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The Memory Game

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  3,392 ratings  ·  217 reviews

The Memory Game is a haunting psychological thriller from the Top Ten bestselling author, Nicci French

You remember an idyllic childhood. But your memory is deceitful. And possibly deadly...

When a skeleton is unearthed in the Martellos' garden, Jane Martello is shocked to learn it's that of her childhood friend, Natalie, who went missing twenty-five years ago. Encourage

Kindle Edition, 401 pages
Published (first published 1997)
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3.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,392 ratings  ·  217 reviews

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Helen F
Apr 10, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Renny Barcelos
This was so boring I couldn't force myself to pay the right amount of attention to the audiobook and despite rewind several times I finished it without fully understanding what happened. I am curious but not enough to put myself through it again...
Listened to in audio format.

This year I have listened to Nicci French's Frieda Klein series which I have loved. I have finished the series up to Saturday and I was eager to try their standalone thrillers. Apparently The Memory Game was the first collaboration for Nicci Gerrard and Sean French.

This book was set in 1995 and it was like a different world. It made me laugh, Jane smoking in pubs, listening to cassettes and the police using carbon paper oh how times have changed.

The Memory Game was a
Nov 17, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Jun 10, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Donna Henderson
The following review focuses on the book from a writing perspective, with less focus on the sequence of events/plot. Please note, there will be spoilers.

Before I begin the review, I'd like to mention that one of the first books that really moved me as a reader (and actually made me want to write my own novel) was the psychological-thriller called Beneath the Skin, by Nicci French. I had immediately been drawn to the dark and frightening 'stalker' plot, the closeness of the first-person point of
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The central character of this book, Jane has recently split up with her husband. Despite this she still wants to be part of the family as there is a lot of shared history as her father and ex father-in-law are old friends. There is also their daughter Natalie who went missing 25 years ago who was best friends with Jane. Whilst at a family gathering Natalie's body is discovered. Jane then takes it upon herself to try and solve the mystery of who murdered her friend.

This isn't the best Nicci Fren
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did not like this book at all. To be honest I suspected it to be disappointing which is why i tried to read it in one sitting.

Just as I expected, once i put the book down for a whole day I couldn’t get myself to pick it up again. About 70% in I didn’t care about the ending anymore, I considered giving up and not finishing the book.

So... I finished it and let me tell you that ending was not worth the wait. The plot wasn’t bad, the problem is the excitement died down so much before getting the
Jun 25, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
-info-dump of characters at the beginning, confusing and unnecessary as many of the characters don't feature prominently
-cliche-ridden writing
-unnatural dialogue and actions from characters
-outdated and harmful attitudes on various issues
-boring, unsympathetic characters
-boring, stretched out plot and rushed ending
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I honestly didn’t enjoy reading this book until I got to page 200 where the story really began, those first 200 pages felt like an introduction to a story that was waiting to begin, but wasn’t allowed for some reason and I think that if I hadn’t been obligated to read this book for school that I would have finished it in about a month. I could only read 20 pages at a time because I would start to feel sleepy.
After page 200 it was starting to get enjoyable though, at first I thought the plot was
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.

LyndaIn Oregon
This one only loses points because I was expecting a thriller / suspense novel, which it isn't. It's more about recovered memory -- hence the title, I suppose!

The protagonist, an architect, is supervising the construction of a guest house on her former in-laws' Shropshire estate when the excavation reveals human remains proving to be those of the family's daughter who vanished 25 years ago. Her own dissatisfaction with the police investigation leads back through a memory trail that may or may n
Libby Andrews
Sep 18, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
An early Nicci French and it shows! The last 87 pages were good but those before were an endurance! The story centers on Jane Martello and the Martello family. When Jane was 16 her best friend Natalie Martello disappeared. 25 years later, when Jane is married to Natalie's brother, her body is found in the garden of the family home. Jane is disturbed and encouraged to get therapy. Her therapist helps to piece her memory together and raises the question as to whether therapy can bring back accurat ...more
Unlike other murder mysteries and psychological thrillers, The Memory Game manages to not have a detailed scientific blabbering. With Jane as the protagonist, an interesting character who is perplexed and has struggle recovering repressed memories an uncommon perspective; the book is straightforward. The duo writers Nicci French managed to capture my attention after a hundred pages. The back and forth narrative is a bit out of place, but the unexpected ending makes up for it.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-reads
This is a thriller by French as only she can do it. It begins with a young woman who is an architect who in the process of beginning a groundbreaking unearths a skeleton of her best friend who went missing years ago. That's where the mystery begins, she was killed, but who killed her, and why? I don't want to give away too much of what happens, but let's just say it involves the woman's memories and what she remembers. It's a great read, and I highly recommend it.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started the book by drawing up a family tree, because in the first 20 pages litterally are more than 20 new names, which come from nowhere. Some of them suddenly have nicknames which makes if even more confusing.This almost made me stop reading.

Later the books gets better and there are some plot twists. I enjoyed reading the book, but it's no masterpiece.
Kulaprabha Marlene
I always enjoy Nicci French books. This was no exception. It would have been a 5star rating but, come on Nicci, there was big hole in the plot connected with the denouement that any decent SOCO team would have found immediately. Still enjoyed it though.
Joy Chiquita
The story is very slow and the main character gets a bit boring with her never dieing need to smoke a cigarette. The plot was kinda strange... Unsatisfying. Would not recommend this book. Also don't feel tempted to read any more of Nicci French.
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've recently read a lot of Nicci French and this was quite disappointing. Seemed like an odd, inexperienced approach to psychologist/psychoanalyists. The first revelation was a shock in the sense that I never believed it. I wasn't that compelled by these characters. Why were they shocked when the autopsy said murder? Did they not assume??
Kelly Bond
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This the first time I have read a Nicci French Book and ..... I LOVED IT ALL
I would reccomend this book to anyone who enjoys mysteries and it kept me gripped the whole way through and the plot twists are amazing as well

All i can say is WOW!!!!!!!!!
Alette Viljoen
Bit disappointed.
Oct 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-read
Okay - page turner that slowed up toward the end but I liked it
Julie Chettle
The premise was interesting however, I struggled to care about any of the characters.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 out of 5 stars. Almost any book that involves psychotherapy and several psychotherapists is enjoyable to me.
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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