Forgotten by Neven Carr Review – 5/5 Stars

Title: Forgotten

Author: Neven Carr

Rating: 5/5

Forgotten is an indie suspense novel by author Neven Carr.  The cover of this novel perfectly captures the story as a whole and the synopsis of the book is as follows:

“A young boy is shot and one of the members of an elite gun clan takes his own life. The truth behind what happened lies only in those present, and in the forgotten memories of a seven-year-old child, Claudia Cabriati.

Fear and the bitter stench of death have haunted Claudia for much of her life, even now as a grown woman, along with odd dreams, puzzling cards and the bone-chilling sensation of being watched.

When a vaguely familiar woman possessing secret knowledge about Claudia’s family is murdered, it sets off a string of horrifying events including the brutal murder of a mysterious man and the shocking revelations of family skeletons better left buried.

As Claudia battles her adversaries and her own personal demons in search of answers, she begins questioning her relationship with the man helping her, a man she barely knows. As she starts to learn just who she might be, this mysterious man’s own personal demons must be revealed.”

Carr’s writing captured me from the beginning.  Many novels tend to use hooks that can often be seen as inexperienced, but Carr’s beginning was not reminiscent of this.  Instead, she treated us with this opening:

“Death has a flavor of its own.  I know; I had smelt it before.  I smelt it now.

In these three sentences she tells us the history of her main character, Claudia, without revealing too much and providing further exploration for the reader.  I wanted to know more about her immediately and I was not let down.  The first chapter took my breath away and with each chapter that followed I was further surprised.  The mystery and suspense was not lacking and it was clear that Carr knew who’s story she was telling and that she wasn’t making up anything as she went along.  I felt like I was reading the novel of an experienced author who has had many books published before and has not lost her knack or passion for writing.  When finishing this book I felt myself craving more.  I felt that Carr admired and cared for characters and I wanted to do the same.

The novel is written in first person with each chapter title pertaining to a different character or event (i.e. Claudia, Araneya Estate, etc.) and the writing consists mainly of memories and present experiences in order to connect the two.  Since the character of Claudia has a lot of repressed memories we are gifted with being able to relive her memories with her and subsequently live through the pain that she has been through.  She is a character whose life has been defined by pain and terrible events that don’t seem to want to let her go.  I felt for her on a personal level with every page and the way that Carr forced you to create empathy for her characters was the gift of a truly talented author.  She seemed to make Claudia a helpless character but she also gave her hidden strength which allowed her to get past everything that she had been through.  Her life was not one that I would like to live on my own but one that I am glad that I had the experience of living along with her.

But aside from her well-developed characters, what made Carr’s novel most beautiful were her descriptions.  They were not tacky, as imagery can often times be when used in excess, but instead her imagery was beautiful and painted the novel as though it were a piece of fine art.  One of my favorite examples of the imagery that Carr presented to the reader is as follows:

“A roguish sea breeze played with a wisp of my hair.  I lazily fingered it behind my ear.”

Her vocabulary presents just how seasoned of a writer she is and shows us how able she is to rearrange and play with words to create the best effect.  She was also able to add in bits of humor that detracted from the drama that could have otherwise weighed down the novel too heavily and turned off the reader.  Being able to add humor to a novel of such high drama as Carr’s was memorable and made me create a wider appreciation for her work.

I am honored to have experienced her work and highly recommend it to anyone who loves a suspenseful novel with a dash of humor.  I will gladly read any future work of Neven Carr and I hope that you also check out her work, because her novel is not one to be missed.



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