S. J. Watson makes his debut with this fast-paced psychological thriller, reminiscent of Shutter Island and Memento.
A terrible accident has robbed Christine of her memories. She cannot remember the past - or even yesterday. Determined to discover who she is, she has begun keeping a journal before she goes to sleep. Before she can forget again.
But the truth may be more terrifying - and deadlier - than she bargained for...
The bedroom is strange. Unfamiliar. I don't know where I
am, how I came to be here. I don't know how I'm going to
I have spent the night here. I was woken by a woman's voice - at first I thought she was in bed with me, but then realized she was reading the news and I was hearing a radio alarm - and when I opened my eyes I found myself here. In this room I don't recognize.
My eyes adjust and I look around in the near dark. A dressing gown hangs off the back of the wardrobe door - suitable for a woman, but someone much older than I am - and some dark-coloured trousers are folded neatly over the back of a chair at the dressing table, but I can make out little else. The alarm clock looks complicated, but I find a button and manage to silence it.
It is then that I hear a juddering intake of breath behind me and realize I am not alone. I turn round. I see an expanse of skin and dark hair, flecked with white. A man. He has his left arm outside ...
I'll be honest - Before I Go to Sleep wasn't what I was expecting when I agreed to review the book. So many recent novels have been dubbed "psychological thrillers" that the term's meaning has perhaps become watered down, leaning more toward "thriller" than "psychological." I suppose I was expecting a good but not great page-turner that would entertain but otherwise have little depth. What I found instead was an exceptionally well-crafted novel of slowly building suspense - a "thinking woman's" thriller, if you will.
(Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).
Full Review (987 words).
Amnesia, also known as "amnestic syndrome," refers to a person's inability to retrieve memories or pieces of information from the brain and occurs when the areas of the brain responsible for recovering stored information become compromised by physical or psychological damage.
Several structures located deep within the brain, such as the hippocampus (responsible for the formation and storage of memories) and the thalamus (involved in the regulation of sensory perception), comprise the limbic system, a complex network that controls our emotional responses, survival instincts, memory creation, and memory retrieval. Amnesia can be caused by physical or psychological trauma to these structures, brought on by diseases such as Alzheimer's, ...
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