Susanna Beard: Dare To Remember

dare-to-remember-cover

I received a free physical copy of this book from the publishers as part of their Legend100 Club in exchange for an honest review.

Reeling from a brutal attack that leaves her flatmate dead and her badly
injured, Lisa Fulbrook flees to the countryside to recuperate. With only
vague memories of the event, she isolates herself from her friends and
family, content to spend her days wandering the hills with her dog, Riley.

However, Lisa is soon plagued, not only by vivid flashbacks, but questions,
too: how did their assailant know them? Why were they attacked? And
what really happened that night?

As she desperately tries to piece together the memories, Lisa realises that
there’s another truth still hidden to her, a truth she can’t escape from. A
truth that may have been right in front of her all along.

Dare To Remember is Susanna Beard’s debut novel; a psychological thriller following Lisa Fulbrook after she has relocated to a quiet village following the trauma she has experienced. After experiencing a near miss with death and losing her closest friend, Lisa cannot take being around everyone that was part of that life that has been taken away from her. Attempting a second chance at life, Lisa becomes plagued with flashbacks and nightmares that leave her questioning what truly happened that night and, underneath everything that she can remember, there is the question of what she can’t remember.

I had no expectations when heading into this novel, and that’s something I generally like to keep when it comes to thrillers and mystery’s. Once the suspense and the general plot-line has been divulged, I generally find it very hard to immerse myself and no longer feel the heart pumping, pulse racing sort of reaction expected of some of these novels. Dare To Remember is a brilliant psychological thriller that leaves you questioning everything that you are told regarding Lisa’s flashbacks and her memory. She herself admits to feeling unreliable in her account of what happened and you feel sympathy towards Lisa and her situation.

As a character, Lisa is quiet and likes to keep to herself – preferring the company of the dog she acquired from her next door neighbour to that of human company. Though this is the case, she does keep in regular contact with her next door neighbour, an elderly man who doesn’t pry into her past and accepts her for who she is and how she helps. It is clear that the Lisa of the present is one entirely different to that of Lisa before the event, with her flashbacks and nightmares showing a woman who was lively and liked to socialise. Beard shows how such a traumatic event can truly impact someone’s life and how their whole personality can change. It is only thanks to the relationships she makes after this event that she is able to accept her situation and move forwards.

I really enjoyed the concept of the novel. Dare To Remember is well-paced, quick, and easy to read, and the writing and plot draws you into the narrative. I found it very hard to put this novel down as I just couldn’t help being drawn into Lisa’s life and trying to, at the same time as her, uncover the truth of the attack and what her mind had shrouded from her. The side characters were also interesting, all with their own traumas and incidents that have made them who they are, and I loved how they all interacted and how they affected events that were to take place, all of them helping each other in different ways.

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