MISSED MEMORIES  by Alan Baker

MISSED MEMORIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this debut novel, a horrific accident introduces a frightening supernatural presence into a young woman’s life, altering both her past and future.

Alexandra Drummond’s life is forever changed by a car wreck that kills her parents and sister. Ironically, recovering from her emotional and physical scars is not her biggest challenge. She is also haunted by Azrael, the angel of death. On the morning of the accident, Alex watches as Azrael takes the souls of her family. And the visions keep coming. A man with oily black hair in a pinstripe suit appears to Alex in the hospital, outside her high school, and in the woods near her campsite. She worries that she’s crazy, though Azrael appears to be just as threatened by her ability to see him. She confides in her doctor and friends and, while they appear to believe her, they are unable to help Alex banish death. Midway through the book, the narrative takes an unexpected twist and Alex’s recovery is overshadowed by the realization that she could bring her family back to life. But Azrael is determined to stop Alex’s meddling and she must enlist the help of her remaining family and friends if there is any hope for success. Baker’s story is odd and intriguing. But the foreshadowing is a little on the nose, and some of the dialogue is stilted and implausible. Alex’s doctor, for example, reveals that he cheated on his wife and has told no one except his teenage patient. Yet the author’s plot twist is agreeably surprising and propels the supernatural story into the world of mystery. Can Alex change the past? What role does Azrael play? Unfortunately, these questions also create a troubling conundrum for readers. Alex contemplates a disturbing sacrifice to save her family. This plot turn is unsettling and the resolution fails to address the moral dilemma.  

While delivering an effective twist, this mystery offers a simplistic message.

ISBN: 978-0-6920-8468-7
Page count: 382pp
Publisher: Self
Program: Kirkus Indie
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