Title: The Memory Thief
Author: Don Donaldson (worst name ever?)
Length: 238 pages
Format: Kindle eBook
Finally, a really good book! I love creepy suspense books, and perhaps the creepiest setting of all is a mental hospital. Serial killers, deranged doctors, creepy underground tunnels, secret experiments, even a hint of romance, this book has it all. Its only fault was being fairly short, I blew through it really quickly and it definitely could’ve spent more time building the story and lengthening the plot. But even so, I really enjoyed it.
The premise is this: a young psychologist named Marti takes a position in a rural mental hospital. She is hoping to get the serial killer Odessa as her patient, for reasons unknown. This story is really hard to summarize without giving anything away, but I’ll try. She moves into a nearby cottage owned by a local professor-slash-volunteer-firefighter, and a romance begins to blossom. But she is distracted by her plots against Odessa, who killed her little sister many years ago. That seems like a spoiler, but you literally find out in the first chapter so I think it’s alright. Anyway, as Marti tries to figure out how to get revenge, or at least get Odessa the death penalty, strange things start happening. She finds herself having a significant memory gap, and she eventually discovers that the same thing happened to a few other patients. Now she must figure out who is behind it and how to stop it! The ending of this book is absolutely awesome, it totally ramps up the suspense and anxiety as you put the pieces together just slightly faster than Marti and are rooting for the characters to figure it out before it’s too late. It has gore, it has drama, and most importantly it has a satisfying ending. The worst thing ever is when a suspense novel has a frustrating ending.
Speaking of the ending, this one had one significant loose end. It was done in a way that you could kind of assume what the ‘extended’ ending would be, even though it wasn’t actually written. Because it was done this way, it is open for a potential sequel, but I could not find any information about one. Overall, the book was really well done, the plot twists were logical but not obvious, and it left lots of mystery up until the end. It was also quick paced, there wasn’t much waiting around for Marti to finally accomplish something. Definitely read it!