Set sometime in the future, T.S. Nichols’ novel imagines an fascinating development in the lives of mankind. It is the scientific transfer of memories from one person to another. Based on this achievement the book touches upon two recipients of memories. One is by police detective Cole who has been able to get memories from murdered individuals and with this as an aid catch the killer. He is the Memory Detective of the novel’s title.
The other is someone with the money that can afford to receive memories of say, great athletes, those individuals that have traveled and seen the world, and others whose backgrounds would interest him to get their memories.
The persona of Detective Cole is a well thought out study of a person who has literally been murdered many times with all the trauma that would be part of those crimes. His skill has cost him dearly since he mixes memories with people he loves and finds that they cannot tolerate a relationship with him. This certainly is the case with his girlfriend of several years who finds that there is no closeness due to memories of others intruding on their relationship.
The one murder that is paramount in this novel is one suffered by a young girl from Kansas that has been thrown out of her home by her father and migrates to New York the locale of the book. Cole sees her coming to the city, her hopes, her dreams and her meeting a person that she falls in love with. He also sees the killing which was the battering to death by the murderer with a hammer. Based on the memories that are present allow the police to interview several suspects in working the case.
The description of the second individual includes memories from a surfer who has enjoyed the sport at most of the world’s great surfing sites. The person now wants to buy other memories in order to enhance his experiences. Is there a connection between the millionaire enjoying great adventure vicariously and the case of murder being investigated by Cole? In addition to memory transfer being a concept well described T.S. Nichols has the definite ability to present a very tightly woven tale. The ending is logical and stems from what we learn about the individuals described. A very well done novel and of course, one that will keep the reader up all night thinking about the fascinating theme and the drama that stems from it.
1/18 Paul Lane
THE MEMORY DETECTIVE by T.S. Nichols. Alibi (January 23, 2018). ASIN B072L4LKT1. 285p.