Mortal Memory by Thomas H. CookMortal Memory by Thomas H. Cook

Mortal Memory

byThomas H. Cook

Mass Market Paperback | March 1, 1994

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Along with Jamie and my  mother, Laura died at approximately four in the  afternoon. It was almost two hours later that Mrs.  Hamilton, a neighbor from across the street, saw my  father drive away. During those long two hours in  which he remained in the house, my father washed my  mother's body and arranged her neatly on the bed.  After that, he made a ham sandwich and ate it at  the table in the kitchen. He drank a cup of coffee,  leaving both the plate and the cup in the sink. He  didn't pack anything, because he left with  nothing. He didn't reenter either Laura's of Jamie's  room. He made no attempt to clean up the frightful  mess that had been made of them. And yet, for no  apparent reason, he remained in the house for a full  two hours. What had he been waiting for?
Thomas H. Cook is the author of many novels, including The Chatham School Affair, winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel; Instruments of Night; Breakheart Hill; Mortal Memory; Sacrificial Ground and Blood Innocents, both Edgar Award nominees; and two early works about true crimes, Early Graves and Blood Echoes, which was also nominat...
Title:Mortal MemoryFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 4.25 × 7 × 0.69 inPublished:March 1, 1994Publisher:Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:055356532X

ISBN - 13:9780553565324

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not everything happened the way you remember PLOT OR PREMISE: A young boy loses his mother, sister and brother to an apparent killing spree of his father. Years later, an author tracks down the boy, now a man with a wife and son, and asks him to remember the details of their last few months together. . WHAT I LIKED: The basic plot is somewhat interesting in that it deals with the young boy's impressions of life, now recolored and filtered through the eyes of an adult, and the sudden realizations of what he actually saw and heard of adult conversations which made no sense at the time, but are all too clear now. A reinterpretation of history, in a sense, that allows the context to show more clearly than a simple linear telling might have done. . WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Two aspects stand out as negative factors. First, there is the telling of the story. At the beginning, it seems far too disjointed, and the continuous references to the future to build suspense actually fall flat. Secondly, there is a sense of detachment throughout the story, almost a clinical feel that keeps you removed from the main character and limits the novel to simply "telling" the story rather than having the reader "live" it through the eyes and actions of the characters. The fact that the ending is all too predictable is not necessarily a negative factor in this story, as it doesn't detract from an interesting read into the psyche of a slowly disintegrating family, and there are twists at the end that show the dangers of reinterpreting history from a cracked lens. Not everything happens the way the little grey cells remember, nor the way reality would tend to dictate. . DISCLOSURE: I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, nor do I follow him on social media.
Date published: 2016-12-30

From Our Editors

Along with Jamie and my mother, Laura died at approximately four in the afternoon. It was almost two hours later that Mrs. Hamilton, a neighbor from across the street, saw my father drive away.

Editorial Reviews

"A haunting tale.. [that] defies  expectations... [with] an ending that is both surprising and  devastating."--Chicago Tribune

  "Harrowing... Terror builds and the ending to this chilling  study... is a dizzying  jolt."--Publisher's Weekly

"Haunting... Don't pick this up unless you've got time  to read it through... because you will do so  whether you plan to or not."--Alfred Hitchcock  Mystery Magazine