With her debut, Lest She Forget, Lisa Malice manages to achieve the holy grail of thriller writing—a narrative that readers desperately want to race through to find out what’s going to happen next, written so stylishly that those same readers wish to slow down to savor every word for as long as possible. That is no easy feat, with the end result being a highly satisfying reading experience that won’t soon be forgotten.
Lest She Forget is a complex storyline filled with surprise landmines at carefully chosen intervals. At the start, “Kay Smith” wakes up from a coma to find that she has developed psychogenic amnesia. Unsure of who she is and unable to remember anything about her previous life, Kay’s dreams seem to be warning her of impending danger.
Kay uses all the resources at her disposal to uncover the truth about what happened the night of her car accident, but the deeper she digs the more questions she finds. Aided by the relative of another hospital patient, Kay is determined to reclaim her memory—even if what she discovers is worse than she imagined.
Meanwhile, a man named Felix is seeking payment for a hired hit he performed when he stumbles upon the fact that his victim may still be alive. He must find a way to either confirm his success or complete the job before his boss gets really angry.
These two storylines dance and weave around each other until about the dead center of the novel when a major revelation shocks the readers and sends the entire course of action off into a new—and potentially world-changing—direction. No longer confined to her hospital room, Kay goes on the lam as the bodies start to pile up behind her.
The strength in Lisa Malice’s writing lies in her ability to instantly make the reader care about Kay Smith. This relationship is built as Kay learns about how she ended up in the trauma recovery center and it makes each reader feel protective over this character. So later—as more incredible revelations are exposed—this pre-existing bond ensures that readers anxiously desire Kay’s safety, no matter the cost.
As so often happens in “everyman” thrillers, there are times when the narrative relies a bit too heavily on coincidence, but by this point readers are so invested in the characters that any suspension of disbelief becomes an easy leap to make. Lest She Forget‘s gripping denouement—where all is finally revealed—is a worthy destination for both Kay and the reader, whom Lisa Malice has just put through the emotional wringer coupled with a desperate race for survival.
With Lest She Forget as a debut, the future for Lisa Malice looks bright. Readers will be flocking to her second novel to see what kind of havoc she will unleash. As a born storyteller with the talent to back it up, the sky is the limit.
Disclaimer: A print galley of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the author. No promotion was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.