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The premise itself is an interesting enough one and should have been a better hook. On a flight into San Francisco, a man tries to open the emergency exit door after the flight has landed. He's restrained by several people and after examination, it's discovered he can't create any new short-term memories. As Jo begins to dig into his case, she begins to make some discoveries about the trip he just returned from and a potential new nanotechnology.

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Again, all elements and ideas that should make for a fascinating and fun read. But "The Memory Collector" ends up being less than the sum of its parts. The story feels too disjointed at times and starts and stops too much to really feel like the smooth roller coaster ride it wants to be. With Gardiner's previous record of enjoyable books, I hope this is only an aberration and not the beginning of a decline in quality along the lines of Patrica Cornwell.

View all 4 comments. Aug 21, Jenn rated it really liked it.

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One of my new fave series I've found. Veers dangerously close to Steven Seagal territory but never crosses that line. There is a butt load going on in this novel. And it starts right out the gate. Africa to San Francisco, kidnapping, impersonating other people, car chases, gun fights, bombs, science-y stuff I didn't quite understand my 10th grade science teacher wouldn't be surprised , rich CEOs being rich, a ya That's right.

Africa to San Francisco, kidnapping, impersonating other people, car chases, gun fights, bombs, science-y stuff I didn't quite understand my 10th grade science teacher wouldn't be surprised , rich CEOs being rich, a yacht fight, stabbing people, a little PG13 over the clothes action, crazy people on planes, even crazier people on planes, an obsessed stalker, a monkey humping Beanie Babies, electrocution, ball gags I could go on, but I can hardly remember everything that happened it was so vast.

I'm a Meg Gardiner fan. She's got a gift for twists and shocks and blowing-your-effing-mind with developments you just didn't see coming. The Memory Collector was only slightly disappointing in that no twists or turns really blew my effing mind.

Praise for The Memory Collector

I like Jo Beckett. Her personality is evident, alive. But she's a little unknowable in terms of her personal story. Her husband died some time ago. And she has a sister. That's about all I picked up over two books. But this is one of those series that I'll be sticking with for sure, so I'll slowly learn more as I go. My only real issue with this book is that one loose end wasn't tied up Jun 09, Denise rated it liked it.

Average in thrills and short on suspense, the story just sort of limps along with its heroine, forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett behaving in completely illogical, almost superhero fashion, to save her beloved San Francisco from annihilation.


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I said then, and I repeat, I couldn't work up much energy to really care about any of the characters in the book. I read this second in the series to see if further exposure provided more depth and a more interesting story. I was bored and just trying to get through to the finish by the time I reached the halfway point. Jo is not a believable woman and her interactions with the bad guys and with her sidekick, police detective Amy Tang, don't give insight into her motivations. The book reads like a movie screenplay but the nonstop action is tedious to read, the dialogue isn't realistic, and the science seems shaky.

In this particular novel, Jo must race against the clock to save the family of Ian Kanan, who has lost his ability to form new memories because of exposure to a nanotech product, a chemical known as "slick".

The Memory Collector

Part of the convoluted plot involves Ian's colleagues at Chira-Sayf, Jo's boyfriend Gabe, her neighbors, and other assorted one scene characters such as Jo's sister and Ian's old special forces buddy. Finally reaching the conclusion was a relief and the ending was a disappointment. The second in the series held no promise of the real job of a forensic psychiatrist to perform a psychological autopsy to determine equivocal death.

Apr 18, Liz Barnsley rated it really liked it. Forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett is a " psychological autopsy" specialist - if cause of death is unclear she will "profile" the victim's life to see if she can come up with a verdict, be it suicide, natural or other. I found this to be an interesting premise and a unique one The first in the series is "Dirty Secrets Club" which somehow passed me by, but that did not detract from my reading pleasure in this novel and I will be visiting Jo's first case shortly!

I was not disappointed. In this case, Jo is asked to profile a still living subject - Ian Kanan - who having caused havoc while on a flight is found to be unable to form new memories - Ian insists he has been poisoned and having escaped from custody, is considered a danger to both himself and others. People who were on the flight with him begin to succumb to the same problem, and it becomes clear that there is a lot more going on than at first appears.

Its scary stuff as the possible causes for the situation begin to emerge. I loved Jo Beckett as a character - she has depth and an intriguing back story which I may well discover more of when I head backwards in time!

All in all a brilliant read and I look forward to more in this series. I should probably check out the "Evan Delaney" books as well because one of my favourite things in the world is discovering a great author who has a back catalogue I can dig myself into - Better late to the party than never arriving.

Aug 03, Kayeb rated it really liked it. Develops the theme of a person who has lost the ability to learn anything new and keep it in the memory banks I have seen simliar stuff before but don't recall what book. I think there may be smoe movies with this as a theme also. Jul 10, Ron rated it really liked it Shelves: You know how the guy in Memento had that condition where all his old memories were intact, but he couldn't retain a new memory for more than five minutes? Now imagine you're trying to track down somebody like that -- and you're among the people he's trying to track down as well.

Oh, and did we mention the condition is now contagious? Gardiner's second novel about forensic psychologist Jo Beckett takes a few chapters to work its way up the gears, but once it's up and running it just doesn't slow d You know how the guy in Memento had that condition where all his old memories were intact, but he couldn't retain a new memory for more than five minutes? Gardiner's second novel about forensic psychologist Jo Beckett takes a few chapters to work its way up the gears, but once it's up and running it just doesn't slow down.

Jul 19, Sm rated it really liked it. This was an ok thriller but it was a bit disjointed and a bit unbelievable at times, especially with the almost super hero features of the heroine Jo Beckett. Apart from this it was an interesting premise and an easy read. Not sure if I will continue with this series. Jul 09, Suzanne rated it liked it Shelves: I had a little bit of a hard time getting into this book.

I ended up getting really caught up in the last third of the book, but this just didn't have to compelling "can't put this down" that Dirty Secrets Club did. Jul 20, Christine rated it really liked it. Jul 29, Mia rated it really liked it Shelves: My only complaint is that it was a little too like the movie Memento, but otherwise I thought it was great! Suspenseful, fast-paced, and suprising!

Mar 22, Robin marked it as to-read. Jun 12, Paris rated it it was amazing. Oct 31, Barry Martin Vass rated it it was amazing. This is an entertaining techno-thriller that just zooms along. Jo Beckett is a forensic psychologist who liaises with the San Francisco Police Department; when they can't determine how or why a person died, they come to her to conduct a forensic examination of the person's life. She is also on call some of the time. So when a passenger flies into San Francisco International behaving irrationally and causing a disturbance, Dr.

Beckett is called to the scene. And as she interviews him and then se This is an entertaining techno-thriller that just zooms along. And as she interviews him and then sends him to the hospital, it turns out the man is a former civilian contractor - read mercenary - and has been contaminated in South Africa with a laboratory compound that causes anterograde amnesia - short-term memory loss.

This doesn't mean that you forget things for a short while; it means you can't form new memories and forget everything new after about five minutes. And after this contractor escapes and begins his own investigation as to his family's whereabouts, it slowly becomes clear to Jo that his condition is contagious through contact. Fast pacing and good characterization make this a fun read. De hoofdpersoon is besmet met een nieuw uitgevonden stof die eigenlijk vernietigd had moeten worden maar door te dreigen met het leven van vrouw en zoon smokkelt hij de stof mee naar Amerika.

De besmetting zorgt voor geheugenverlies van het kortetermijngeheugen. Door boodschappen op zijn arm en memobriefjes weet hij toch iedere keer wat hij moet doen en dat zijn familie gevaar loopt. Om te beginnen wel spannend maar de laatste achtervolgingsscenes met politie, criminelen en zijn familie vond ik w De hoofdpersoon is besmet met een nieuw uitgevonden stof die eigenlijk vernietigd had moeten worden maar door te dreigen met het leven van vrouw en zoon smokkelt hij de stof mee naar Amerika.

Om te beginnen wel spannend maar de laatste achtervolgingsscenes met politie, criminelen en zijn familie vond ik wel erg 'over the top' en haalt het boek met moeite 3 sterren. May 20, Pat rated it liked it. This is another book I bought long ago The suspense was much better done than the Christopher book and it is a stand alone book, as I didn't know until now that it was a series. The author is a capable thriller writer, with the protagonist a man who loses his short term memory. May 14, Alex Black rated it it was ok Shelves: This book wound up being too much for me, a little too far into the absurd and outlandish.

The story also deals with the rocky relationship she has with her elder sister who left home before her. The story is skilfully told between the past and present as it unfolds the lies and secrets. I will admit I struggled initially with this book and nearly gave up when I was just a few pages in.

It seemed quite bleak and I found Heather a hard character to understand. However I persisted and I am glad I did. Heather is trying to get on with life after the death of her mother, who was a hoarder. When her mother died we learn how her mother's hoarding had a major impact on Heather as a child - the chaotic living conditions, her lack of friends, being bullied and a traumatic event as a child I will admit I struggled initially with this book and nearly gave up when I was just a few pages in.

When her mother died we learn how her mother's hoarding had a major impact on Heather as a child - the chaotic living conditions, her lack of friends, being bullied and a traumatic event as a child that had been long buried is revisited when Heather discovers newspaper clippings that her mother had saved. It would be easy to feel sorry for Heather or fail to understand her behaviours, but what this book very gently does is look at depression in a realistic and sympathetic manner.

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This is part mystery, part love story. Layers of Heather's life are pulled away and we learn more about who she is, what happened to her and her family. And it is lovely to see the friendship that starts with her neighbour Jason that then grows into something deeper. This is a lovely book. Many previous reviewers have said this was a nice easy read. I didn't find it so, but this may be because I was teased at school and like Heather didn't make friends easily - you don't if you're different.

If you're like me, you might be tempted to put it down after a few pages.. Please stick with it. Thank you HQ and Netgalley for giving me an opportunity to read and review this book. All reviews can be found on my blog at https: Bear with me here. For several chapters, the storyline was like a little bud, waiting to blossom to its true potential, with me, its reader, waiting with bated breath to see if it would indeed flower.

Of course, not every single flower blossoms, so I wasn't too sure whether it would or not. However, after sever All reviews can be found on my blog at https: However, after several more chapters of bud like storyline, several chapters of perfect warmth and rain, 'The Memory Collector' blossomed into something which took my breath away. Heather Lucas' childhood wasn't 'typical'. Her upbringing wasn't 'typical'. Her mother's hobby wasn't 'typical'. Unfortunately due to all of that, Heather's future ended up being the 'typical' response of someone who has endured what she has.

The author doesn't let us into the secrets of Heather's past at first, and it felt as though the author wanted her character to trust her readers, therefore keeping her guard up until she felt safe to explain. Yes, I guess that meant that the storyline was pretty slow to begin with, and yes, I didn't appreciate why it was like that until later on in the book. I can appreciate why the author wrote the storyline in the way that she did, and I am in awe at the strength of her main character, Heather.

The fact that Heather's life seemed to remain under lock and key until she came face to face with the photographic proof, is likely to resonate with a lot of readers because come on, how many of us have reached for the photo album to remember a certain point in time? How many of us have lost a loved one, with the image of their face becoming cloudy due to how long ago they passed, only to feel closer to them when they rub their hands over a picture that was taken many years before their death? We all have memories, both positive and negative. We all bring our pasts into our futures, especially if we haven't dealt with certain emotions at the time.

Some people may say that you should leave the past in the past and, whilst I would agree with that to an extent, the past is proof that you have grown as a person and I love just how much Heather proves that throughout the book.

She knows her life was rocky. She knows the path of her future is in her hands, but at the end of the day, she is only human. She can only do what she can do and for me personally, I felt like celebrating when that message hit home towards the end of the book. Fiona Harper has taken on board real life situations, real life experiences, and real life emotions towards certain things, bringing them to life in a way that will no doubt make a lot of readers think, 'wow, so I'm not a freak after all'.

I think that is a very, very powerful message to convey in a story and I am in awe of the way that Fiona Harper has accomplished that. Sometimes you just need to be told that, and thanks to Fiona Harper's heartfelt story telling, I now feel proud of any wobbles that I have. I am in awe of Heather's story and am extremely grateful to the author for bringing her into our lives. On of my favourite reads so far. What a wonderfully poignant and unputdownable story. Somehow gentle yet hardhitting at the same time. In parts Heather's story was so painful I had to physically turn way from the page to take a break before carrying on.

Heather is a beautifully crafted protagonist I rapidly cared about. Harper skilfully entwines her past with the present. Fans of Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine will love this novel. A story that will stay with me. This book is really beautiful, moving and absolutely wonderful. It deals with some very sensitive subjects like mental health. It is a wonderfully uplifting book that tells you about the power of yourself. It deals with romance, friendship, secrets, friendship, family and loss.

It is a very moving read and you will need tissues when you read it. It is so wonderfully and delicately written. I really enjoyed this book. Although it deals with both mental health and deep emotional issues it is an easy read. The main character Heather had a very disturbed childhood living with a mother who was a hoarder. When her mother dies, Heather is left with the remnants of her life stored in boxes in her spare room.

Do these boxes hold the secret as to why her mother was so dysfunctional? When Heather stumbles across a secret about her own past she knows the only place to find the answers she nee I really enjoyed this book. When Heather stumbles across a secret about her own past she knows the only place to find the answers she needs is within these boxes. I received a free copy of this book from HQ Publishing in exchange for an honest review. A favourable review was not required and all opinions expressed here are my own. This review can be found at sarahsvignettes. Fiona's last book, The Other Us, has been sitting unread on my shelf for a year.


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Well that will shortly change because if it is anything like The Memory Collector, it will be brilliant! The Memory Collector is a powerful and poignant story about mental illness, love, loss, hope and moving on. The story starts with a young girl, her memory of a trip to the seaside and a re This review can be found at sarahsvignettes. The story starts with a young girl, her memory of a trip to the seaside and a red coat.

It is a troubled memory rather than one of a nice day out and the reader instantly knows something isn't quite right. The story then switches to the present day and we meet Heather Lucas in a situation that both Heather and the reader knows she shouldn't be in. I just wanted to jump into the page and stop her. It's not until we read further on, that we understand why Heather is in this situation to begin with. In The Memory Collector, Fiona Harper explores the issue of extreme hoarding and the life-long impact that this can have not only on the hoarder themselves, but also on those around them.

Fiona Harper cleverly tells Heather's story and the impact of her mother's hoarding over two time frames: The 'Then' chapters are based around a particular object which was significant in her mother's hoarding and tells the memory which goes with it. The 'Now' chapters belong to Heather and her journey of coming to terms with how her upbringing has shaped who she is today and the choices she makes. It is hard hitting at times but touching and uplifting too.

The Memory Collector is a beautiful story, sensitively told and I am so pleased I got the chance to read it. I cannot wait to explore more of Fiona Harper's work. Thank you to the author for sending me a copy of the book in return for an honest review. This book was incredibly moving. It deals with mental health issues, love and the lies that people tell to hide a part of them. The protagonist, Heather, grew up in a home dominated by stuff, the stuff her mother hoarded, filling every space in the house, leaving rabbit runs of paths amongst everything.

Following her mother's death some years later, Heather fills her spare room with the remnants of the hoard her mother had filled their house with. By accident, Heather discovers a part of her his This book was incredibly moving. By accident, Heather discovers a part of her history she had blocked from her memory, and the book focuses on Heather's need to find out more.

This book is not an easy read in terms of the subject matter.

It made me feel uncomfortable and it also left me wanting to get rid of the clutter in my house, although not the books, never the books! In spite of the discomfort, I could not put the book down, wanting desperately to get to the bottom of what the secrets were in Heather's life that were preventing her from moving on. I found the whole story particularly touching and uplifting. I was given a copy of this to read via Netgalley, on behalf of HQ, in exchange for an honest review. This book is very different to my usual types of books. This one made me think of my late father he was a hoarder, and because I'm not talking to my sister it made me think of her.

Because of this I very nearly put the book down, because it was like reading about myself. But I carried on reading, mainly I wanted to get to the end and find out what the secret is and if Heather could get a relationship back with her sister. I received this book from the publisher in return for a This book is very different to my usual types of books. I received this book from the publisher in return for a honest review. I loved this book. It deals with mental health issues, love and lies. Heather is the main character, she has a very patchy memory of the childhood.

As the story goes along her memory begins to come back and she discovers why she shut out some events from her past. I recieved an advanced copy of this book and this is my honest review. A beautiful, poignant and thought provoking read.