Wednesday 21 August 2019

Forget Me Not: Derry girls and a killer's terrifying intent

Crime: Forget Me Not

Claire Allan

Avon €9.99

Derry is the setting for this sinister story
Derry is the setting for this sinister story
Forget Me Not by Claire Allan

Margaret Madden

On a deserted country road, Elizabeth is enjoying her early morning walk when her dog discovers the mortally injured Clare in a hedgerow. Alive, but fading fast, Clare whispers two words to Elizabeth: "I heard a small gurgle. A rattle. The words 'Warn them' carried on the last of her breaths. Then she was silent. Still."

Rachel and Julie are devastated to hear that their friend has been murdered. The three women have been best friends since school and their pain is intense.

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While Julie retreats into the world of solitary grief, aided by alcohol, Rachel reaches out to her secret lover for solace. Her marriage is crumbling and she reluctantly keeps the momentum going for the sake of her daughters.

When bouquets of flowers arrive at the homes of Elizabeth, Julie and Rachel, as well as at the site of Clare's murder, it becomes obvious that the killer has set their sights further: "A posy of forget-me-nots, tied with thick twine, the stems wrapped in thick black satin, which looked out of place against the delicate light blue petals of the flowers. Macabre, even."

A link to Elizabeth and the three friends is discovered and Rachel begins to fear for her life. She thinks she is being followed and she struggles to shake the feeling of dread. Elizabeth is being hounded by an eager journalist and stories have surfaced about a mystery man seen with Clare, just before her death. The tension builds, as more and more layers of the story are revealed.

Forget Me Not is a riveting read with a gripping storyline and bona fide characters. Set in the surrounds of Derry, the colloquial language makes for a genuine atmosphere and the paranoia is palpable.

A twisty, tense page-turner sure to delight holiday-readers this summer.

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