My second novel by Claire Allan is the perfect way to say bye to this week! If you haven’t checked it yet, here are my thoughts on Apple of My Eye!
I’d like to thank Sabah and Avon Books UK for inviting me to be part of this blog tour and for providing me with a copy of this book.
Title: Forget Me Not
Author: Claire Allan
Publisher: Avon Books UK
Date of publication: 30 May 2019
Number of pages: 400
I disappeared on a Tuesday afternoon. I was there one minute and the next I was gone. They’ve never found my body…
It’s six in the morning during the hottest summer on record when Elizabeth O’Loughlin, out walking her dog, comes across Clare, a victim of a horrific knife attack, clinging onto life at the side of the road.
Clare dies minutes later, but not before whispering her haunting last words to Elizabeth.
When it becomes clear that Clare’s killer has more than one murder on his mind, Elizabeth has to take drastic action or face losing everything.
But what if she can’t stop a killer determined never to be forgotten?
First things first: COVER LOVE. I’m a shoes lover, and my favourite colour is red, so imagine my enthusiasm when I received my copy of Forget Me Not!
Let’s not beat around the bush. I am waiting for the day I will discover a body during a walk with the dogs. Seriously. I am! Not that I’d be happy about it, but I need to face it, the stats points in that direction. Maybe one day I’ll walk in Elizabeth O’Loughling’s steps. Like her, I avoid the heat, taking my dogs out when the sun hasn’t had the time to turn the asphalt into an endless burning ground to hell. Now that I think of it, it already feels as though I’ve discovered a body. If I had looked down at my hands when reading the first chapters of Forget Me Not, I could have sworn them to be bloodied. My heart was beating out a furious tango with death as I read about an unknown woman left on the wayside, whispering her last words to a stranger. Shock had me turning the pages as if the characters’ lives depended on it… Well, they kinda did. But let’s rewind just a little…
I disappeared on a Wednesday afternoon…
I just love it when an opening jumps on me like my dog on a reward after an exercise. That first line grabbed my attention, and Claire Allan’s spectacular writing made sure to keep it on high alert during the one sitting it took me to finish the book.
From a cold and matter-of-facts prologue told by a voice from beyond the grave that had me gasping to chapters dealing with the aftermath of tragedy, it didn’t take long for me to understand I would not forget this novel. One of the reasons I love psychological thrillers (apart from the fact it’s almost always the husband!) is the exploration of the ripples created by a deadly event. But few books have managed to get me so engrossed in the lives of those touched by death. When Clare dies, we instantly get transported into the lives of her best friend Rachel, who shares the chapters POVs with Elizabeth.
Instead of the usual family despair, we are faced with female friendships cut short. Rachel’s voice was in my head. Her falling apart was heart-breaking, so intense and spot-on that it got me thinking about how deeply I love my friends and how devastated I would be should something happen to them. Claire Allen, you gave me some nasty sad thoughts! But those were proof the narrative was strong enough, real enough, for me to connect to the plot and the characters. Without this key element, what are books for?
Rachel’s life, which was on the downside of things, rapidly gets affected by the loss of her friend and soon, her entire world is upside down. I didn’t approve of all her choices, neither could I understand some of her actions, but I loved how the novel pushed me further and further to try and let go of my rigid ideas to give space to different ways of dealing with pain, anger, and a life that punches you where it hurts.
Elizabeth’s chapters were equally fascinating. She involuntarily forced her way into Clare’s death and the recent events somehow shake the life she had been living so far, taking her down old roads, reopening old wounds.
Quickly, on top of being a deeply emotional read, Forget Me Not turns darker. Clare’s last words had been a warning, and as both Rachel and Elizabeth cling to what’s left of the existence they knew, it becomes clear that a threat is hanging in the air. Bits and pieces gave me an idea of what was to come. My super sleuth power didn’t let me down and the ending proved me right, but the tightly-weaved plot never lost its tension, keeping me on my toes until it was time to let go of the novel.
Forget Me Not is a brilliant read. I highly recommend it to anyone in need of an unputdownable novel with unforgettable characters!
Grab your copy now! Amazon
A former journalist and columnist, Claire Allan has been writing fiction since 2006.
An Irish Times bestseller, she has tackled issues from post-natal depression, infertility, and dementia through to writing a based-on-a-true-story book about a couple reunited after 50 years apart. She has now decided to unleash her dark side!
Married with two children, two cats and a mad puppy she is happiest lost in a good book. She has kissed Michael Buble.