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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Don't Forget Me

Narrator: Rachel L. Jacobs

Brilliance Audio

ISBN: 978-1662513237

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: 03/01/2024

Format: Other

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)

When a body is presumed to be her missing husband’s, a woman must unravel the secrets of her own past to clear her name, find the truth, and put her conscience to rest once and for all.

All Ruby wanted was a fresh start. But after an early retirement and a relocation to a tight-knit community with her husband, Tom, and her daughter, Lily, her new beginning takes a turn.

First her troubled daughter and then her husband disappear without a trace. Unsure how to cope, grief-ridden Ruby turns to her neighborhood friends to find a way forward with new hobbies, including a murder club where they try to solve cold cases.

But just as unexpectedly as her family vanished, a body floats to the surface of the nearby lake.

And everyone is sure the body belongs to Tom…everyone except Ruby.

Determined to find out what happened to her family once and for all, Ruby digs into her neighbors’ lives, and her own, only to uncover secrets that raise more questions than they answer. And the biggest question of all―why doesn’t she recognize the body?

My Review

The reigning queen of mother/child stories, domestic suspense, and Book Doula, author Rea Frey (favorite) returns following The Other Year with her first 'true' thriller, DON'T FORGET ME —an edgy, gritty, and twisty spine-chilling psychological suspense that will keep your turning the pages into the wee hours of the morning!

With her winning signature style, Frey combines family secrets, domestic violence, and childhood drama with complex characters, mind-bending suspense, a twisty plot, lyrical prose, and an atmospheric setting—delivering a top-notch, compelling page-turner!

Ruby Knight Winslow is a wife, mother, and a former trauma nurse for over twenty years. Her husband, Tom (a criminal defense lawyer), wanted to leave their urban life to move to a new lakefront area, Cottage Grove, and she finally agreed.

Tom is a charmer; however, he is abusive behind closed doors. They also have a troubled teen (age 17) daughter, Lily. Lily has had trouble with depression in the past and mental health, and Ruby is concerned about her.

As the book opens, Ruby finds a dead body on the lake while rowing. Everyone thinks it is her husband, Tom, who disappeared, and her daughter. Since Ruby left the hospital job, she has not been working. Tom likes it that way since he likes control.

There is also a next-door neighbor, Ralph, a judge for over thirty years. Detective Ellis (Katherine) is handling the case.

In the meantime, this suburban lakeside neighborhood, Cottage Grove, is obsessed with true crime. They even have a thriller books club (whodunit) crime night where the members try to solve cold murder cases in under three hours. They are called the Murderlings.

Cottage Grove also has an online forum for the residents to share, connect, and explore. They are having a field day with the new body found in the lake. Everyone has an opinion.

Tom supposedly left Ruby, and their daughter started college, or so she said. Is Ruby telling the truth? However, Ruby has a past. From then to now, we slowly learn about complicated past events.

Ruby also meets another nice guy at the book club, Ryan (artist), and Daisy, a true-crime podcast host of Death Becomes Me, which hosts the monthly crime nights to solve hypothetical murders in under three hours. There is also the interior designer, Cassie.

Daisy had been a criminal law major and switched to forensics. Then the blog and podcast. Lily takes a summer job with Daisy working on the podcast and digging into cold cases.

Ruby solved the murder quickly on her first night at the meet-up. Then when everyone suspects the body found is Tom, Ruby's husband, everyone suspects her.

One night later, Daisy pulls out photos from the past for them to solve, and Ruby recognizes them. The case is her family. Her dark secret history and a past that she worked hard to get away from. The ultimate betrayal.

Lily is at the meeting, and Ruby is not about to let everyone dig into her past. This is not a game! What is going on?

Who killed Tom, and where did Lily go? Who is Ruby? Then there are more murders. Is a serial killer on the loose?

Everyone thinks she is guilty - can she prove otherwise? There is more to the story than meets the eye. No one is as they appear.

DON'T FORGET ME is a clever, mind-bending, and shocking whodunit, as the author carefully peels back the layers of dark secrets behind closed doors. The author is always a pro, whether writing women's fiction, domestic suspense, or thrillers!

Engrossing! You will be on the edge of your seat with unreliable narrators, red herrings, and a jaw-dropping final twist.

A massive fan of the author, my sixth book by the author —each one is unique and compelling and expertly crafted with finesse. For fans of Big Little Lies and authors BA Paris and Mary Kubica.

I highly recommend all of Rea Frey's books!

Thanks to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for an advanced review copy for an honest opinion.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: March 1, 2024

My Rating: 5 Stars

Check out my #ElevatorAuthorSeries

Q&A Interviews with Rea!


“In her latest thriller, Frey writes with authority, weaving together themes of family secrets, domestic violence, and childhood trauma. The characters are complex and believable and the plot expertly crafted. A highly compelling page-turner!”

―Wendy Walker, bestselling author of What Remains

“You had me at neighborhood murder club! In a fast-paced, exciting read where every neighbor is a murder suspect, Rea Frey has once again woven together an enticing tale of suspense. One bit of advice: don’t trust anyone.”

―Georgina Cross, author of One Night, Nanny Needed, and Amazon bestseller The Stepdaughter

“Chilling from the first page to the final line, Don’t Forget Me is a fast-paced, riveting read with layers of family secrets, each one darker than the last. I tore through this book, desperate to see whether my theories were correct―only to be blown away by an ending I never could have guessed.”

―Megan Collins, author of The Family Plot and Thicker Than Water

“In a deviously clever story, Frey brings a top-notch thriller alive with insane tension and a shocker story. You won’t soon forget this stellar read.”

―J. T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of It’s One of Us

“Poignant, emotional, and yet marvelously malevolent, Don’t Forget Me is written with Frey’s traditional gorgeous prose while simultaneously being suffused with dread. The final outcome is deeply shocking and terrifying. Certain to keep readers turning the pages!”

―Christina McDonald, USA Today bestselling author

“Rea Frey’s Don’t Forget Me is a suspenseful and unnerving thriller that peels back the layers on a quiet suburban neighborhood and shows the reader―and the characters―what’s really going on behind closed doors. The secrets that get revealed are both shocking and surprising―and they may make the reader think twice about everyone on their street. Rea Frey has outdone herself again, and this is her best book yet!”

―David Bell, New York Times bestselling author of Try Not to Breathe and She’s Gone

About the Author

Rea Frey is the award-winning, bestselling author of several nonfiction books and four domestic suspense novels, Not Her Daughter, Because You're Mine, Until I Find You, and Secrets of Our House. As a Book Doula, Rea helps other writers birth their own stories into the world. She has two upcoming releases, The Other Year (women's fiction/magical realism Aug 15, 2023) and Don't Forget Me (thriller Jan 9, 2024). To learn more, visit

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