Forgive Me – A Review

JoAdult Books, Books

Forgive Me book cover

About the book:

“A secret video tape. A painful truth. A quest for revenge.

Investigative journalist, Susan ‘Stripe’ McLachlan, is constantly hounded by eager documentarians for interview requests about the Night Scrawler murders. One of the victims of the mysterious serial killer was a member of her own family, her father.

At the peak of her career, her services are sought by Isaac Payne who commissions her to write an article for his website. Usually, her projects delve into more uncomfortable, questionable topics, but there’s a deep, almost hauntingly familiar pull about her new client that intrigues her.

As she learns more about Isaac, Stripe digs up fresh secrets about the murders, arousing her suspicions. After an awkward confrontation, she wakes up in Isaac’s bed — with a chain around her ankle.

Isaac shows her harrowing footage on an old VHS tape. The contents hits close to home…closer than Stripe ever imagined. Now, she has to wrestle with her own moral compass and unpick the truth from the web of lies that turn into a crescendo where memories created from misery and suffering cannot be silenced.

Will Isaac ever lay the past to rest? And how will Stripe cope with the revelations that challenge everything she has ever known?”

What did I think?

Forgive Me follows Susan ‘Stripe’ McLaughlin as she navigates through the detail of a crime that shaped both her youth and her career choices as an adult. On the trail of a new lead for a long talked about but as yet unsolved murder, we largely experience the elements of surprise in step with her. Author Kateri Stanley carefully crafts the character of Stripe so that you root for her happy ending.

I found the novel to be an interesting blend of genres. Best described as horror / crime fiction, it is underpinned in part with elements of sci-fi and the supernatural. The latter two didn’t really gain momentum but did add some intrigue, and raised questions about scientific possibilities and the ethical side of some strands of biological research. The supernatural passages didn’t always feel particularly well placed to me but I’m sure some readers will love them! 

There was a lot of movement through this book. Flitting between genres and narrative voices made Forgive Me at times a little tricky to keep up with. The element of surprise was strong though, and it wasn’t easy to guess what would happen next from the outset. The ongoing introduction of characters, some who were later dropped, others who came in to the story making me flick back wondering if I’d missed them first time round (I hadn’t), was interesting. It felt at times as though this elongated the book unnecessarily, but by the end you were left with a lasting sense of how far reaching the actions of a few people can be.

If you like crime drama with imaginative twists and turns then Forgive Me needs to be added to your reading list!

Purchase link:

Meet the author:

Kateri Stanley author photo

Kateri Stanley graduated from The Open University with a degree in Arts and Humanities and worked for the National Health Service for eight years. She started off writing fanfiction as a kid, moved to short stories, created some audio plays and eventually sat down to write her first novel. When she’s not writing, you can find her binge-watching films and TV shows, making tons of playlists and dabbling in the occasional video game. She currently resides in the West Midlands, United Kingdom with her partner, they are hoping to be cat parents.

Connect with Kateri:

My website:  





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N.B. Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the book blog tour, and of course to Kateri Stanley for gifting me an e-copy of her book Forgive Me for purposes of my review. All thoughts are my own. For more information please see my disclosure page.

All images have been supplied for the book blog tour, and must not be reproduced without permission.

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