Sunday, December 11, 2011

and she was

and she was
Alison Gaylin
Harper Collins Publisher
February 28, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-187820-6
384 pages
$ 7.99

Brenna Spector has an unusual ability that she views as a condition, almost a handicap. She truly remembers every incident that has ever happened in her life since the trauma of her sister, Clea, disappeared and becoming a missing person. From trivial incidents such as what she ate for breakfast to every word every person spoke, she remembers it all and attempts to be attentive to the present without having the past memories overwhelm her thoughts.

Hyperthymestic syndrome has only been recognized by the medical community since 2006. This is the condition where the person has perfect autobiographical memory and remembers everything detected by her senses for every moment of their past. This condition has recently been popularized by the current television program, Unforgettable featuring Poppy Montgomery. It makes a normal life near impossible with the past memories always interfering with the daily life.

In as she was, Brenna works as a private investigator that obviously has no need for taking any notes. She has always been curious about a disappearance over a decade ago of six-year-old Iris Neff, who possibly was last seen entering a blue car, just like Clea, Brenna’s sister, when she disappeared forever.

Now Brenna has been hired to investigate Carol Wentz who was one of the last people who saw Iris Neff alive and she is currently missing. However, when she begins to investigate, she is haunted with memories of her past . Logically, Carol’s husband is the obvious suspect but he seems to be keeping secrets of his own. She also develops a professional respect for Detective Morasco who is also working through his own personal guilt.

and she is an enthralling page turner. The pacing races through each page with believable, realistic characters. There is never a dull sentence. The story rapidly flows into an unpredictable but logical conclusion.

as she was featuring Brenna Spector in this first of Alison Gaylin’s new series. Recently, she has written Hide Your Eyes which was nominated for an Edgar. She has also written You Kill Me, Trashed, and Heartless.

Brenna Spector is a wonderful protagonist who attempts to balance her daily life of being a single parent while being a private investigator. Her daughter, Maya, is gifted at manipulating Brenna who also has to deal with moving on from her former husband. Fortunately, she employs Trent who has numerous personal identity issues but is brilliant with a computer.

I look forward to the sequel to and she was.

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