The Last Thing I Remember by Deborah Bee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sarah is in a coma.
Her memory is gone - she doesn't know how she got there. And she doesn't know how she might get out.
But then she discovers that her injury wasn't an accident. And that the assailant hasn't been caught.
Unable to speak, see or move, Sarah must use every clue that she overhears to piece together her own past.
And work out who it is that keeps coming into her room.
A novel that grips from the very beginning and that will live long in the memory, The Last Thing I Remember is Deborah Bee's startling debut thriller.
Another psychological thriller which I love but this one with a twist.
Trapped in a comatose state following an accident, unable to blink, move, speak or even open her eyes, Sarah tells us her story through her thoughts and in responses to family, friends and hospital staff conversations while she is laying in her hospital bed trying desperately to give them a sign that she is not brain dead. Told in alternate chapters with Kelly her next door neighbours daughter, we piece together what happened to Sarah the night of the accident (or mugging as the police believe it to be) and her helplessness of not being able to communicate with anyone.
It must be so difficult to convey a complete sense of helplessness that coma victims must experience but I felt the way in which this was written by Deborah Bee must come close. The overwhelming feeling of desperation and fear that comes through when Sarah is 'conscious' and realises that if she can't communicate that she's not brain dead they may switch of her life support is frighteningly real.
Over the 11 or so days that Sarah is in a coma she reveals her life in snatches and flashbacks as she slowly regains her memory. We also learn about the relationship she has forged with Kelly the teenager who lives next door when Kelly narrates alternate chapters and how their lives collide.
While nurses, doctors and family openly speak about her, the accident, and reveal their feelings, Sarah is able to piece together what has happened to her. Learning her husband has died in the accident she slowly remembers her life before even revealing horrors of her childhood and eventually it all becomes clear what happened that fateful night.
I never give out spoilers so won't reveal anything as it would spoil the enjoyment of reading this and although I did guess what had happened it does not happen in the way I thought and therefore has an unexpected twist to the ending. A good paced novel with interesting twists and turns along the way; this is one you should read - a well deserved 4 stars and highly recommended.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.