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A Memory Worth Dying For Paperback – April 1, 2014
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About the Author
Joanie has a strong passion for reading, and her love for books with nail-biting suspense, inspires her to write contemporary suspense books. Thankful that God has given her the ability to write from her home in the country, she strives to use that opportunity to honor Him in all of her writing. Joanie and her husband, Ben, live in a country home near Madison, Georgia, right in the middle of a pasture full of beef cows. There they raised and homeschooled their three children. She enjoys cooking, taking long walks, painting oil portraits, and caring for their home in the country.
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******Lots of spoilers here, so enter at your own risk******
Marti Rushing (AKA Matty/Martha) was in an accident, charged with drunk driving; end results were her sister-in-law and brother-in-law were killed, and was told in the hospital the baby she was carrying died. Her husband was told this AND that she cheated on him, so he threw her out, filed for divorce, then went into the army.
Afterward..he loses his memory in the war...anything from high school forward he has no memory of. Ironically, Marti has amnesia around the time of the accident. So neither can remember anything about the accident. She's devastated and he's furious that she killed his sister and brother-in-law and the baby, and cheated on him. And of course, they both blame God and lose their faith because of it. Typical.
Marti is constantly being chased and threatened from the time she left Texas to start a new life. She has no idea why this person is doing this, but she keeps moving to elude him, but he keeps finding her and threatening her. Now, he's making physical contact, nearly killing her and keeps telling her to stay away from Texas or he'll kill her, burn the art gallery down and kill her employer/best friends.
So...this is where the story takes a turn I'm appalled by...she's contacted by someone to come back to Texas for a particular reason, and she doesn't want to, but the best friend talks her into it. She's nearly died at this man's hand and been threatened in other physical ways, and now he's threatening her best friends.....but she STILL goes back??? Really???
On the way there, a big pickup hits her car from behind several times trying to knock her off a curvy road....and after someone comes to help her (making the truck speed away)....she continues driving to Texas??? Then after she gets there the guy enters her room attempting to smother her with the pillow, but in nearly getting caught, the guy rushes off and....you guessed it...she stays there??? Seriously?? And doesn't see fit to tell her best friends about either incident??? Then the guy tries shooting her with a bow and arrow....and she even stays longer??? There was two other incidents, but you get the picture.
Too illogical. She's seemingly not a stupid person, but the author writes her to have no sense.
A lot of the rest of it is a "who-done-it" regarding who's trying to kill her, nobody believing her, and her attempt to get her ex-husband, Daniel, who doesn't remember her, to bring back his memory.
Some of that is good and kept me reading, but when the end came, it turned into a mushy mess and totally spoiled what could have been written great and salvaged it.
Interesting enough so I gave it a three, but illogically maddening, so I couldn't go higher.
Thus begins the threats that Marti can't go back to Texas, or she will die. So what does she do? Go back to Texas! I could have screamed. It's like watching the person with the candle go down the stairs to the basement, and you already know what will happen.
Martin doesn't want to go, but she feels she just must when nudged by her BFF.
Once she starts going back, there is no turning around. I can't tell you what happened with out spoilers, but Marti has some kind of determination, death wish, stubborn streak, or her hair color isn't her natural color. WOW, this girl is something else.
Even so, I kept turning pages. Even finding out who was behind it sooner than I anticipated, the suspense held up to the point that my attention didn't stray. Grab some coffee, and snacks, because you're likely to not want to do anything while reading this book.
My copy came from Celebrate Lit. I left this review of my own free volition.
Anyone that knows me well knows I'm horrible at names! Truly horrible. And this book has a lot of characters to keep up with. Mrs. Bruce did a great job at introducing them slowly, yet I still had to write myself a quick cheat sheet on a few of them to help me keep them straight. That is the only thing that slowed me down with this book, though.
The story is full of action and suspense as Marti presses ahead to do what she believes is the right thing. The author dropped enough hints that I thought I knew some of the answers to my questions, but kept enough back that I wasn't positive. And she did a great job at concealing the main bad guys and the reasons for their choices until later in the book.
The storyline flowed well, with each new complication being reasonable and believable. The cast of characters were varied, from pompous to delightful, and I loved the insight into the world of horses and artists. But perhaps the thing my heart most desired was the emotional healing the main characters so desperately needed and received by the end of the book.
The Bottom Line - 5 stars
If you liked Joanie Bruce's first novel (Alana Candler, Marked for Murder) or like a good suspense story, I highly recommend A Memory Worth Dying For. While it does take place after Mrs. Bruce's first book and Alana does make appearances in the second book, neither book is dependent on the other and you can easily read them out of sequence.