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Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite
Bad Memories by Douglas Sandler is John Miller’s story and his memories are of death on a cataclysmic scale. Working as a doctor in an asylum, he was held responsible for mistakes that resulted in the demise of many inmates. The story is told from John’s point of view, brilliantly narrated by Graham King, so the listener feels that John himself speaks. He opens in the present, working at a mind-numbingly boring job and living with a wife who regards him as a meal ticket. He accepts an invitation to spend a weekend fishing with Dr. Albert Smith, an ex-colleague. En route for Albert’s surgery he meets several strangers, who board the same train. When he arrives, he discovers Albert’s corpse. Suicide? Other murders force John to confront his memories, but can he survive the mental trauma and turn his life around?
Bad Memories by Douglas Sandler lends itself well to the medium of audio books. Within minutes, “John” tells of his boring job, which benefits his carping wife, so vividly that I wondered if he was about to murder her! John’s "rebellion" is joining a friend, Albert, on a weekend fishing trip. His journey, scattered with odd happenings and mysterious strangers, ends when he finds Albert’s corpse, apparently a case of suicide. John has a problem: bad memories of patients who died due to incorrect medication when he was a doctor but, unless he acts, Arthur’s death will go unavenged. Bad Memories is packed with characters who come alive, and plotted with dozens of twists: a thrilling mystery that hooks the listener and intrigues to the end, and what an end!