Book Review // I Know My Name by C.J. Cooke

Book Review // I Know My Name by C.J. CookeI Know My Name by C.J. Cooke
Published by HarperCollins UK on May 12th 2017
Rating: four-stars
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, General, Thrillers, Suspense, Psychological, Contemporary Women
Pages: 400
Buy: Hardback/Paperback|Kindle
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‘Atmospheric, mysterious and intense . . . It's a stunning psychological thriller’ C. L. Taylor, bestselling author of THE MISSING

Komméno Island, Greece: I don't know where I am, who I am. Help me.

A woman is washed up on a remote Greek island with no recollection of who she is or how she got there.

Potter’s Lane, Twickenham, London: Eloïse Shelley is officially missing.

Lochlan’s wife has vanished into thin air, leaving their toddler and twelve-week-old baby alone. Her money, car and passport are all in the house, with no signs of foul play. Every clue the police turn up means someone has told a lie...

Does a husband ever truly know his wife? Or a wife know her husband? Why is Eloïse missing? Why did she forget?

The truth is found in these pages...

When I heard about I Know My Name, I thought it was yet another run-of-the-mill thriller. I say run of the mill because how many more ways can you disappear a character and make it different to all the other books out there with a character who’s gone missing? Eventually, it’s going to plateau (if it hasn’t already). However, I Know My Name wasn’t actually a thriller, even though it was dressed up like one – it looked like one, the synopsis makes it sound like one, the title leads you to believe it’s one. Instead, it’s more like a family drama. Yes, Eloise is missing. Yes, a lass wakes up on a Greek island with no memories. All the things a thriller presents, but it was lacking that edge that makes a thriller a thriller. I was on the edge of my seat, and I had no idea what was going on, but I never got that sense of danger.

Instead, this was an incredibly intriguing read. As I said, I got about halfway through, and I wasn’t quite sure what was going on – Eloise was missing, there was the girl on the Greek island, being helped by people who weren’t particularly helpful??? And were kind of shifty??? But I didn’t grasp at all where the book was going. In fact, I was genuinely (and delightfully) surprised by the big reveal, the big moment. It’s not something I’ve ever come across in a book marketed as a thriller before, and it gave the book a whole other dimension, from everything I’d previously thought.

The dual narrative worked really well, I personally preferred Lochlan’s narrative, because I was so distrustful of everyone on that Greek island, although I wish they hadn’t gone down the affair route. I mean, COME ON. Why can’t there be *one* faithful husband in this genre. Is there like a freaking check list? Cheating husband TICK. *Rolls eyes for eternity* Especially since it added nothing to the story, and instead left me scratching my head as to why it wasn’t dealt with at the end. I actually liked Lochlan. Sure, he was a bit neglectful to Eloise and the kids, but it sounded like they had a prettttyyyyy expensive lifestyle that needed to be maintained, so I mean you can’t really complain when your husband works fifty million hours. It was a bit sad we didn’t get to see Eloise and Lochlan as a family. There were tiny, tiny bits. But because this was all set after Eloise disappeared and any flashbacks were waaaaaayyy back in the past, we never got to see them as a couple, as a family, which I would have liked.

The whole amnesia thing was, obviously, frustrating. Not knowing who you are, why you’re there, what is up with these strangers with Jekyll and Hyde personalities. It made me feel uneasy. The setting was beautiful, if a bit remote for my tastes (I like the idea of being on a deserted island, but no Internet? HELL NO). I actually love books set in Greece, especially when they’re not about the 18-30s that seem to invade the islands during the summer. It sounds like such a beautiful place to visit, and I Know My Name only increased my curiosity, although like I said, I’ll avoid Kommeno Island, thank you very much (although I’m not sure it’s a real island, since my Googling brought up a place on Corfu?).

I really enjoyed I Know My Name. I was gripped immediately and C.J. Cooke hooked me into the story early on and I devoured this in one sitting. C.J. clearly knows her stuff, and from the note at the end, there’s a wealth of personal knowledge that has been poured into this book, which I feel always makes a book more authentic. I’m not saying authors who have merely researched don’t do as good a job, but I always appreciate when an author pours their absolute soul into a book and that seems to be what C.J. has done here. I’m very excited to see what comes next from her, and this was a very, very good domestic novel.


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