“What if you woke up in a strange place and didn’t know who you were?
A woman wakes up in a Thai hospital unaware of how she got there or who she is. The doctor names her Kai, the Thai word for fever.
Unable to recall what led her to end up at the bottom of a cliff, Kai’s only clue to her identity is a diary. Stuck in a foreign land with no memory, she begins to unpick the truth about her past. And she will discover who she and why she is in danger…
This is Kai’s story.”
This is a great book which I really enjoyed. I wasn’t too sure to start with as I’m not a fan of the unreliable narrator and I thought Kai’s lost memory may drive me loopy. It didn’t though, not in the slightest. This is Heleyne Hammerlsey’s debut and I for one will be keeping an eye out for future releases from this talented writer.
Kai wakes up not knowing who she is, where she is, nor what has happened to put her in the hospital. Two of her questions are answered immediately; she’s in Chiang Mai, Thailand and it appears she fell down the side of a cliff whilst out hiking. However, all of her identification has gone, along with her memory. She remembers nothing of her past. The nurses name her ‘Kai’ as they have to call her something!
All Kai has left in the world is her rucksack which thankfully contains her diary. By reading the entries she starts to learn more about her past but it’s not all good news. Can her diary help confirm her suspicions and shed any light on her near fatal accident…?
For those that love to read about exotic places in their books, you should buy a copy of Forgotten. The descriptions of the settings (China, Vietnam and Thailand) were so vivid that I could easily picture them in my mind. I love crime novels set in Japan, I may now have to investigate books set in China and Thailand too (if you have any suggestions then please let me know via the comments section or email).
I really liked Kai as a character. After the accident she toughened herself up and wanted to be more confident, even if her memory loss didn’t allow her to be. I think I preferred this Kai to the pre-accident Kai. The other character I liked was Ellen, Kai’s psychotherapist, and I think it was the ‘on-duty’ / ‘off-duty’ approach she took to healing Kai that made me warm to her.
I recommend this compelling debut and will be looking out for future releases from Heleyne Hammersley.
Four out of five stars.
Thanks to Fred at Bloodhound Books for my copy of Forgotten in exchange for an honest review.