What would you do if you woke up next to a corpse, the murder weapon in your hand? What if you couldn't remember how you got there, who she was--who you were? What if all the evidence pointed to you being the killer? These are some of the first emotions explored by Jennifer Hobbs as she stands, covered in blood, next to the body of Crystal Denger.
Jenny doesn't remember a lot of things--her name, how she came to be in the woods, that the murdered girl happens to be her best and closest friend. She is, however, both quick-witted and clever. Fearing the worse, and having no memory to go on, she stumbles from the woods--and finds a parked car. Is she running from danger or towards it? One thing is for certain: she is at the scene of a murder. If Jennifer has any chance of finding out what happened to her--she needs to buy some time.
Jenny does a near expert job of removing the evidence of her involvement: the murder weapon, the bloody clothes. The only clue to her identity is a driver's license and the keys in her pocket. The town nearby is her home, and her address is easy enough to find. As to not arouse suspicion, she must behave as though everything is normal... while at the same time trying to solve the crime. But how do you do that when you can't even remember your own mother's face? Who your friends and enemies are? Where you were the night your best friend was murdered?
That, it seems, is the only thing Jennifer Hobbs does know.
This book had an excellent beginning--a very imaginative concept! It had me guessing all over the place. I think Mr. Pike handled the subject well, and convincingly! Jenny is a likeable character, and you genuinely want to see her prevail. Her turmoil is palpable. Of course, with conflicting stories and no recollection of her whereabouts the previous night--Jennifer becomes the main suspect in Crystal's death.
How can you prove your innocence when you think you might be guilty? How can you tell the truth from lies if you can't remember who knows how much--who else is involved? Again--excellent concept. I loved it, and devoured the book in almost one sitting. It reminded me of the same frantic pace set in the film "Memento" starring Guy Pierce. (Wonderfully creative film! Definitely rent it if you liked this book.) However, it wasn't perfect.
While I did enjoy most of the characters--especially the relationship between Jenny and her kid brother, Gator--I found some to be almost unnecessary. Perhaps if they had been given a chance to develop more, I would not have thought so. The timing of the book is very punchy. It doesn't stop to take a breath--even when you would like it to.
If this book suffered from anything, it was that it could have easily been a couple hundred pages longer. It touched on a few topics that were very interesting, but not explained clearly. Soul reversal, mysticism, tarot and even Islam were all part of the story--but I found myself more interested in the actual murder investigation than any of its supernatural aspects. In a way, when all was revealed, I was almost let down with the simplicity of it.
Almost. Some colorful jacket art is provided by Mark Garro, which gives the book a creepy feel. And it is a creepy story! On a whole, "The Lost Mind" was a very enjoyable and fast-paced book, full of shocking events and constant second-guessing. It's as fun as it is strange, with some truly disturbing imagery... expertly crafted by the Lord God of Teen Horror himself--Mr. Christopher Pike.