I KNOW MY NAME by C.J. Cooke


Email this review


When an Englishwoman disappears from her home, her husband is forced to acknowledge problems in their marriage and all he does not know about his wife and her troubled childhood.

A woman is rescued just off Komméno Island, near Crete, and pulled to safety by four strangers on a writing retreat. Upon awakening, she discovers that her boat barely survived a storm and that she cannot remember her name, where she is from, or any other details about her life. The writers take care of her, but she becomes concerned about escalating tensions between the four of them and the implication that she won’t be allowed to leave the island. Back in London, Lochlan receives a call at work from a neighbor who tells him his wife, Eloise, is gone and their two children, 4-year-old Max and 3-month-old Cressida, were left home alone. Over the next two weeks, Eloise works to recover her memory and keep herself safe from one of the writers, George, who's posing an increasingly erratic threat toward her and the others. In London, Lochlan calls on Eloise’s maternal grandparents, Gerda and Magnus, to help him take care of the children and search for Eloise, who has disappeared without a trace. Secrets Lochlan has been hiding come out into the open, and in order to find Eloise, he, Gerda, and Magnus must all acknowledge painful family truths. As the search drags on, Lochlan realizes how consumed he's been with work, and he learns more about his wife’s life and her childhood with a drug-addict mother. This debut novel builds in both intensity and nuance due to its rotating first-person narrative and perfectly paced plot. Cooke’s concern for her subject matter as well as her characters shines through her crisp writing, and her novel takes on a layer of emotion not always found in psychological thrillers.

A fast-paced novel that deftly strikes at the heart of what it means to survive traumatic personal and familial ruptures.

Pub Date: Jan. 16th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5387-4444-4
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2017


FictionSHARP OBJECTS by Gillian Flynn
by Gillian Flynn
IndieSUGAR BABY by Allison Rose  Phelan
by Allison Rose Phelan
FictionDEAD LETTERS by Caite Dolan-Leach
by Caite Dolan-Leach