Quicksand of Memory – Michael J Malone | Book Review #QuicksandOfMemory

Scarred by their pasts, Jenna and Luke fall in love, brimming with hope for a rosy future. But someone has been watching, with chilling plans for revenge … An emotive, twisty, disturbing new psychological thriller by the critically acclaimed author of A Suitable Lie and In the Absence of Miracles.

The darker the memory, the deadlier the obsession…

Jenna is trying to rebuild her life after a series of disastrous relationships.

Luke is struggling to provide a safe, loving home for his deceased partner’s young son, following a devastating tragedy. When Jenna and Luke meet and fall in love, they are certain they can achieve the stability and happiness they both desperately need.  

And yet, someone is watching.

Someone who has been scarred by past events.

Someone who will stop at nothing to get revenge…

Dark, unsettling and immensely moving, Quicksand of Memory is a chilling reminder that we are not only punished for our sins, but by them, and that memories left to blacken and sharpen over time are the perfect breeding ground for obsession, and murder…


Oh my goodness what a dark, chilling and incredibly moving story from Michael J. Malone. Having read his books before (you can see the review list below), I was in no doubt as to the beauty and poignancy of his writing but he manages to bring the characters to life so superbly. Love or hate them, they get under your skin and pull at your emotions.

Luke and Jenna are the principal characters but there are others surrounding them who all have a huge impact on the story. Luke was the one I felt the most sorry for, despite all his past deeds. He had faced his past mistakes and turned his life around with subsequent tragic results. Jenna, I didn’t warm to as much, and I can’t explain why, she deserved happiness as much as Luke.

There is a clear feeling of malevolence running throughout the story. Although this sinister narrative is anonymous it is clear who is responsible. I had mixed feelings about this aspect and the personal involvement. Yes there is no doubt that grief and revenge both played their part and I felt sorry for what they had suffered in the past but their actions went well above what would be reasonable behaviour.

This is such a multi themed story with layers and a backstory that reveals the worst and the best in people. The characters are flawed, destructive and complex but never bland.

It feels wrong to say that I enjoyed this because for most of the time I was on tenterhooks, and almost reading through my fingers, wondering what dark secret would be revealed, not really wanting to know what damage and hurt would be inflicted next but also not being able to look away. As a thriller, Quicksand of Memory works perfectly, it is unsettling, dangerous and emotive.

There are a couple of this author’s more recent books that I have bought and have yet to read. My mistake for not getting to them before.

My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the place on the tour and to the publisher for the ecopy to review.


Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines, After He Died, In the Absence of Miracles and A Song of Isolation soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr.

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Other blog reviews for Michael J Malone:

After He Died (2018)
House of Spines (2017)
A Suitable Lie (2016)


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