Memory defines us–but what if you lost all memory of who you are? Or where you came from?
A man washes onto a British beach with no memory of who he is or how he got there. Are there loved ones who could be looking for him? Is he a criminal, or an illegal immigrant? The media circus that ensues dubs him “Matthew,” a patient whose story is a blank slate–no past, no preconceptions, no life before the mysterious incident that washed him up on that beach.
Despite the tragedy of Matthew’s condition, there are others who see him in a different light. He is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the perfect study of retrograde amnesia. When Dr. Emma Lewis gets a call from a respected colleague asking if she wants to take on the case of a lifetime, she can’t refuse. But her ambition comes at a cost. All too soon she’ll realize that the man she’s been studying has been harboring dangerous secrets, and that he may remember far more than he lets on. . . .
Who is Matthew? The answer might surprise you, if it doesn’t kill you.
I don’t typically read thrillers/mysteries, but apparently I make an exception for Catherine Steadman… haha. She does such an amazing job of writing in such a way that she lays this trail of breadcrumbs and you think you know which way the wind is blowing… and then WHAM! Blindsided by the Mayhem guy from those insurance commercials. It’s amazing and I love it.
I kept shaking my kindle and shouting things like “Who is he looking for?!” and “What is this bad thing that happened?!” and “Who is it?!” at it. Which, y’know, is kind of a great way to craft a suspense novel. The story dragged a bit at times, but I needed so badly to know the answers to several pieces of the puzzle that I just kept reading. Aaaaand I’m not sure how much more I can say without spoilers!
The ending to this one was different from Steadman’s previous book in that it fit a little more in line with your typical thriller/mystery, and didn’t have that sort of haunting open-endedness that closed Something in the Water.
An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.