The Memory Wood

The Memory Wood This is the story about the abduction of thirteen year old Elissa She s very clever and she s a chess prodigy Elijah is twelve He lives in a cottage in the Memory Wood with his parents When Elijah finds Elissa, she thinks that he will free her But Elijah wants to keep her for his friend The inspector in charge of the investigation, Mairead, has her own personal issues This is a debut novel from Sam Lloyd The tension starts to build right from the start of the story It s told from Mairead, Elissa and Elijah s perspectives The twists just kept coming This is quite a dark read but it s also addictive and I could ot put it down The pace is steady The ending was executed perfectly I can t wait to read what the author has in store for us next.I would like to thank NetGalley, Random House UK, Transworld Publishers and the author Sam Lloyd for my ARC in exchange for an honest review. Billed as the must read book of 2020 and described as chilling, moving and unputdownable, The Memory Wood is certainly a book to be looking out for next year and was admittedly a read I did not expect Elijah has lived in the Memory Wood for as long as he can remember It s the only home he s ever known Elissa has only just arrived And she ll do everything she can to escape With a premise as intriguing as that, it was impossible not to get addicted to the story from the very first page Due to the twists and turns in the plot, you re really kept on your toes and the emotional rollercoaster you re on when the story plays out, really draws you in and doesn t let go Told from the perspective of three characters only frail twelve year old Elijah, thirteen year old chess prodigy Elissa and DS Mairead MacCullagh, I liked how the chapters overlapped between Elijah and Elissa and how they expressed their intense thoughts and feelings Mairead s personal and emotional issues during the investigation into Elissa s disappearance was truly palpable and my heart went out to her when she discovered her worst fears had come true again The author chose a denouement that was both powerful and emotionally charged and I m not frightened to admit I did feel tearful during the last few pages The first half of the book was a slow build and often a little repetitive but this created a sinister and creepy atmosphere The second half kicked off with a cruel race against time and I couldn t help but be totally invested in the rescue of Elissa She was a very clever, mature and likeable girl and the author has created a brilliant character that showed strength and determination not to leave her mother alone should she die Written by Sam Lloyd, I understand the germ of the idea came when he drove his son to a chess tournament at a busy secondary school venue and a wife who constantly worried about imagined nightmare scenarios involving their first born son Something every parent at some point imagines and which is totally relatable and normal The author then plotted the story around these events and ended up with a novel that s unforgettable, nightmarish and totally unique.Fantastically written, tensely plotted and perfectly executed, I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Memory Wood , it had everything I like from an original thriller and I expect it to be a much sought after bestseller as soon as it s released 5 shiny but creepy stars Thank you to Love Reading for my copy of the book in return for my honest opinion. The Must Read Novel Of Chilling, Moving And Unputdownable, The Memory Wood Is A Thriller Like No Other Elijah Has Lived In The Memory Wood For As Long As He Can Remember It S The Only Home He S Ever Known Elissa Has Only Just Arrived And She Ll Do Everything She Can To Escape When Elijah Stumbles Across Thirteen Year Old Elissa, In The Woods Where Her Abductor Is Hiding Her, He Refuses To Alert The Police Because In His Twelve Years, Elijah Has Never Had A Proper Friend And He Doesn T Want Elissa To LeaveNot Only That, Elijah Knows How This Can End After All, Elissa Isn T The First Girl He S Found Inside The Memory WoodAs Her Abductor S Behaviour Grows Erratic, Elissa Realises That Outwitting Strange, Lonely Elijah Is Her Only Hope Of Survival Their Cat And Mouse Game Of Deception And Betrayal Will Determine Both Their Fates, And Whether Either Of Them Will Ever Leave The Memory Wood This is a very dark and creepy thriller the stuff of dark fairy tales of missing children lost in the dark woods Elissa is a thirteen year old chess prodigy, drugged and abducted from a car park outside a chess tournament When she comes round she finds herself manacled to the rough floor in a dark cellar of a tumbledown cottage Her kidnapper, a foul smelling brute of a man she calls the ghoul, brings her food and water only if she does what she s told She s also visited by a boy called Elijah who says he s twelve, has lived there all his life and knows of other children who have been kept in the cellar He is lonely and wants Elissa to be his friend so won t help her escape He tells her they are like Hansel and Gretel in the Gingerbread Cottage, surrounded by woods where trees are memorials to the dead Told from three perspectives, that of Elissa, Elijah and DS Mairead McCullagh who is in charge of the investigation, at first sight this appears to be a classic child abduction case but takes a very disturbing and twisted turn half way through It s very atmospheric, with Elijah s brother toting a gun and roaming the woods killing wildlife, a magic woman who lives in a caravan and the ghoulish man himself who Elijah calls Papa An original debut novel and excellent addition to this genre With thanks to Netgalley and Random House for a digital ARC to read Thirteen year old chess prodigy Elissa Mirzoyan is abducted in the middle of a tournament after leaving the venue to fetch one of her possessions from the car The kidnapper, nicknamed The Ghoul by Elissa, thrust her into the back of his van and spirited her away to The Memory Wood When she wakes from her slumber she realises that she is chained and being held captive and notices she is covered in bruises She wonders how she will escape her godawful situation and her only hope is if long term memory wood resident twelve year old Elijah decides to come to her rescue However, young Elijah is extremely lonely and isolated from the world and he decides he wants to keep Elissa close to him for his own selfish needs It soon becomes clear that both Elijah and his brother, Kyle, are very odd and complex characters with many dark secrets to hide Can Elissa persuade Elijah to free her This is a chillingly macabre and disturbing tale and it got under my skin so effectively that I actually dreamed about the story It captivates and enthrals from first chapter to last and was gruesomely twisty and superbly plotted The tension was expertly ratcheted up and the underlying mystique and foreboding atmosphere was a large part of why the book ended up feeling so deliciously dark, creepy and sinister The Memory Wood is a complex and accomplished novel with an ominous fairytale vibe to it and I was stunned by Ms Lloyd s ability to elevate the book above the formulaic, run of the mill standard often experienced in the genre If you re a fan of thrillers that move at a swift pace, have a cast of intriguing characters and consistently whip you up into an exciting frenzy then I feel this should be on the list of all self proclaimed crime connoisseurs I expect this to become one of the biggest thrillers of 2020 as it certainly deserves to be I cannot recommend this highly enough Many thanks to Bantam Press for an ARC. EXCERPT She can t be in here She can t And yet when I angle my head, there she is Her face looks like a piece of steak left too long on a barbecue, cracked and burnt and black Her hair is gone, along with her ears and most of her nose Clear fluid seeps from the fissures in her flesh Only her eyes have been spared They stare with dreadful intensity, two baleful emeralds that have soaked up all the inferno s heat Look at me, Elijah, she whispers I scrunch up my eyes, turn my face to the floor Look at me ABOUT THIS BOOK Elijah has lived in the Memory Wood for as long as he can remember It s the only home he s ever known.Elissa has only just arrived And she ll do everything she can to escape.When Elijah stumbles across thirteen year old Elissa, in the woods where her abductor is hiding her, he refuses to alert the police Because in his twelve years, Elijah has never had a proper friend And he doesn t want Elissa to leave.Not only that, Elijah knows how this can end After all, Elissa isn t the first girl he s found inside the Memory Wood.As her abductor s behaviour grows erratic, Elissa realises that outwitting strange, lonely Elijah is her only hope of survival Their cat and mouse game of deception and betrayal will determine both their fates, and whether either of them will ever leave the Memory Wood.MY THOUGHTS I read the first 70% of The Memory Wood in one sitting, unable to put it down This is one heck of a debut novel Twisty Twisted Incredibly creepy and compelling Addictive This is not your run of the mill abduction story The characters are scary Very scary Malevolent and scary Mentally unstable and scary Even the setting is scary Memory Wood, where the trees are decorated in memory of people who have passed, not peacefully, and for whom you will never find graves or death certificates I have never read anything quite so nightmarish from a debut author, so well plotted and executed Sam Lloyd has not put one word wrong This author has a bright future ahead TheMemoryWood NetGalley THE AUTHOR Sam Lloyd grew up in Hampshire, making up stories and building secret hideaways in his local woods These days he lives in Surrey with his wife, three young sons and a dog that likes to howl The Memory Wood is his debut thriller.DISCLOSURE Thank you to Random House UK, Transworld Publishers for providing a digital ARC of The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd for review All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review and others are also published on Twitter, and my webpage Elissa a thirteen year old girl has been abducted from a car park There is a witness who sees her being bungled into a white van The police are called and it s a race against time to find the girl alive.When Elissa wakes up she is in some sort of dungeon There is no light and she remembers that she has been drugged and taken against her will.She is visited by two people, a man that she finds very frightening and a person who says he is trying to help her.All she can think of is escaping.I enjoyed the first part of this book but the second half I found the story to be confusing and repetitive in some parts.Lots of twists and turns and a constant uneasy feeling that something terrible is about to happen.Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers for my e copy in exchange for an honest review. This is the story about the abduction of thirteen year old Elissa She is very clever and she s a chess playing prodigy Elijah is twelve He lives in a cottage in the Memory Wood with his parents When Elijah finds Elissa, she thinks that he will free her But Elijah wants to keep her for his friend The inspector in charge of this investigation is Mairead, she has her own personal issues This is the debut novel from Sam Lloyd The tension starts to build right from the beginning of the story It s told from Mairead, Elissa and Elijah s perspectives The twists just kept coming This is quite a dark read ut it s also addictive and I could ot put it down The pace is steady The ending was executed perfectly I can t wait to see what this author has in store for us next.I would like to thank NetGalley, Random House UK, Transworld Publishers and the author Sam Liyod for my ARC in exchange for an honest review If this isn t a best seller in the making I ll eat my rather stylish trilby This is a book that makes your eyes pop, inhale and forget to exhale, your jaw drop and utter the odd mild obviously expletive and sometimes all four at the same time which probably isn t pretty To sum up what this story is about is hard but basically the central aspect is the abduction of 13 year old Elissa Mirzoyan whilst she attends a chess competition in Bournemouth She is manacled in the cellar of a Gingerbread House in the creepy Memory Wood where she realises that she is not the first occupant which crystallises her desire to survive her ordeal Elijah lives in a cottage in the woods, he is friendless and not at all worldly wise They become Hansel and Gretel and what ensues in this terrifying story is so twisty it s tortuous Just as you think you have the answer to this another twist comes It s a horror mystery, wrapped in a puzzle and tied up with an enigma and I love it This book is very well written and although it s told from three perspectives Elissa, Elijah and D Supt Mairead MacCullagh the story flows effortlessly Elissa is simply amazing I love the way she uses chess and chess gambits in order to survive and her cleverness defies her years Elijah s story is so sad it makes you want to weep and Mairead ties her own circumstances to the investigation thus making it deeply personal This story is dark, like the grimmest of Grimm s Fairy Tales and it has many analogies and characters you would find in fairy tales and I m not talking Disney here There s Hansel and Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, there s a witch or hag, there s a good huntress and a huntsman, who doubles as the big bad wolf, we have a gingerbread house and no fairy tale is complete without a dark wood On occasion, it has a feel of a horror movie as some of the images are so visual and interspersed are dark but appropriate Biblical quotations that add another dimension The ending oh my stars what can I say Bated breath Yes, yes, yes and a little tear in my eye Overall, an incredible book which I could barely tear myself away from, in fact, my kindle had to be almost prised from my hands as I read far into the night Highly recommended if you like dark and twisty.Huge thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers for the ARC Expected publication 20 2 20. Sam Lloyd s debut psychological thriller is unforgettable, a nightmare, a chilling depiction of child abduction 13 year old Elissa, a bright girl and gifted chess player, and her single parent mother, Lena, make their way from their home in Salisbury to a Chess competition in a Bournemouth hotel Elissa is abducted outside the venue, a drugged Elissa wakes up to find herself manacled in a underground cellar She is discovered and visited by a desperately lonely 12 year old Elijah Elijah has lived in the Memory Wood, his home, for as long as he can remember, an intelligent boy, he has been starved of company Elissa wants him to help her, but Elijah does not want to lose a friend, despite knowing where it will all end as he offers her the advice of complying with the abductor s demands for survival Elissa is a plucky and determined girl, approaching and framing her terrifying predicament in terms that she is at home with and familiar, the world of chess She deploys the strategies of the game, one with a challenging opponent, where the stakes are as high as they possible could be, her life depends on her winning the match Elijah s interest is immediately caught by chess as Elissa explains the rules of a game he has never come across before He wants to play chess with her than anything, with Elissa dangling the possibility of achieving his goal, hoping to manipulate him into inadvertently helping her Elissa s dire scenario and relationship with Elijah is viewed through the lens of the terrors and horrors of children s fairytales, with the Gingerbread house, Hansel and Gretel, the ghoul that is the abductor and an evil witch Leading the hunt for Elissa is Detective Superintendent Mairead MacCullagh, having to handle despairing personal circumstances that have her identifying closely with Elissa and the pain of her mother, Lena Can she find Elissa before the worst happens Sam Lloyd writes an atmospheric, immersive and eerie novel, located in the creepy Memory Wood where so many are memorialised and remembered It is a twisted story of malevolent forces at play, unreliable memories, mental health issues, broken souls, and the most horrifying of crimes committed against vulnerable and innocent children This is disturbing and the most unsettling of storytelling, but it is such compulsive reading matter Highly recommended Many thanks to Random House Transworld for an ARC.

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[Reading] ➽ The Memory Wood  By Sam  Lloyd – Ultimatetrout.info
  • Kindle Edition
  • 375 pages
  • The Memory Wood
  • Sam Lloyd
  • English
  • 12 February 2018

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