Why we love it: All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker is a deeply chilling and utterly absorbing psychological thriller, an absolute must-read for fans of the genre.
Alan Forrester is a brilliant psychiatrist whose latest patient is the 15-year-old victim of a brutal rape. Jenny Kramer has been given a pioneering new treatment to erase the terrible memory but – while blocking out the disturbing images might sound like the perfect solution to a horrible crime – Jenny’s lack of recall will mean no assistance from her in finding the vicious, at-large perpetrator. Even worse, the fact that her body remembers the crime but her mind doesn’t, results in dangerous emotions for her.
Forrester, much sought-after in this well-to-do Connecticut town, is also treating a former Navy SEAL who is suffering devastating PTSD after losing his comrades in a disastrous combat mission. His corrosive guilt about losing one of his rookies in the accident that blew off his arm is making him explosive and he’s desperately trying to keep it together for his wife and child, but the treatment is causing similar problems to what Jenny is experiencing.
In an intricate and disturbingly different plotline, Alan is also treating Jenny’s dysfunctional parents, but just as he is about to make some landmark breakthroughs in the area of memory recovery, something comes up from his own past and his own present making him risk all his professional ambitions to save his own family.
This wickedly inventive thriller about trauma and memory recovery is narrated by the psychiatrist. In intimate tones, he weaves out each strand of the plot teasingly and chillingly, always keeping us guessing and on tenterhooks to find out more.
We’re not surprised that this novel has garnered high praise from high quarters. It’s a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick and the movie rights have already been snapped up by Witherspoon’s production company. Karin Slaughter described All Is Not Forgotten as “deeply intriguing and provocative… A novel filled with twists, surprises, and a plot that keeps you guessing. While from Mary Kubica: “Fascinating and at times shocking, All Is Not Forgotten is one book you won’t easily forget.”
Wendy Walker is a former commercial litigator and investment banker who now works at home in Connecticut writing and raising her children. She is the author of the novels Four Wives and Social Lives, and is the editor of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom, and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Dad.