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The Memory Game

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  1,863 ratings  ·  116 reviews
When a skeleton is unearthed in the Martellos' garden, others rattle ominously in their cupboards. For the bones belong to their teenage daughter Natalie, who went missing twenty-five years ago, and the murderer must be very close to home...
Does Natalie's childhood friend Jane - now divorcing her brother - hold the key to the mystery? And are all their memories of a golden
Paperback, 383 pages
Published 1998 by Penguin (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,918)
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This book cost me a national title once. Well, at least a shot at one. I settled down with it in bed the night before a Nationals started and at 5am I was still wide awake glued to it. I finished the book...and my chances of playing okay the next day. From a professional faller-asleeper - it is by far the thing at which I shine - this is really saying something.

How odd. I've read plenty of this sort of book, it isn't the best written (or the worst by any means). It even has the kiss of death of
This was an enjoyable book, although it got off to rather a slow start. I guessed the twist long before it actually happened.

Overall the characters were not very likeable and I got rather irritated with Jane and her “I had a cigarette…, I needed a cigarette…” - she was a heavy smoker, we get the picture! I didn’t think this was as good as the write-up suggested, but I did enjoy it, although from reading on Amazon afterwards, I gather that this is one of the weaker ones and that they do improve
Really a disappointment. I have been enjoying Nicci French thrillers (read one and was excited at the discovery of a new author and have been working my way through the rest) but this one just dragged mercilessly. Too many characters were introduced too fast. It took 100 pages for me to figure out who was a family member, an in-law, a former-in-law, etc. and it turned out that most of these characters just weren't relevant anyway. Not to mention that the story was dragging so much, I just didn't ...more
Helen F
I was not very enamoured with this book, it took way too long to get going and the whole twist felt pretty adequate and absurd when we got there, plus I had already figured it out.
I just couldn't take to the main character (a sign of how unispired I was that I finished this book 10 minutes ago and have already forgotten her name...) and was quickly fed up of her 'I need a cigarette', 'I'm having a cigarette', 'I am smoking my last cigarette' and so on, ALL the way through. I also found the othe
Well, this was strange. It takes a recently divorced woman through "therapy" as she tries to recall some forgotten/supressed memory about the death of her best friend after the body is found on the property the friend grew up on. Then it raises lots of questions about the notion of "recovered memory." It's a strange read. At times I simply couldn't put it down. And it was thought provoking in terms of what memory really is. But there were other times when I found it so confusing that I was annoy ...more
The Memory Game is a flash back & forward look at the life of Jane Martello. Her childhood friend, Natalie, was murdered over 20 years ago & her body is discovered at a family reunion. Jane is divorcing Natalie's brother & the novel unfolds as Jane starts to retrace her life & her interaction with the family. This invariably leads to discussions about Natalie. The family had always believed she had run away but now have to face up to her murder & who did it. As Jane remembers ...more
When a skeleton of the murdered Natalie Martello is unearthed in the family garden 25 years after her disappearance her childhood friend Jane,who is in the process of divorcing Natalie's brother Claud,is forced to search her own long buried memories to try and solve the mystery of Natalie's death.

The initial premise is quite a good one, the idea of how people and children in particular are able to bury traumatic memories in some dark corner of their minds so as to move on with their lives and th
I found this book both slow and perdictable. The last 100 pages are the best, but like the rest of the book it was a fight to stay involved. This could have been a great story and the writing style is interesting any many parts, but nothing seemed to happen after the bones are found. Overall I was not happy with this book.
I actually came quite far, read more than 100 pages, but kept thinking that the story is boring (the sittings with her therapeut), and that I'm not in the least interested who murdered Natalie. Very probably someone from the family, but I really don't care and that's why I decided to stop reading in favour of other books.
Kirsty Darbyshire

It made me believe in things I don'tbelieve in and then tore the beliefs to pieces in front of my eyes, Ifound that very powerful.

Husband and wife team, Nicci Gerard and Sean French, offered a tantalising premise for their debut psychological thriller of an investigation into suppressed memories, and the reliability of ‘recovered memory’ techniques in treatment of those failing to deal with trauma. The discovery of the buried corpse of Natalie Martello, unearthed in the garden of the family estate in Shropshire 25 years after her disappearance, acts as the spur for Jane, childhood friend and our narrator, to question all t ...more
Andrea Hickman Walker
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie Haigh
Sep 08, 2013 Julie Haigh rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wouldn't recommend it but all the other Nicci French books I have read have been great
Shelves: reviewed-books
A bit of a let down.

Having devoured 'Beneath the skin' by the same author which is absolutely brilliant I was really looking forward to losing myself in this book. I couldn't really do that- I couldn't really get into these characters at all, couldn't get into what should have been the emotions of the book. For instance when someone's daughter has been missing for 25 years and suddenly a body is found in the family's garden you would expect devastation but all the characters didn't seem to show
At first i thought that it not that good of the book as i'm used to reading nancy drew mystery's and they always seem to have many clues and all that you might solve it before the book end's :P.But this book have so few clues about the murderer that it will take quite sometime and in this book the mystery is been solved by a normal woman so it's based on the daily life and her all the seasons to try and remember the past but turns out to be fake but after finishing the book I felt like reading ...more
Tel Monks
The Memory Game in the first couple of chapters is for the reader to keep track of the 21 characters in the extended family. I had to draw out the family tree to make sense of it all. After that a quite satisfying psychological thriller with an intriguing narrator. I had two characters in mind for the murderer, and not the red herring thrown out near the end, and still think it could have gone either way.
Unlike most books I've read this one actually got worse the further I went on. The characters were boring, irritating, and their personalities seemed to change without basis, purely to suit the plot. I wanted to throw it across the room when I finished, but instead put it straight into a box for the op-shop... Yikes
Started reading this a while ago but just can't get into it, so I'm giving up on many books, too little time!

I was talking to a colleage tonight on our break and he apparently recently read this and thought it was hilarious! Full of descriptions of what people were wearing, and set in the 90's! So I can't wait to read it and find out what its like!

"When a skeleton is unearthed in the Martellos' garden, others rattle ominously in their cupboards. For the bones belong to their teenage dau

This was the first book by Nicci French I read. I've read quite some other books by them afterwards, mainly because my aunt keeps getting them for me as Birthday/Christmas presents.

This is actually Nicci French's first book, and it centres on suppressed memories, and how much we should value the memories that are uncovered eventually.

It starts of slow and a great number of characters is introduced, but they don't get any depth. After that the story takes a lift and is more interesti
Cindy Limpens
Très décevant. Autant j'ai adoré "Feu de glace" (Killing me softly), autant j'ai eu du mal à rentrer dans ce roman de Nicci French. J'ai trouvé l'histoire décousue, avec des ellipses à tout va et des personnages beaucoup moins attachant. En lisant le quatrième de couverture, je pensais réellement que l'histoire me tiendrait en haleine, mais elle se met lentement en marche et c'est assez dur de rester attentif tout au long du bouquin. La fin m'a particulièrement déçue, même si toutes les explicat ...more
не розумію досить невисоку (3,4/5) оцінку цього твору на goodreads'ах -- на мою гадку, це найкраще у своєму жанрі з того, що мені довелося прочитати за ці два роки принаймні. дуже рекомендую! для себе ж відкрив нікі френч як ім'я над цілим новим списком обов'язкового читання!
Catherine Bennett
I loved this book, could not put it down. I felt I knew the characters and it was a good twist to the end. Highly recommended.
Not bad for a Sunday afternoon, and it did keep me reading right till the end. Some of the psychology explanations seem unnecessarily long-winded by today's standards, so I had to keep reminding myself it was written in the mid-90s when some of these concepts were still quite new to the general public.

As with most mainstream contemporary fiction, I always have to wonder who these people are who can apparently skip off work at a moment's notice to see their therapist or even go on dates without
Hil Haddock
An enjoyable read but not as gripping as many of Nicci French's other books.
I really enjoyed this book although not sure why.

The main character, Jane, doesn't seem quite "right" - out-spoken, rude, over-confident - but perhaps that is what the author was trying to portray in the story of two wealthy, upper class families.

Complex enough to be interesting, but easy enough to follow.

A 16 year old girl goes missing in 1969, whose body is found 25 years later in the family's back garden. The story explores the impact on her best friend, and the discovery that the perfect ch
NL - Het geheugenspel (verkortte versie)
Dec 13, 2014 Judy added it
Great Book
Leo Abrantes
It took me a lot of time to get into the book. I almost gave up but kept on reading because I always feel I have to finish what I start.
Turns out the main theme about the book was false memories, something I've been willing to read more. Unfortunately, the subject got a little lost and pushed to the very end. For some reason I almost gave up entirely when I thought the author was about to set the plot around the memory recovery without any critical eye.
Must say the 3 stars are just for the fin
Sophie Fransen
Aardig boek. Soms wat veel personages om te onthouden. Ik vond het voor een thriller niet spannend.
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*spoiler* question near the ending. 1 9 Feb 26, 2013 02:22AM  
  • Alles te verliezen
  • Nieuwe Buren
  • Schaduwzuster
  • Daglicht
  • Skull Session
  • Versluiering
  • Am Ende Des Schweigens
  • Things We Knew Were True
  • Betrayal
  • De pianoman
  • De ijsdragers
  • Undone
  • Flint
Note: (Nicci Gerrard and Sean French also write separately.)

Nicci Gerrard was born in June 1958 in Worcestershire. After graduating with a first class honours degree in English Literature from Oxford University, she began her first job, working with emotionally disturbed children in Sheffield. In that same year she married journalist Colin Hughes.

In the early eighties she taught English Literature
More about Nicci French...
Blue Monday (Frieda Klein, #1) Killing Me Softly Beneath the Skin Tuesday's Gone (Frieda Klein, #2) Secret Smile

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