Sam Lloyd’s The Memory Wood was sold in a substantial six-figure pre-empt and has been sold into translation in thirteen other territories. It’s a desperately tense thriller and an intellectual cat-and-mouse battle-of-wits where a thirteen-year old girl must use every shred of her ingenuity to survive…
On the most important day of her life, thirteen-year old chess prodigy Elissa Mirzoyan is snatched from a hotel. Hours later she wakes below ground, tethered to a metal post. As her abductor makes a series of bizarre demands, Elissa’s situation looks increasingly bleak – until ten-year-old Elijah North, playing in his local woods, discovers her makeshift cell. Conscience tells Elijah to report what he’s found. But instinct warns him that doing so will destroy every security he’s ever known. Elissa, after all, isn’t the first girl he’s found beneath the Memory Wood. DI Mairaid MacCullagh heads the huge operation to find Elissa, but little about the girl’s disappearance makes sense. Until a video appears on YouTube, with a message that changes everything. As her abductor’s behaviour grows more extreme, Elissa knows she must act. Only by deceiving Elijah into helping her does she stand any chance of survival. But manipulating him proves dangerous – he’s far, far smarter than he appears. What follows is a deadly cat-and-mouse game of deception and betrayal that will brutalise everyone who plays it.
Losing is unthinkable.
Only the most ruthless will live.
Books in order of publication:
The Memory Wood (2020)
The Rising Tide (2021)
In praise of The Memory Wood:
‘As revelations come to light about both of their lives, this novel builds into something more than a familiar story of blameless victim and psychopathic villain, exploring the human ability to tell stories that make sense of even the hardest of lives’ The Literary Review
‘Beautifully told, with two superbly drawn young protagonists, Lloyd is a rare new thriller talent’ Daily Mail
I was pulled into The Memory Wood from the very first page―it grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let you go. It’s an intense, atmospheric, and truly original thriller. Put everything else aside when you enter the Memory Wood, including your expectations… (Shari Lapena)
What a book! I haven't read anything quite this exciting since Room. You think all the stories have been told, then something like this comes along. Wonderful. (Emma Curtis)
Remarkable. Stunning prose and compulsive reading. It's undoubtedly the best thriller I've read in a long, long time. (Lesley Kara)
I was captivated by The Memory Wood – a beautifully told, dark and chilling tale. (Renee Knight)
‘A truly chilling story’ Woman and Home
‘A chilling, suspense-filled and heart-wrenching read’ The Herald
Brilliant writing, a terrifying story, and characters so real it feels like you know them. If you enjoy dark, twisty thrillers that stay with you, read this book. (Samantha Downing)
‘[A] marvellously executed subterranean power game. Superbly creepy…’ The Guardian
'A beautifully written, fast-paced thriller... We devoured it' Heat
In Praise of The Rising Tide:
'Fiendishly clever' The Sunday Times
'Lloyd is terrific on atmosphere' The Metro