Thursday, 21 January 2021

The Memory Man by Helen Smith

The Memory Man by Helen Smith
Published by Tyger Books Quick Reads in November 2014.

How I got this book:
Took advantage of an Amazon free download promotion

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Memory Man is an intriguing new short story from bestselling British author Helen Smith. Two women become friends in an abandoned post-apocalyptic building. A psychic makes contact with a lost soul. His apprentice tries to find news of a man he has lost touch with. Fragments of memories are traded and twisted. Friendship provides comfort, but the recovery of memories brings torment rather than reassurance - until truth becomes secondary to survival.

This review was first blogged on Stephanie Jane in March 2016.

I enjoyed my previous Helen Smith short story, an Emily Castles mystery entitled Three Sisters, so was delighted to get the opportunity to download another via Smith's e-mail newsletter.

The Memory Man is very different to Three Sisters although it does of course share Smith's fabulously descriptive turns of phrase. We find ourselves in a disused canteen with two women and a dead body. The women don't remember anything about themselves or each other and, as readers, we have no idea of their backstories either. I thought The Memory Man had a wonderfully chilling atmosphere and I am still not exactly sure I worked out what was going on. (I have a theory, but don't want to spoil the mystery for you!) I was reminded of the feel of TV series such as Psychoville and think people who appreciated that style of storytelling would also like Smith's story. I did think that the ending was left too open to be completely satisfying, but I would definitely like to read more of Smith's work.

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Helen Smith / Short stories / Books from England

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