Published by: Harlequin UK
Release date: 14th July 2016
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Rating: 3.5 stars
Completed: 13th July 2016
You can erase the memory. But you cannot erase the crime.
Jenny’s wounds have healed.
An experimental treatment has removed the memory of a horrific and degrading attack.
She is moving on with her life.
That was the plan. Except it’s not working out.
Something has gone. The light in the eyes. And something was left behind. A scar. On her lower back. Which she can’t stop touching.
And she’s getting worse.
Not to mention the fact that her father is obsessed with finding her attacker and her mother is in toxic denial.
It may be that the only way to uncover what’s wrong is to help Jenny recover her memory. But even if it can be done, pulling at the threads of her suppressed experience will unravel much more than the truth about her attack.
Many thanks to Harlequin UK, via Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
Spoiler free review:
Just to warn you, this book also contains graphic content.
All Is Not Forgotten tells the story of sixteen-year-old Jenny Kramer who was brutally raped in the woods whilst at a party. She was given PTSD as a treatment to erase the memory, in order for her to be able to move on with her life. However it means that she cannot give any new information about her rapist but it doesn’t change the fact that it still happened and that she remains haunted by the constant memory of not knowing.
Jenny’s father Tom Kramer is obsessed with finding his daughter’s rapist. He will not stop until the man who raped his daughter is caught and behind bars. Whilst Jenny’s mother, Charlotte Kramer, on the other hand just wants to forget it ever happened, is having an affair with Tom’s boss and has demons of her own past.
The narration of the story was confusing to say the least, as it was not very clear in the beginning. Carry on reading until you read chapter seven, which is when you finally realise who is telling the story. It is told in the point of view of the Kramer’s psychiatrist, Dr. Alan Forrester, who tells the reader every detail that’s happened such as their confidential sessions, almost like an autobiography because he directly talks to the reader by saying ‘you.’ Therefore it somehow gives a connection between the writer and the reader.
For about 40% of the story, Dr. Forrester goes into in-depth detail about the medical science of the drug used for PTSD, the procedure and its effects. It is widely used for soldiers who have thought in the war and thus is suffering from PTSD. The doctor also goes on to talk about his past patients, the sessions he had with them and his work, which leads me to wonder, what does any of this has anything to do with Jenny or finding her attacker? It felt like it was a filler and that the mystery of ‘whodunnit’ was being held back.
I was bored for the first half of the book because there were was a lot of telling, rather than showing. It was very slow paced. The story was not progressing forward as I would have liked. I wanted to know who did this to Jenny and see justice being served.
After reaching past 50% I actually came to appreciate the narration and I finally see its purpose. It’s definitely a unique technique of storytelling and the writing style is so well written. You can also see the doctor’s main motivations after making a shocking discovery along the way. It was interesting the way author weaved in the sessions of his patients, and then you begin to see the dots beginning to connect and why this is prominent to the story. It’s very smart.
One thing this book demonstrates is the unconditional love of a parent for their children. Parents will do anything for their children, even if they have done something bad. It’s their job; they have to protect them, because otherwise they would have failed them. In Tom’s case, he felt like he failed to protect Jenny, but truth of the matter, as much parents can try, they can’t protect their children every second of everyday. It’s just impossible.
Overall I rate this a 3.5 stars (very close to 4). I was bored at first and was very close to DNF’ing it, as I didn’t feel fully invested in the story because of the narration. I dislike not finishing books, so I persevered. As I reached 78% of the story, it completely made up for it, I couldn’t put it down as there was more of a mystery aspect and twists along the way making it very well executed with the final outcome of the story. I was pleasantly satisfied with the ending. Highly recommend.