ARC REVIEW: A Stolen Memory

Hello!

I’m back again with another review. I must say however I did make a rookie’s error this time and accidentally end up reading the second book out of a series.

Nonetheless, I don’t think I missed out on anything which hindered my appreciation of the plot and characters; throughout the narration, the past of characters were alluded to and I was goddamn curious but I’m happy to see that I can now go back and flesh out the timeline and not resort to the imagination.

The ending of the book leaves you yearning for more! There is no final resolution and you’re left teetering…do the villains claim victory or were they thwarted…we’ll never know until the next book is penned.

Once again, this ARC (advanced reader copy) was kindly gifted to me by Netgalley. And don’t worry, ARC reviews will always be spoiler free so no need to run!

Initial thoughts

This time there’s more at stake than just her life—now they want to take her past.

Tell me you didn’t read that and think ooh la la.

The synopsis had me intrigued from the get go. Altering the memories of criminals in attempts to rehabilitate sounded unique but also controversial.

The title of the book is fitting and makes sense once you get settled into the plot. Definitely kept me on my toes, and the red herrings were integrated so well that the reader gets fooled alongside the characters.

Background of author & novel

Author: David Beckler
Pages: 339
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: January 2023

LET’S JUDGE A BOOK BY IT’S COVER

I think the cover could have been more enticing and gripping but it’s a suitable fit given the story is based in good old Britain – in particular areas of London.

I do like the cloudy atmosphere and the way the title fades away; very clever given the plot of memories being potentially replaced and removed.

SYNOPSIS

GRM is a morally questionably company that runs private prisons. Due to the betrayal and leakage of sensitive information, GRM are able to run a programme where they modify prisoners’ memories. The end goal is to remove the memories that lead to their criminal behaviours but as they lack the full training and knowledge, collateral damage occurs and people begin using it for ulterior motives,

This is when journalist Antonia steps up and starts investigating when rumours after the deathly side effects occur.

This isn’t the first time Antonia has had to look into GRM’s corruption, and as their attempts to silence whistle blowers results in multiple deaths, she becomes more and more certain she is getting closer to the harsh truth.

Along the way, she recruits DI Chapman and makes some new alliances. A battle against time, a threat against life and doubts against the reliability of memories are all obstacles to be tackled.

In the end, we are left reeling to find out if GRM are brought to justice or if Antonia’s teams efforts were in vain.

PASSING JUDGEMENT ON CHARACTER DEPTHS

The characters all felt multi-dimensional and they all demonstrated different traits that either complimented each other or was the cause for some friction.

I found it refreshing how there wasn’t any dominant male toxicity. There was a point where there was potential for toxicity to occur out of jealously, but I loved the fact it was maturely dealt with and didn’t overshadow the overall plot and character bonds.

Characters aren’t agreeable to a cliche extent; rather they bounce off each other and what one lacks, the other compensates for in the moment.

And hey, it was so lovely to read a book where the characters are from various ethnic backgrounds and have it done tastefully.

PLOT SUBSTANCE

The plot was well crafted. Reading it, you could tell a lot of thought and planning went into the novel.

Everything flowed naturally and no stone was left unturned. The complexity of how the memory altering processed worked was well written and referenced throughout without making the reader feel lost or confused.

Red herrings weren’t cliche and made the reader empathise with the characters. I felt betrayed too!

I always think a good mystery book is able to keep you guessing until the end and fool you at every twist! Especially when no slithers of doubt occur!

CRAFTING OF WORDS

It was an easy read and the dialogue felt natural. There was enough description to allow me to imagine what was unravelling whilst maintaining the realistic element to it. The action scenes were *chef’s kiss* brilliant. I was able to visualise it all and root for everyone and wince in agony too.

Character personas’ were well done and their traits aligned with what they said and did.

IF I COULD TWEAK ONE THING…

Honestly, I have no complaints! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and plan on reading the first novel of the series. I will also be eagerly waiting for the next book because I NEED to know the aftermath.

If I were to be picky, it would have been interesting to see the traitorous lawyer attempt to reverse his wrongdoings and deal with the top dogs he’d have to cross. It was the first time we see him fearful so it would have been lovely to see him all vulnerable after everything he’d put others through…

AND that brings this review to an end. Let me know if you’ve been enticed enough to add this book to your to be read list?

What are you currently reading now?

What tips do you have for me to continue trying to get out of a reading slump?

If you enjoyed today’s content, don’t forget to drop a like and follow please!

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