Komméno Island, Greece:
I don’t know where I am, who I am. Help me.
A woman is washed up on a remote Greek island with no recollection of who she is or how she got there.
Potter’s Lane, Twickenham, London:
Eloïse Shelley is officially missing.
Lochlan’s wife has vanished into thin air, leaving their toddler and twelve-week-old baby alone. Her money, car and passport are all in the house, with no signs of foul play. Every clue the police turn up means someone has told a lie…
Does a husband ever truly know his wife? Or a wife know her husband? Why is Eloïse missing? Why did she forget?
The truth is found in these pages…
Published 15th June by Harper Collins (UK)
So, amnesia related psychological thriller books seem to be a bit of a thing at the minute, and I absolutely love them- a narrator with memory loss adds in an extra layer of mystery and intensity. But then along comes I Know My Name by C.J Cooke with a book that is so completely not what you expected, it blows you away.
This one is going to be very tricky to review without giving anything away, so apologies now for any vagueness. It’s told from two points of view: Lochlan – a successful business and family man, who receives a call while away on business from a neighbour to say his wife has disappeared and his four year old son and twelve week old baby have been left alone. Lochlan’s desperate search for his wife is alternated with the story of a woman, washed up on a Greek Island who has no idea who she is or why she’s there.
C. J Cooke deftly keeps the reader guessing as to what’s going on, with my suspicions switching with each chapter. The reader learns more about Eloise along with Lochlan, as it transpires he didn’t really know at her at all. Yet, truths are revealed about him too which cast my doubt his way before diverting it somewhere else.
What I wasn’t expecting was the emotional and tragic story found at the heart of this book. I Know My Name explores the effect of trauma on the human mind and the lengths our subconscious can go to protect ourselves, while marveling at the strength of human spirit to conquer demons and continue to hope. I Know My Name is cleverly complex and thought provoking as well as being a compulsive page turner and comes thoroughly recommended.
(I read an advance proof copy courtesy of the publisher)