Another blog tour for you today, this time for ‘Past Life’ by Dominic Nolan. Huge thanks to Headline for the ARC, and thank you to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite. Here is my review:
Waking up beside the dead girl, she couldn’t remember anything. Who she was. Who had taken her. How to escape.
Detective Abigail Boone has been missing for four days when she is finally found, confused and broken. Suffering retrograde amnesia, she is a stranger to her despairing husband and bewildered son.
Hopelessly lost in her own life, with no leads on her abduction, Boone’s only instinct is to revisit the case she was investigating when she vanished: the baffling disappearance of a young woman, Sarah Still.
Defying her family and the police, Boone obsessively follows a deadly trail to the darkest edges of human cruelty.
But even if she finds Sarah, will Boone ever be the same again?
What does TWG think?
I’m not going to lie – I’m still finding it hard to arrange my thoughts on this one, even though I finished read it yesterday. I don’t mean that in a bad way, so hear me out here.
‘Past Life’ opens the doors to suspense within the first couple of pages when the main character, who we later find out is called Abigail aka ‘Boone’, finds herself in a place she can’t remember going. Oh, and there’s a dead person beside her. I mean, if that wasn’t enough to make you want to carry on reading, I have no idea what is!
Of course the opening chapters pave the way for multiple questions; who is she, why is she there, where is ‘there’, and so forth, but what came after that gritty opening is really what made the cigs in my head turn.
Abigail has re-entered her old life….or so she is told and, to be brutally honest, I can see why she is a bit sceptic about what people are telling her. She remembers nada, including the fact she has a husband and a son, so why should she believe a person who is telling her that this is her life?
I found the first half of the book a little difficult to gauge, bar the opening chapter of course, and I struggled to relate to Boone, probably because she couldn’t let her personality shine as much as other characters as she had no bad idea what her personality was. I’m not saying I didn’t like the first part, I’m just saying that I found it difficult to sink my teeth into.
However, the second half of the book was an absolute blinder! Boone’s feisty nature flew out of her like a rocket, igniting the slow burning embers of the storyline that were waiting in the wings to come alive. And boy did they come alive. My entire thoughts regarding the earlier parts of the book were well and truly forgotten, as I lost myself in the deep quicksand that Boone unknowingly put herself in. She did not give a monkeys because, as far as she was concerned, she had nearly lost her life anyway, so what would be different about trying to find out the truth about her accident, even if it put her in harms way?
I actually cannot believe that ‘Past Life’ is a debut novel because it felt like a novel that had been written by an author with many novels under their belt. The strong, uncertain story telling was incredibly intense, and at times very graphic, yet when all of those little pieces came together it ended up being one hell of a fantastic read.
So yes, I may have had earlier reservations about Dominic Nolan’s novel, but I can safely say that those unsure thoughts went out of the window by the end of the book. I bloody loved the way in which the author made his characters come alive, warts an all.
An intense, thrilling novel which kept me hooked until the very end. Roll on the next book!!