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The Memory Game [Paperback]

Nicci French
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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Book Description

6 Mar 2008

The Memory Game is a haunting psychological thriller from the Top Ten bestselling author, Nicci French

You remember an idyllic childhood. But your memory is deceitful. And possibly deadly...

When a skeleton is unearthed in the Martellos' garden, Jane Martello is shocked to learn it's that of her childhood friend, Natalie, who went missing twenty-five years ago. Encouraged by a therapist to recover lost memories, Jane hopes to find out what really took place when she was a child - and what happened to Natalie.

But in learning the truth about hers and Natalie's past, is Jane putting her own future at terrible risk?

Nicci French is the pseudonym for Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. The couple live in Suffolk and have written thirteen other bestselling novels, all published by Penguin: Complicit, What to Do When Someone Dies, Until It's Over, Losing You, Catch Me When I Fall, Beneath the Skin, The Safe House, The Red Room, Land of the Living, Killing Me Softly, Secret Smile and, most recently, Blue Monday and Tuesday's Gone in the brilliant new Frieda Klein series.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (6 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141034130
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141034133
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 139,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nicci French is the pseudonym for the writing partnership of journalists Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. The couple are married and live in Suffolk. There are eleven other bestselling novels by Nicci French: The Memory Game, The Safe House, Killing Me Softly, Beneath the Skin, The Red Room, Land of the Living, Secret Smile, Catch Me When I Fall, Losing You, Until It's Over and What To Do When Someone Dies, all published by Penguin.

Product Description

About the Author

Nicci French is the pseudonym for the writing partnership of journalists Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. The couple are married and live in Suffolk. There are ten other novels by Nicci French, most recently Secret Smile, Catch Me When I Fall, Losing You and Until It's Over (hardback).

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I chose this book simply as a crime novel with a good writing style in the first few pages, but it turned out to be much more substantial and satisfying than that, while remaining exciting to the end. By about halfway through one realises that it is "about" the nature of memory, and specifically recovered memory syndrome, but it goes on being a good crime novel with a sympathetic and believable central character. The dilemma at the heart of recovered memory syndrome - that one doesn't want to dismiss the reality of terrible things happening to young people who subsequently wipe out the trauma, but also that the recovered memories rely on the possibly unreliable memories of just one individual - is portrayed very movingly. There is a real twist in the plot which is psychologically quite persuasive. An exciting read that leaves you with something to think over afterwards.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a let down 21 May 2001
By A Customer
Having just devoured 'Beneath the skin' by the same author which is absolutely brilliant I was really looking forward to losing myself in this book. I couldn't really do that- I couldn't really get into these characters at all, couldn't get into what should have been the emotions of the book. For instance when someone's daughter has been missing for 25 years and suddenly a body is found in the family's garden you would expect devastation but all the characters didn't seem to show the highly charged emotion I expected it all seemed very shallow. I really like to LIVE a book whilst I am reading it but this one just had me feeling like I was skimming the surface somehow. It's a shame because 'beneath the skin' is really mindblowing. I've just started 'killing me softly' and that also seems as though it is going to be a real treat. With 'the memory game' I just couldn't get the interest going really and sometimes it was a chore to pick it up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not sure what to make of it 21 Aug 2009
By S. Pope
I've read Nicci French before and liked their books, though I'm not terribly keen on their titles. I hadn't realised that this was their first foray into writing but now I know this, I am not surprised.

I agree with a lot of the previous negative reviews on here about character development. The extended family was so, er, extended that it was easy to get lost and know who was who. They would have done better by focusing on fewer characters and developing them further. Jane - the main character - wasn't exactly likeable but I didn't find her totally unsympathetic in her quest to find out what had happened to her murdered friend 25 years ago. The therapy sessions seemed a bit of a joke to me though, as someone else commented. If that was hypnosis, then it was poorly done.

I am not sure what to make of the book but to say I found it intriguing yet frustrating in equal measures. I couldn't put it down but the ending baffled me a little and I felt somewhat cheated by it. If you are a newcomer to French's work, then I agree that skipping this won't be a tragedy.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Caught me by surprise! 27 May 2002
By A Customer
With "Beneath the Skin" I knew who the killer was with the first murder, and therefore told myself smugly that I knew who the killer was in this one, too. The narrator talks too much about smoking and not eating when I wanted her to get on with the plot, but I was rewarded in the end with a real twist! No matter how much Jane talked about cooking, smoking, drinking, eating,not eating, and what she was wearing, something in the narration drove me on, and so the writers were obviously doing something right. Believe me, at times this thriller might seem not worth the trouble, but it is, and in retrospect I realize that the writers knew exactly what they were doing all along.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Huge Disappointment 3 Jun 2009
If you're looking for an easy, untaxing read on the beach this summer, you can probably do a lot better than this poor effort. Repetitious, unrealistic with poor character development, I was glad to get this book finished to go on to something better.
The whole plot is built around an extended family, but the relationships within the family are 2 dimensional and barely credible. All is simplified into black and white, with no grey areas. Are families like that? I don't think so. When the daughter's body is found after she has been missing for 25 years, the family's reaction is almost like this was a minor blip thay had been half-expecting, and nothing really to get upset about! The plot goes downhill from there!
No more Nicci French novels for me!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Still in my Memory 13 Aug 2007
By imla
The skeleton of the teenage Natalie is found in the backgarden of her family's country garden decades after Natalie's death. Jane, Natalie's best friend and married to Natalie's brother, is present when the body is found and suddenly finds herself caught up in Natalie's murder, hunting her own memories for the killer.

The premise for this novel isn't showy and over the top with gruesome deaths and pychotic serial killers. It's more Alfred Hitchcock than Wes Craven. I found 'The Memory Game' to be tense, subtle and haunting. It doesn't go for out and out car chases and extravagant chapter endings. That isn't French's style - French, instead, goes for beautiful description to establish the tone, mood and atmosphere of the book.From the very first paragraph the quality of the writing is evident and this does not relent. There's almost an elegance to it, which is emphasised by the setting.

This is French's first novel and it shows. This is slower paced (almost plodding in some parts) than her later work. This was the novel where French was the academic, forgetting formulas and writing a family murder mystery with clever twists and with a structure that is unfamiliar in most psychological thrillers, which I am stil unsure whether worked or not. This was a brave and clever attempt for her to make a name for herself to gain reviews in papers such as The Guardian, being the thinking thriller writer as opposed to being pushed aside for being trashy.

The Memory Game is a thriller for the average intellect. It is hard work in places due to the strange structure but it is worth reading.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Did'nt find this quite up to her usual standard. ...
Did'nt find this quite up to her usual standard. Maybe it was an earlier book, seemed to go over the same ground a lot of the time.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. Lilian Frost
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Just brilliant ... that's all I have to say!!! The ending is not as I had expected, was hooked throughout
Published 2 months ago by Emma King
5.0 out of 5 stars great author
having only recently discovered her I'm overdosing on her books at the moment & so far haven't been disappointed - recommended to murder mystery book lovers as an enasjoyable... Read more
Published 6 months ago by janice
5.0 out of 5 stars a good read
As a fan of Nicci Fremch books I enjoyed this book, however if you have not read this author give this one a go. It is a well constructed story and an enjoyable read.
Published 9 months ago by maza
3.0 out of 5 stars All right but a bit slow
I enjoyed aspects of the book and seeing the story unfold but there are many parts which either seem strange (the reactions of characters to startling turns of events are not... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Kate O'Brien
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicci French
I just love all Nicci French books and have been 'converted' from being a romantic fiction reader to all these exciting psychological stories. Read more
Published 11 months ago by G. Cobb
4.0 out of 5 stars My sixth novel of nicci French
The beginning is a bit of a drag. The end is thrilling and unexpected. Really makes the read worthwhile. :)
Published 12 months ago by Xyz
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I love Nicci French books but this one was awful. Couldn't get into it and didn't care about any of the people in it and what happened to them so I sent it back.
Published 13 months ago by taffygirl
4.0 out of 5 stars Liking Author
Having read a few of their other books I was looking through older titles to see if they packed the same punch. this did not disappoint. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Nat
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
Having read quite an amount of Nicci French books the Memory Game gives a unique insight of what happens in families when a
body is discovered. Read more
Published 15 months ago by colette crompton
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