Title: Broken Grace
Author: E.C. Diskin
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Goodreads Synopsis: On an icy winter’s day in southwest Michigan, Grace Abbot wakes up as the survivor of a car crash. But she’s left with a traumatic brain injury and a terrifying reality: she can’t remember anything.
Left in the care of her sister, Grace returns to the family’s secluded old farmhouse to recover—but within an hour of her return, the police arrive. Grace’s boyfriend has been murdered. Without any memory, Grace has no alibi.
With suspicion weighing heavily on her and flashes of memory returning, Grace searches for clues to her past. But with every glimpse, her anxiety grows. There is something about the house, her family, her childhood…perhaps the accident isn’t the only reason she can’t remember. Are the dark recesses of her mind hiding something even more sinister and terrifying than she could ever imagine?
And someone is watching. Someone willing to kill again to protect a secret.
Check out that cover! Kudos to the graphic design team at Thomas & Mercer because this cover is so perfect. It ties in with the content so well, even though I chose to read this novel based on the cover alone. I wasn’t disappointed, but I wasn’t impressed either. The first chapter really hooked me and got me interested and invested in Grace. But I thought the rest of the novel was very cookie-cutter. I’ve read a thousand other crime novels similar to or exactly like it. Diskin tries really hard to throw us off of the killer’s scent by exploring other leads and motives, but come on… We all knew the plot twist was coming. (Or at least I did.)
Grace’s memory loss was the most interesting part of the novel. It was reminiscent of The Girl on the Train, in which we have another unreliable narrator. (The similarities stop there, don’t get too excited.) Grace spends most of the novel in a fog, not remembering anything about her life before her car accident. When she is accused of murder, it’s a race against the police to get those memories back and clear her name. I thought Diskin did a good job portraying Grace’s frustration with this, and influencing the readers to be just as frustrated as she is. What’s real, and what isn’t? Who can we trust? Who is telling the truth? However I thought the flashbacks she had, while informative, were kind of cheesy. I guess there really isn’t any other way to portray a returning memory than to write it out like a movie playing in a character’s head. But I wasn’t really a fan of this technique. I really don’t know what I wanted from this, but I just felt like it was a little unrealistic.