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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • A dark and chilling thriller!

    The Memory Wood is a chilling psychological thriller written by Sam Lloyd. “Never has she experienced anything like this, so much pain and horror condensed into such a focused knot.” The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd. The story focuses on the abduction of thirteen-year-old Elissa and the desperate search that follows. Elissa is being held captive and manacled inside “The Gingerbread House” deep within The Memory Wood. She soon comes to the terrifying realisation that she is not the first to be held captive here. Elissa is befriended my Elijah who lives in a cottage in The Memory Wood. He seems lonely and to have very little knowledge of the outside world. Can Elissa trust him? What must Elissa do to survive this terrifying ordeal? “This place is real too. It’s not where I want to be, and I hope I’m not going to die here. I hope, more than anything, that you’re going to help me survive this- but it’s real, I promise you. It’s about as real as a thing can get.” The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd, This incredibly well-written story is told from the points of view of Elissa, Elijah and Detective Superintendent Mairead MacCullagh. Each point of view gives a unique perspective to the story and at times helped to ramp up the tension even higher. Sam Lloyd has created incredible characters that I grew to love and loathe in equal measure, though the lines are frequently blurred so that it was often impossible to know who to trust. Alongside the main characters are a fantastic supporting cast each with an intriguing and heart-wrenching backstory of their own. The Memory Wood is full of beautifully descriptive writing creating an atmosphere that drew me in and plunged me straight into the scene. What a dark and disturbing place this was at times! This is an outstanding story that just got better and better with phenomenal writing that literally had me holding my breath! I cannot recommend this book highly enough and very much look forward to reading more by this author in the future, Thank you, NetGalley and Random House Transworld for the opportunity to read the ARC.

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  • Twisty and surprising read

    When Elissa is kidnapped she finds solace in a boy called Elijah who visits her – but will he be willing to help his new friend escape? The Memory Wood is a dark crime thriller that is not afraid to pull punches in its plot development. The chapters shift between a boy who knows his Memory Wood contains a dark secret, a girl who’s been abducted and a police detective with problems of her own – there is a lot to unpack here but it certainly leads to a compelling and fast paced read. The Memory Wood gives a fresh perspective and a unique twist on the abducted child genre. The end twist certainly took me completely by surprise and was one that stayed with me for days after reading it. I really enjoyed how well developed all three of the main characters were and how much detail had been used to paint them. Mairead’s sorrow at trying to have a child of her own, Elissa’s love of chess and how she used it to solve everyday problems and Elijah’s way of seeing the world around him showed how skilled Sam Lloyd is in creating characters you can really empathise with. From what I can see this also seems to be a debut for Mr Lloyd and I can confidently say I am excited to see what comes next! I also really liked the fact that although we got to hear so much about Detective Mairead’s personal life it didn’t feel like the start of another procedural series – it was a nice standalone novel. Overall The Memory Wood is a twisty thriller that will stay with you long after you finished reading it. Thank you to NetGalley, Random House UK & Transworld Publishers – Bantam for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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  • A Masterpiece!

    This book caught my attention as I enjoy a good crime mystery set in woods and have read several of them. I could never have anticipated just what a masterpiece this one, The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd, would prove to be! With a fairly innocuous beginning, although already possessed with a feeling of mild apprehension, the excitement soon escalates a few notches. Thirteen-year-old Elissa Mirzoyan, an junior chess player is preparing for a tournament, taking place at a hotel in Bournemouth a few miles away from her home. Following a light meal at a nearby restaurant, Elissa and her mum, Lena, make their way to the hotel and the tournament gets underway. In between matches, Elissa returns to their family car for a moment of solitude... and then she is abducted in broad daylight. Elijah has lived in the Memory Wood for as long as he can remember and it’s the only home he’s ever known. An intelligent boy, he has been starved of company and Elissa wants him to help her. However, Elijah does not want to lose a friend, despite knowing where it will all end as he offers Elissa the advice that she should comply with the abductor's demands for any chance of survival. It soon becomes clear to the quick-witted and clever-thinking Elissa that both Elijah and his brother, Kyle, are very odd and complex characters with many long-hidden, dark secrets. Can Elissa persuade Elijah to free her before it is too late? Sam Lloyd writes an atmospheric, immersive and eerie novel, located in the creepy Memory Wood where so many have been memorialised and remembered. This chillingly macabre and disturbing tale got under my skin so effectively that I couldn't get it out of my mind. It is a twisted story of evil-minds, unreliable memories, mental health issues, damaged souls, and the most horrifying of crimes committed against vulnerable and innocent children. This is disturbing and unsettling storytelling at its best. Though it's hard to believe, The Memory Wood is Sam Lloyd's début thriller, so frustratingly, I have no back catalogue to catch up on. I am therefore (im)patiently waiting to see what this immensely talented author has in store next. Thank you to Sam Lloyd and Pigeonhole for the opportunity to read this book. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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  • Sam Lloyd

    A thilling compulsive read. The best pschologial thriller you'll read in 2020. Intense, creepy and fast paced. Characters are well drawn and creepily plausible.

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  • Memory Wood

    Good mystery thriller, initially told by a 12 year old boy and a captive young girl. But you can't believe all you read.

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