Title: Forget My Name
Author: J.S. Monroe
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication Date: 1 October 2018
I am delighted to by joining the blog tour today for J.S. Monroe’s gripping new novel, Forget My Name.
How do you know who to trust…
…when you don’t even know who you are?
You are outside your front door.
There are strangers in your house.
Then you realise. You can’t remember your name.
She arrived at the train station after a difficult week at work. Her bag had been stolen, and with it, her identity. Her whole life was in there – passport, wallet, house key. When she tried to report the theft, she couldn’t remember her own name. All she knew was her own address.
Now she’s outside Tony and Laura’s front door. She says she lives in their home. They say they have never met her before.
One of them is lying.
Forget My Name is the fabulous new thriller from J.S. Monroe.
How you would feel if you suddenly forgot your name? And then, when searching for your name, you realised you had forgotten everything – your friends, family, address? What would you do?
This is what has happened to the protagonist when we meet her.
She is travelling by train, led by a train ticket in her pocket, to a quiet village in Wiltshire. She instinctively heads to a house in the village. She knows this house. It must be her home. So who are the couple living there?
As locals try to help the protagonist regain her memory, some dark theories are raised. Is she the murderous Jemma who left the village many years previously? Is she related to the childhood sweetheart of a local journalist? Is she an undercover Russian agent? Who is she?
So many questions, yet so few answers….
The story takes place over a period of four days and there is certainly a lot packed into that short time frame. The book has great pace and flow to it. The plot is well-crafted and scarily believable. As the pieces of the puzzle start to slowly slot together, the story moves from Wiltshire to Berlin, where the true horror of the situation becomes apparent. The book takes the reader through a veritable rabbit warren of possibilities, twists and revelations that will make it almost impossible to put it down – this is definitely the perfect book for a bit of binge-reading!
I enjoyed the characterisations within the story. The hospitable couple, Tony and Laura, are fascinating, as are journalist Luke and his conspiracy-theorist Irish friend. I particularly liked DI Silas Hart, there was something about his character that appealed to me. It was fascinating to read the author’s description of the characters’ reactions to the protagonist when she first appears in the village, as compared to their reactions when they begin to suspect that she is ‘Jemma’. I will admit to having a lot of sympathy for the protagonist as I cannot imagine how lost and isolated one would feel to lose their memory, never mind being told that you may be a mentally deranged killer! Once the truth is revealed, we realise just how much the protagonist has been through and cannot help but feel continuing sympathy for the woman. I enjoyed seeing how her story tied in with those of the other characters, Tony and journalist Luke.
Forget My Name is a dark and unpredictable tale, full of twists and turns. A sinister, gripping and very entertaining read.
About the Author
J.S.Monroe is the pseudonym of the British author Jon Stock. Jon is the author of six spy novels and two standalone psychological thrillers, Find Me, published in 2017, and Forget My Name, published in October 2018. Both are written under the pseudonym J.S. Monroe. He lives in Wiltshire with his wife and children.
After reading English at Magdalene College, Cambridge, Jon worked as a freelance journalist in London, writing features for most of Britain’s national newspapers, as well as contributing to BBC Radio 4. He was also chosen for Carlton TV’s acclaimed screenwriters course. In 1995 he lived in Kochi in Kerala, where he worked on the staff of India’s The Week magazine. Between 1998 and 2000, he was a foreign correspondent in Delhi, writing for the Daily Telegraph, South China Morning Post and the Singapore Straits Times. He also wrote the Last Word column in The Week magazine from 1995 to 2012.
On his return to Britain in 2000, he worked on various Saturday sections of the Telegraph before taking up a staff job as editor of its flagship Weekend section in 2005, which he oversaw for five years. He left Weekend and the Telegraph in 2010 to finish writing his Daniel Marchant trilogy and returned to the Telegraph in February 2013 to oversee the Telegraph‘s digital books channel. In May 2014 he was promoted to Executive Head of Weekend and Living, editing the paper’s Saturday and Sunday print supplements, as well as a range of digital lifestyle channels. He left the paper in October 2015 to resume his thriller-writing career.
His first novel, The Riot Act, published by Serpent’s Tail, was launched on the top floor of Canary Wharf tower in 1997. The book was shortlisted by the Crime Writers’ Association for its best first novel award and was subsequently published by Gallimard in France as part of its acclaimed Serie Noir. The Cardamom Club was published in 2003 by Blackamber (now Arcadia Books) in Britain and by Penguin in India.
Dead Spy Running, his third novel and the first in the Daniel Marchant (or ‘Legoland’) trilogy, was published by HarperCollins (Blue Door) in 2009 and has been translated into five languages (Dutch, French, German, Russian and Japanese). It follows Daniel Marchant, a young MI6 officer, as he tries to clear the name of his disgraced father, the former Chief of MI6. The sequel, Games Traitors Play, was published in 2011, and the final part of the trilogy, Dirty Little Secret, was published in 2012.
Warner Brothers bought the film rights to the trilogy in 2009, hiring Oscar-winner Stephen Gaghan (Traffic, Syriana) to write the screenplay for Dead Spy Running, which went into development with McG (Terminator IV, Charlie’s Angels, This Means War) and Kevin McCormick (Gangster Squad) producing. Jamie Moss worked on Gaghan’s script, followed by Simon Barrett, with Adam Wingard attached to direct.
In 2014, the film rights to Dead Spy Running were bought by Wonderland Sound and Vision, McG’s own production company.
Find Me was published in 2017 in the UK by Head of Zeus and in America by Mira (HarperCollins). It has sold more than 100,000 copies in the UK and translation rights have been sold to 14 countries.
In 2017, Jon was commissioned by The Nare, a luxury hotel in Cornwall, to write a spy novella set in and around the hotel, which is located on the Roseland Peninsula. To Snare A Spy is available to buy from the hotel.
His new J.S. Monroe thriller, Forget My Name, was published by Head of Zeus on 4 October 2018 and will be published in the US by Park Row Books (HarperCollins) in Summer 2019.
J.S.Monroe/Jon Stock is represented by Will Francis at Janklow & Nesbit (+44 207 2432975; firstname.lastname@example.org). Jon Cassir at CAA represents TV and film rights for Find Me.
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