won’t they talk? 

Jenna is about to uncover the truth, but it could cost her everything; her loved ones, her sanity, even her life. 

Available NOW in Paperback and ebook, another stunning offering from Bookouture.

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