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?
I’ve read a few “memory issues” books this year, here is one for 2019 that is positively brilliant- mainly because the characters all shine, mostly the highly engaging Boone, who was once one person but is now quite another. Question is, can she re-capture her old self and more to the point, does she want to?
Past Life is a pacy, highly addictive read with some of the best characterisation and group dynamics I’ve read for ages. We focus on Abigail Boone, who after trauma has lost the memory of anything that came before it. Living with her family but quite apart from them, she returns as a lone civilian to the case she was investigating in her past life, hoping to shake something loose. But these are dangerous people she is hunting…
Past Life may be a crime thriller but it is also a nuanced, emotionally resonant character driven drama. The affect on a family of having a stranger returned to them, the different and eclectic group of friends Boone falls into, the new social structure she surrounds herself with is wonderfully fascinating and beautifully written. Her lack of care for herself and occasionally others causing some edge of the seat moments all highly charged by the fact that Dominic Nolan has invested the reader with a real care for these characters and a need for them to have a happy ending.
I have to give a shout out to Roo, a wonderful character who I defy you not to fall in love with – but the rest I’ll leave you to discover for yourselves.
Past Life is authentic in its life realities, almost brutal in it’s plotting and genuinely unpredictable in it’s mystery element. By the end I was wrung out, having lived on the edge of it for the entire read. Dark but often funny, with an ending that is both melancholy but truthful, Past Life is a novel I highly recommend to anyone but especially to those who like their crime fiction to have genuine depth and the ability to run you through the emotional wringer.