Verdict: In DON’T REMEMBER, Rich Silvers intertwines a love story with a suspenseful thriller, covering both with a series of ethical and moral dilemmas. He just barely scrapes the surface that is the contest between free will and what’s meant to be.
In DON’T REMEMBER, Rich Silvers intertwines a love story with a suspenseful thriller, covering both with a series of ethical and moral dilemmas. He just barely scrapes the surface that is the contest between free will and what’s meant to be.
Ultimately, though, DON’T REMEMBER is a plot-driven page-turner. It all hinges on one night’s event, a fatal car accident. One of the two drivers involved, protagonist Julian Barnes, can’t remember what actually happened, and those characters who do know aren’t trustworthy. The story is filled with mysterious figures, game-changing plot twists, and simple, fast-moving language.
Though readers experience the tale through Julian’s point of view, his thought process, emotions, and even backstory are not really revealed. All that is known is that he can’t remember what happened that night and that he’s passionately devoted to Julia—his girlfriend who’s mysteriously ill and whose name is bizarrely similar to his own. The lack of descriptions are no bother to the reader, though. The plot is compelling enough to keep the audience wanting more. Silvers reveals small clues in every chapter. Some are crucial to unraveling the mystery and others are decoys, sending the reader down a fake trail of suspicion. In the end, though, the truth is predictable. What the reader suspects at the beginning is the same as what is uncovered by the end.
There are several ethical dilemmas that surface, and with more time and more pages, Silvers could have dug deeper into each one. Aside from the bribery, lying, and cover-ups, Silvers’ characters briefly explore confessing to a crime one didn’t commit, saving the life of a criminal versus an innocent person, and the lengths one will go to save the life of a loved one. Each of these is juicy and layered on it’s own and could warrant an entire novel. As is the debate between free will and fate.
But Silver’s intent is to entertain, to trip up the reader and to keep him or her guessing until the end. And in that, he mostly succeeds. What actually happened on the night in question? Was it just a car accident or was there foul play involved? And who is threatening Julian? In the end, the reader is rewarded with satisfying answers to these questions in a story that never slows down.
~Erin Greenhalgh for IndieReader