So many memories. So little time. In an astounding thriller ripped from tomorrow’s headlines, cutting-edge technology and a pulse-pounding manhunt lead to a conspiracy of money, power, and sex.
Cole remembers what it’s like to be murdered. That’s how he does his job. The operation takes eight hours with a dead body on the table next to his; when it’s over, he’s flooded with images, thoughts, recollections, some hazy, some crystal clear. They all come straight from the victim’s brain—right up until his or her final chilling moments.
Cole’s career in homicide has wreaked havoc on his personal life. As usual, his new case—a young runaway battered to death with a hammer—consumes all his waking moments . . . and then some. Haunted by the Jane Doe’s hopes, desires, and fears, Cole mentally retraces her every move, from Kansas to New York City, to track down a killer.
But Cole has a terrible suspicion that someone is using the same memory-transfer science for a very different purpose. In fact, he’s already being watched. Because Cole’s the only one standing in the way of a ruthless corporation that’s harvesting people for their most intimate memories—and eliminating anyone who stands in the way.
The premise for The Memory Detective is so intriguing! The idea that memories could be transferred to someone else after death is fascinating. The theory in the book is that not only are murder victim's memories transferred, but also just everyday people's memories are given to family members. Imagine that for minute. Think of all the family secrets that would be revealed!
I really had high hopes for this book. The plot moved at a good pace that kept me interested, but it almost felt as if this would work better as a movie. The frequent point-of-view changes became distracting to me as a reader. It would be easier to process on screen.
As someone who enjoys the puzzle aspect of a well-written mystery, I was disappointed The Memory Detective didn't offer much of an opportunity to solve the crime on my own. Most of the details are telegraphed to the reader in advance of the characters discovering the clues.
The characters are likable and sympathetic. The main character has almost a Sherlock quality about him (which I love! By the way, if you ever want to talk Sherlock. I'm totally down for that!)
He doesn't mean to be as abrupt as he is, his brain is just working overtime. I liked that the issue of how having all a world of other people's memories in his head would impact his own memories and relationships.
I would recommend this book with some caveats that I will discuss next. Also, the ending hints at a series. I liked this book enough to give the next one a chance as well.
My hesitations with recommending this come from more of a writer critique than a reader review. Aspects that bothered me might never be noticed by a reader who hasn't spent time studying the craft of writing.
First, the POV (Point-of-view) changes. I understand some of them are necessary for the nature of the story. Cole has to go into the memories of the victims. Those worked well for me. But there are several scenes were the POV changed multiple times in mid-scene (what is sometimes referred to as "head-hopping"). I found that extremely distracting and hope it is something that is addressed during the final editing.
Second, author intrusion. I don't want to feel like I am being told a story. I want to LIVE that story. So, when the author's voice pops in with "if he had only known what was to come" or "he had no idea how bad things were about to be", it yanks me out of what I was enjoying. Of course things are going to worse! I don't need to be slapped in the face with ominous foreshadowing. *Note: These are not actual quotes from the book, but there were similar statements.*
I still enjoyed the story and would give another book by the same author a try. I just hope these would be less of an issue.