Sandra SG Wong’s ‘In the Dark We Forget’ Makes Readers Question Their Own Biases [REVIEW]

Turquoise forest
(Photo courtesy Canva)

With her new psychological thriller, In the Dark We Forget, Sandra SG Wong (Devil Take the Hindmost) does everything but throw a toaster in our bath water to give us a jolt. Told in first person by an unreliable narrator with no memory, she thrusts readers into the woods, isolated and alone, and leaves us to discover along with her protagonist what she can’t recall and why she’s forgotten everything she’s ever known. Readers are in for an unexpected treat with this one.

Sandra SG Wong's IN THE DARK WE FORGET
HarperCollins

Cleo Li is our leading lady in this novel. Her tale starts when she wakes up on the side of a mountain highway, discombobulated and utterly unaware of how she ended up there. To make matters worse, she has no cell phone, no wallet, and no clue who she is.

As a Chinese-Canadian woman, she already deals with people’s microaggressions on a daily basis, but as she struggles to remember where and when she lost her memory, these biases become even more obvious as the people she encounters suspect that she may not be telling the whole truth.

After all, her problem isn’t just that she is having an identity crisis. Her parents, who just scored $47 million bucks in the lottery, have also vamoosed.

As the police investigate and her brother tries to help her, she digs deep, trying to resurrect her missing memories. But even as clues rise to the surface among the muddied waters of her past, she must try to filter out the facts, no matter how frightening they may be.

This is a literary thriller, one which builds tension gradually, makes us look at social issues and leaves us questioning everything. While the amnesia trope has been frequently done, Wong breathes fresh life into it. Part of the reason she succeeds here is because of just how palpable the family tension is among her characters.

The second reason this book works is that it is jam-packed with twists and turns, some we never even see coming, which is the fun part of reading novels in this genre.

And while I must admit that Wong takes us down the rabbit hole a bit much, which sometimes provides resistance to the author’s goal of heightening suspense, the novel still manages to work without getting too mired down in extraneous details.

Ultimately, In the Dark We Forget is a memorable domestic thriller, one which educates as it entertains, and leaves us examining ourselves and our own biases just as much as we speculate on Cleo’s mental state and motivations.

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Sandra SG Wong is the author of In the Dark We Forget and the Lola Starke series, which she publishes under the pen name “SG Wong” and includes Die on Your Feet, In for a Pound, and Devil Take the Hindmost.

A proud member of Crime Writers of Color, she is also a member of The Writers Union of Canada, the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, Sisters in Crime— Canada West, and Sisters in Crime National, which she served as President (2020-21) and now serves as Immediate Past President.

She holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Alberta and speaks four languages at varying levels of proficiency. Sandra lives in Edmonton, Alberta, on Treaty Six land, with her family.

To learn more, visit SGWong.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

IN THE DARK WE FORGET
By Sandra Sg Wong
352 pp. HarperCollins. $16.99

Sandra SG Wong
TLC Book Tours Tour Host

Purchase In the Dark We Forget direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, or Walmart.

In the Dark We Forget is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

3 Responses to Sandra SG Wong’s ‘In the Dark We Forget’ Makes Readers Question Their Own Biases [REVIEW]

  1. trish says:

    I love thrillers in general, but I especially love those that give me a little bit to chew on.

  2. Sara Strand says:

    I am like half way through this and I am loving it! Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

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