Home > 2010, 21st Century, Abandoned books, Crime Fiction, Polar, Thriller, Walker Wendy > All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker – not my cup of tea.

All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker – not my cup of tea.

December 12, 2020 Leave a comment Go to comments

All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker (2016) French title: Tout n’est pas perdu. Translated by Fabrice Pointeau

This is a short billet about All Is Not Forgotten, a thriller by Wendy Walker. I’m not a great fan of thrillers and I got Walker’s book with one of my Quais du Polar subscriptions. So, not a book I would have bought myself and after abandoning it at page 110, the only satisfaction I get from the experience is that I’m getting better at spotting books that aren’t for me.

In All Is Not Forgotten, Jenny, fifteen, is raped in the park behind the house where she was attending a party. Her parents get called to the hospital and agree to let the doctors give her a treatment that will make her forget this terrible night. The mother, Charlotte, wants to erase that night and is focused on moving on. The father, Tom, is not totally on board with this drug because Jenny’s missing memories will go against the police’s chances to find her aggressor. Charlotte wins and Jenny’s agression disapears from her consciousness but not from her mind and she’s not getting better.

Several things bothered me in this book and eventually led me to put it aside. Like Guy says in his review of A Helping Hand by Celia Dale, I prefer crime books where the killer is an ordinary person who crosses the line and becomes a murderer. I’m not too fond of serial killers and I can’t help thinking that building a plot around a teenager who gets violently raped in the woods lacks a bit of imagination.

I also found that the family was caricatural. They live in Fairview, a rich small town in Connecticut. Charlotte doesn’t work, keeps a strong hand on her husband and cherishes her membership to the local country club. She never has a hair out of her tight chignon and wears spotless clothes and make up. Well, you know the type. And her status is town is important to her, which puts pressure on her husband Tom. She’s a cold bitch, he’s an emotional carpet. Cliché.

The narrator of the book is Alan Forrester, a psychiatrist who sees Jenny after her suicide attempt. I guess he was going to take us through the story and its denouement after poking at Jenny’s mind and looking into her parents’ past hurts.

It’s not a bad book per se, it just confirms that I’d rather read Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith than this kind of stories.

Has anyone read it?

  1. December 12, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    Not for me either I suspect – sounds very formulaic!

    Like

  2. December 12, 2020 at 7:58 pm

    No I haven’t read it and to be honest I hadn’t heard of the author either. From the plot description, I would not read it.
    There seem to be so many crime books these days that have frequent flyer plots. No doubt this is true of other genres too but I wouldn’t know.

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    • December 12, 2020 at 10:41 pm

      I don’t it’s your kind of book either.
      I like the expression “frequent flyer plot”, that’ how it felt and probably why I couldn’t pay attention any longer.

      Liked by 1 person

      • December 13, 2020 at 12:31 am

        Yes, I like that term too, thank you, Guy, I’m going to steal it for my own purposes…
        I also do not understand why people want to read or watch TV programs about serial killers. There is one called Midsomer Murders on TV, which offers a mildly enjoyable game for idle moments: from the first two minutes of the setting, predict the first gruesome death. (There are always three, but we can’t play with three because then we’d have to watch the whole show.) Last night it was set in a brewery so I correctly predicted that a body would be drowned in one of the vats…
        It can’t be very imaginative if it’s that easy to predict, eh?

        Like

        • December 13, 2020 at 8:56 am

          It’s a good term, isn’t it? Thinking of creating a category named “frequent flyer plot”. I like those, sometimes, between two tougher books and for entertainment.
          I don’t watch TV anymore, I don’t have time to on top of working, living with the family, meeting friends, reading and blogging. I don’t even know what kind of programs we have on the French TV these days.
          But like you, I wouldn’t be interested in watching Midsomer Murders.

          Ordinary criminals are much more interesting than serial killers.

          Like

  3. December 13, 2020 at 9:06 am

    I struggled to read your synopsis, there’s no way I would read the book. I believe much violence in books, as in films, is gratuitous and there only for the titillation of readers. Too many authors “get in the mind” of the serial killer, or describe in great and unnecessary detail the violent crime which is to be solved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 13, 2020 at 9:22 am

      In the pages I’ve read, there isn’t too much violence. (less than in other crime fiction books I’ve read) But I agree with you, violence doesn’t need to be graphic to be conveyed to the reader or the spectator.

      I’m just not interested in serial killers and in this kind of psychological thrillers with drug manipulation unless they don’t take themselves seriously, like the Charlie Harding series by D. Swierczynski. Here, I think that the idea was to explore this concept of erasing memories with drugs. I’m more interested in not-drug-induced manipulations, like the one in The Catherine Wheel.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. December 13, 2020 at 10:28 am

    It def has flaws. Seeing pcych at odds with drug to forget. Then as everyone knew anyone not like everyone would not be aware anyway.

    Like

    • December 13, 2020 at 10:31 am

      Have you read it?

      Like

      • December 13, 2020 at 5:15 pm

        Yes while ago. So not certain who rapist turned out to be

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        • December 13, 2020 at 5:17 pm

          The kiss of death for a book: when you don’t remember the ending. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

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