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Watson, S J - 'Before I Go to Sleep'
Paperback: 384 pages (Jan. 2012) Publisher: Black Swan ISBN: 0552164135

A woman wakes up in a strange bed, next to a strange man and when she looks in the mirror, she sees a stranger - an old woman - staring back at her. There are pictures of the old woman, surrounding the mirror in the bathroom, marked Christine. Also, there is a picture of the woman with the man in the bed, with the message - your husband, Ben.

Christine is a terrified woman who cannot remember anything. Every day she has to learn her name and relearn her life. Ben helps her each day, he has a scrapbook of pictures and mementoes and tells her that she had a terrible accident twenty years previously and was lucky to be alive. After Ben goes to work, Christine receives a phone call from a doctor. He tells her that he has been helping her to remember and that she keeps a journal in which she records everything that has happened to her that day and the memories that they have recovered. He tells her that she hides her journal from Ben every night as she has decided to keep her memory recovery from Ben just in case it doesn’t work out. Christine finds her journal and starts to read her own life story.

There are quite a few twists and turns in the book as Christine slowly patches together her own story. She has to relearn each day what she has discovered and having to come to terms with being twenty years older than she feels.

When I started reading the book, my first thoughts were that I had read something very similar before. However, although the idea of a character who cannot remember anything has been used in book and film, the central concept of this book is very original. BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP is already an award-winning novel and due to be made into a film by Ridley Scott, so a lot to live up to for a first novel. I am pleased to say, the book delivers and is a good entertaining read.

Read another review of BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP.

Susan White, England
February 2012

More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 19/02/2012 13:46