The right memories are worth a lot of dough, and that’s just what Jacob needs to get square with the big man, Hoven. One last memory heist, one more job, and he’ll be able to clear his debt, leave the business, and start a new life with a clean slate. When stolen memories resurface, everything falls apart, and Jacob is caught in a dangerous web of lies, unsure of whom he can trust—including himself.
Robertson has spun an enjoyable yarn in the tradition of crime fiction. The central character is a thief, trying with one last heist to pay off his debt to a criminal boss. But as is the way with such tales, things go wrong: the hero's partners in crime are murdered and he realizes that they have been double-crossed and betrayed. Add the reappearance of the thief's former love and we would be on familiar territory were it not for the fact that hero steals memories.
I understand that Robertson began with the premise: what if memories were financially valuable? They would then be coveted and guarded, bought and sold, and kept in bank vaults. They would be sought after by memory thieves, supplying people who wished to indulge in someone else's past. What if also they were living creatures, like germs, which could infect and indeed kill someone to whom they didn't belong? People could become addicted to them, craving an illegal and potentially fatal high.
It is this premise that gives the story its originality and its magic realism. Robertson stays true to the crime novel formula, which to some extent allows him to play with the idea. Personally I would have liked him to have gone further and deeper into the implications of memories having a value, but this is a novella and the author was limited by the short form. Nevertheless I found the book an easy and enjoyable read.
I received this book free from the publisher in return for a fair review.