Sunday, August 19, 2012

Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson

When the alarm clock goes off Christine awakens naked in a strange bed beside a strange man with graying dark hair and a wedding ring on his finger. Is this the aftermath of a one-night stand? Did they meet at a bar or party? Christine hasn’t a clue? Was she drunk? And is that robe hanging on the closet door his wife’s and is she likely to walk in at any moment? Christine goes to the bathroom and receives a great shock when she looks in the mirror. The face staring back at her from the mirror is twenty-five years too old, and the hands she is washing are wrinkled and wearing a wedding ring. It is then that she notices the pictures and notes taped to the mirror. Christine is a victim of amnesia and the man she woke up next to is her husband of twenty-two years, Ben.

Christine is the victim of a head injury that erases her memory as she sleeps thus condemning her to replay this scene every morning when she wakes up.

Ben leaves her a scrapbook to look at while he is at work, and Christine spends her day like a typical housewife doing the dishes and laundry. But there’s also a journal Christine has been keeping for herself, and on the very first page are the words DON’T TRUST BEN.  Then there is Dr. Nash, who has been working with Christine to try to help her recover her memory, and the tantalizing, often fleeting memories of half-memories Christine struggles to make sense of. What’s real and what is only imagined? How do all the pieces fit together and what’s missing? Is anyone who they claim to be? And can Christine trust anyone, including herself?

If you like mysteries and thrillers, I highly recommend this one. If I wasn’t up all night anyway, this one would have kept me up.

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