Book Review – The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd

Elijah has lived in the Memory Wood for as long as he can remember. It’s the only home he’s ever known.

Elissa has only just arrived. And she’ll do everything she can to escape.

When Elijah stumbles across thirteen-year-old Elissa, in the woods where her abductor is hiding her, he refuses to alert the police. Because in his twelve years, Elijah has never had a proper friend. And he doesn’t want Elissa to leave.

Not only that, Elijah knows how this can end. After all, Elissa isn’t the first girl he’s found inside the Memory Wood.

As her abductor’s behaviour grows more erratic, Elissa realises that outwitting strange, lonely Elijah is her only hope of survival. Their cat-and-mouse game of deception and betrayal will determine both their fates, and whether either of them will ever leave the Memory Wood . . .

The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd – Published 20th February 2020 by Bantam Press

It’s been a while since I’ve read an edge of your seat, breathtaking thriller and The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd is certainly just that! It’s one of those books which have you frantically turning the pages to find out what’s going on, with a couple of unexpected and shocking twists to keep you firmly on your toes

It starts off like a typical child abduction/detective story, when 13 year old chess champion, Elissa is snatched while at a tournament. But then it takes a sinister, almost fairytale turn as the narrative switches between Elissa’s experience of captivity and the mysterious young boy Eilijah, who visits her in her jail. In fact Hansel and Gretal is made reference to quite regularly, and it’s this dark and creepy nod to fairytale and folklore that really appealed to me, making The Memory Wood so memorable

We also hear, in alternating chapters, from the detective in charge as she investigates this traumatic case while dealing with her own personal trauma. I didn’t feel I got to know her as well as I’d like to, and I’d love to find out more about her in further cases if any are planned. Elissa on the other hand was a breathtaking character and it was definitely interesting that the main focus of this book was on the victims experience. This brave, feisty girl will stick in my mind for a long time

The Memory Wood is one of those books that become impossible to put down once you get going – tearing myself away to go to work with only 50 pages to go was absolute torture! It’s shocking, sinister and really quite emotional, literally leaving me prickling at the neck at times or welling up with tears. This is definitely going to be one of THE thrillers of the year and one to look out for!

Thank you to the lovely people at Transworld for sending me this copy for review #gifted

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