I would like to wish author J.V. Baptie a happy ebook launch day for her novel The Forgotten – which has made its final Blog Tour stop here. You can find more reviews, excerpts, and author information by following Love Books Group on Twitter, and if you are intrigued by my book review you can order the ebook here. I also would like to thank Kelly from Love Books Group for sending me the ebook copy of The Forgotten, and as always, the thoughts I put down in this post are all my own.
What if everything was a lie?
Newly-promoted but not welcome in CID, Detective Sergeant Helen Carter is tasked with investigating a murder in an old abandoned picture house. The case takes a chilling turn when the business card of an ex-cop is found at the scene.
Helen must piece together the case before the bodies mount up around her, and before the killer strikes closer to home…
The Forgotten takes place in Edinburgh in the late 1970s. As a woman in the police department, Helen Carter, as if she didn’t have enough on her plate solving murders, is a constant target of sexism and condescension by her fellow officers. Because of her psychology background, she is often more interested in the whys of a case, whereas her male counterparts are more concerned with just finding out the whos. Because of this, she likes talking to suspects or witnesses to find out where their mind is at, and because she is a woman and more “in tune” with feelings, the male officers always look to her when they encounter a hysterical or even slightly emotional individual.
Even in her relationship with boyfriend Ted, Helen does not get the support she needs. A man who seems to be following in his alcoholic father’s footsteps, denying it all the way, Ted wants her to quit her job and let him provide for the both of them. Fortunately, Helen is quite strong-willed and does not give in – to Ted’s selfish “requests” nor her co-workers’ teasing and misogyny.
The specific murder case in this story is related to possible corruption in the police force, and Helen’s now-deceased father, an ex-cop, may have something to do with it. So while she tries to piece together the clues and people involved in the murders, she is also trying to uphold the positive image she has of her father.
The Forgotten is quite a page turner, and at just under 250 pages, it is a quick read. While the story has its complexities, hooking you from the first page, there are some loose ends that needed a little more tying up. Throughout the book Helen has minor flashbacks of an accident in which her brother dies, but it’s not really delved into to the degree needed to care, making those parts of the narration feel a little random. The chapters are short and J.V. Baptie alternated perspectives to effectively hold the longing attention of the reader, but the shortness often left a feeling of additional longing, of wanting a little more backstory before moving on.
The book ends with a seemingly positive cliffhanger, and although the personal problems of the characters are not really resolved (expectedly), the conclusion of this murder case seems to bring them a little closer. The ending could be interpreted in a romantic manner, but it more so cements Helen’s individualistic nature. She seems to be much more sure of herself, which was an unexpected but admirable outcome.