#TheMemoryWood Review

The Memory Wood

by Sam Lloyd

  • Format Read  – Hard Copy (ARC)
  • How did I get this book  – Sent by Publisher
  • Date Read – December 21st – 24th
  • Genre – Thriller / Suspense / Mystery
  • Publisher – Bantam Press / Transworld

The Blurb

Elijah has lived in the Memory Wood for as long as he can remember. It’s the only home he’s ever known.

Elissa has only just arrived. And she’ll do everything she can to escape.

When Elijah stumbles across thirteen-year-old Elissa, in the woods where her abductor is hiding her, he refuses to alert the police. Because in his twelve years, Elijah has never had a proper friend. And he doesn’t want Elissa to leave.

Not only that, Elijah knows how this can end. After all, Elissa isn’t the first girl he’s found inside the Memory Wood.

As her abductor’s behaviour grows more erratic, Elissa realises that outwitting strange, lonely Elijah is her only hope of survival. Their cat-and-mouse game of deception and betrayal will determine both their fates, and whether either of them will ever leave the Memory Wood . . .


My thoughts

It might just be me, but it feels like all of “book Twitter” is talking about this upcoming thriller from Sam Lloyd. With some big names tweeting about it I was delighted to be sent a copy by the publishers.

While the bulk of the story is told through the eyes of Elissa and Elijah, we also get a look at the inspector in charge Mairead who is battling her own personal issues throughout. I thought the three main characters were brilliantly written and gave a true sense of the peril involved. The strongest part of the story is the relationship that develops between Elissa and Elijah. As both try to get the other to trust them, while obviously trying to attain their own goals.

Elijah names the woods in the story The Memory Woods, and this is where the novel takes its name from. I may be a bit of a scaredy-cat, but I found the woods to be quite scary – but they certainly seem to reflect the mind of not only Elijah – but of Elissa’s period of confinement.

The woods and its inhabitants are brilliantly created, and as we edge closer and closer to the truth, the intensity ramps up, bringing the book in a new direction that adds more depth to the story. Overall, I found this novel to be entirely immersive and spellbinding. I couldn’t help but continue reading, and was desperate to know the conclusion, that far from disappoints.

Don’t be surprised to see this on the best seller and recommended reads lists in the new year. I cannot see anything other than a best seller here. A powerful debut and an unmissable and incredibly immersive crime thriller.

This one is a twisted and quite dark. I can’t recommend it enough, but don’t forget to pack a torch.


The Memory Wood is released in February 2020 and is sure to be one of the most talked about thrillers of the year. Get it pre-ordered in your local bookshop now!

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