You Will Remember Me

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“Riveting, smart, and utterly diabolical.”–Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Confessions on the 7:45

An unputdownable amnesia thriller that begs the question: how can you trust anyone when you can’t even trust yourself?

Forget the truth.

Remember the lies.

He wakes up on a deserted beach in Maryland with a gash on his head and wearing only swim trunks. He can’t remember who he is. Everything–his identity, his life, his loved ones–has been replaced by a dizzying fog of uncertainty. But returning to his Maine hometown in search of the truth uncovers more questions than answers.

Lily Reid thinks she knows her boyfriend, Jack. Until he goes missing one night, and her frantic search reveals that he’s been lying to her since they met, desperate to escape a dark past he’d purposely left behind.

Maya Scott has been trying to find her estranged stepbrother, Asher, since he disappeared without a trace. Having him back, missing memory and all, feels like a miracle. But with a mutual history full of devastating secrets, how far will Maya go to ensure she alone takes them to the grave?

Shared fates intertwine in a twisty, explosive novel of suspense, where unearthing the past might just mean being buried beneath it.

“Skillfully plotted and paced, every twist deepens the story until it explodes with an ending that made me gasp.”–Samantha Downing, USA Today bestselling author of My Lovely Wife and He Started It

Don’t miss Hannah Mary McKinnon’s latest psychological suspense, The Revenge List, where a woman’s list of people she wants to forgive suddenly becomes a list of victims.

Want more McKinnon? Don’t miss these pulse-pounding thrillers:

  • Never Coming Home
  • Sister Dear
  • Her Secret Son
  • The Neighbors




Cold. Cold was the first word that came to mind. The first thing I noticed when I woke up. Not a slight, uncomfortable chill to give me the shivers, but a cramp-inducing, iced-to-the-bone kind of frozen. I lay flat on my stomach, my left ear and cheek pressed into the rough, grainy wet ground beneath me, my entire body shaking. As my thoughts attempted to assemble themselves into some form of understandable order, a wave of icy water nipped at my bare toes and ankles, my instincts pulling my feet out of reach.

I had a sudden urge to get up, a primal need to take in my surroundings and assess the danger—was I in danger?—but the throbbing pain deep in my head made the slightest effort to shift anything seem impossible. Lifting a finger would be too much effort, and I acquiesced, allowing myself to lie still for another few freezing seconds as the frigid water crept over the balls of my feet again. When I blinked my eyes open, I was met by a thick, fuzzy darkness enveloping me like a cloak. Where the hell was I? And wherever it was, what was I doing here?

When I lifted my head a fraction of an inch, I could barely make out anything in front of me. There was hardly a noise, either, nothing but a gentle, steady rumble in the background, and the cry of a bird somewhere in the distance. I made my brain work its way backward—bird, rumble, sand, water—and the quartet formed the vaguely cohesive image of a beach.

Searching for confirmation, I inhaled the salty, humid air deep into my lungs as another slosh of water took aim at my calves. This time the discomfort was enough to push me to my feet, and I wrapped my arms around my naked torso, my sopping board shorts clinging to my goose-bump-covered thighs. An explosion of pain in my head threatened to send me back to my knees, and I swayed gently, wishing I had something to steady myself with, willing my body to stay upright. As I pressed a hand to the side of my skull, I let out a quiet yelp, and felt along a two-inch gash in my scalp. My eyes had adjusted somewhat to the lack of light, and my fingertips were covered in something dark that smelled of rust. Blood. How had I...?

Another low rumble made me turn around, shuffling slowly in a semicircle. The behemoth effort was rewarded by the sight of a thousand glistening waves dancing under the moonlight like diamonds, the water stretching out and disappearing into the darkness beyond. As my ears tuned in to the rhythmic whoosh of the waves, my mind worked hard to process each scrap of information it took in.

I'm definitely on a beach. It's nighttime. I'm alone. What am I doing here?

Before I could answer the single question, a thousand others crowded my brain, an incessant string of chatter I couldn't stop or get away from.

Where is everyone? Never mind them, where am I? Have I been here long? How did I get here? Where was I before? Where are my clothes? What day is it?

My legs buckled. Not because of the unfamiliar surroundings, the cold burrowing its way deeper into my core, or the pain in my head, which had increased tenfold. No. My knees hit the sand with a dull crunch when I realized I couldn't answer any of the questions because I couldn't recall anything. Nothing. Not the tiniest of details.

Including my name.



A frown settled over my face as I put my phone on the table, pushed the bowl of unfinished berry oatmeal away and stretched out my legs. It was Saturday morning, and I'd been up for ages, too eager—too hopeful—to spend a day at the beach with Jack, but those plans had been a literal wash-out. The start to the summer felt capricious, with this second storm in the last week of June poised to be much worse than the first. I'd convinced myself the weatherwoman had exaggerated or got her forecast completely wrong, but clouds had rolled in overnight anyway. As a result, I'd been unceremoniously woken up at two thirty by a trio of bright lightning, deafening thunderclaps and heavy raindrops pelting against my bedroom window.

At first, I'd pulled my pillow over my head to deafen the noise, and when that didn't work, I rolled over and stretched out an arm. The spot next to me was empty and cold, and I groaned. Jack hadn't come over to my place as I'd hoped he would, slipping into bed and pressing his naked body against mine. I'd buried my face back into my pillow and tried to ignore the tinge of disappointment. We hadn't seen much of each other this past week, both of us too busy with our jobs to spend more than a night together, and I missed him. Jack had called the day before to tell me he'd be working late, finishing the stain on the cabinets he'd labored on for weeks before his boss had to let him go. Apparently expensive custom kitchens weren't in as high demand in Brookmount, Maryland, as originally thought.

"But you got laid off," I'd said. "It's your last day. Why do you care?"

"Because I made a commitment. Besides, it'll help when I need a reference."

Typical Jack, always keeping his word. He'd bought a lottery ticket once, and the clerk had jokingly asked if he'd give him half of any winnings. Jack had laughed and shaken the man's hand, and when he won ten bucks on the ticket, had promptly returned to the store, and paid over the share as promised. His loyalty was one of the many things I loved about Jack, although part of me wished he weren't quite as dedicated to his soon-to-be ex-boss.

"You could come over to my place when you're done," I said, smiling slowly. "I'll leave the key under the umbrella stand. I don't mind you waking me up gently in the middle of the night...or not so gently."

Jack laughed softly. The sound was something I'd fallen in love with eighteen months ago after our eyes had met across a crowded bar, the mother of all uninspired first-encounter clichés, except in this case I'd been forced to admit clichés weren't always a bad thing.

"It'll be really late, Lily," he said, his voice deep. His English accent was something of a rarity in our small coastal town, and still capable of making my legs wobble in anticipation of his next words. "I'll go for a quick swim now, then finish up work. How about I come over in the morning? Around nine? I'll bring you breakfast in bed."

"Blueberry pancakes from Patti's? With extra maple syrup?"

"This time I'll order three stacks to make sure I get some."

"Pancakes or sex?" I said, before telling him how much I loved him, and whispering exactly how I'd thank him for waking me with sweet weekend treats. I'd hoped it might change his mind and he'd come over earlier, except it was ten now, and he still hadn't shown. It was odd. Jack detested being late as much as he loved being early. He often joked they set Greenwich Mean Time by his father's old watch, which Jack had worn since his dad passed a little over a decade before we'd met, when Jack was only twenty.

I checked my phone again. Jack hadn't answered either of my calls, another anomaly, but I tried to talk myself into believing he'd worked late into the night to make the final good impression he wanted, and overslept. Maybe there was a line at Patti's—the restaurant was slammed every weekend—and perhaps his phone was set to silent.

I picked up my bowl and wandered to the kitchen. My place was the smallest of six apartments, a tiny but well-maintained one-bedroom in a building a few miles from the beach, farther than I'd planned, but the closest I could afford. I'd lived there for almost five years, had furnished it with an eclectic assortment of third-hand furniture, my favorite piece a royal blue microfiber sofa I'd bought for fifty bucks, and which Jack swore was the most comfortable thing he'd ever sat on. Whenever he sank down into it and pulled me on top of him with a contented sigh, I'd tease him about what made him happier: the squishy, well-worn cushions, or me.

The image made my frown deepen. Where was he?

Peering out of the kitchen window, I stood on my tiptoes, craning my neck to get a clear view of the spot on the corner where Jack always parked the ancient, faded silver F-150 he'd persuaded Sam, his landlord, to let him use. Apparently Sam hadn't argued, saying as long as Jack stayed in the apartment and made rent on time, paid for the vehicle's upkeep and rock-bottom insurance premiums, he could use it until he'd saved enough cash to buy himself a different truck. Sam's generosity had surprised me until I'd met him and I'd realized the gesture was the epitome of his personality.

I pushed myself up onto the counter, toes no longer touching the linoleum floor as my eyes swept the area outside again. No matter how hard I stared, the parking space remained empty, save for a lake-sized puddle from the incessant rain. An uncomfortable sensation sneaked its way down into my belly, refusing to be quietened by my silent words of reassurance Jack was running late, and there was nothing to worry about.

Over an hour later the rain hadn't let up. Neither had the feelings about something being wrong. If anything, they'd both increased in intensity, churning my breakfast so I could feel it in the back of my throat. I called Patti's Pancakes.

"Haven't seen him all morning, darlin'," Patti said after I explained I was looking for Jack, and I imagined her wide brown eyes, her giant silver hoop earrings swinging left to right as she shook her head.

"Are you sure?" I asked, already knowing there was no way Patti would have missed him. We were regulars, and she always made time for a chat, never failing to comment on Jack's "ridiculously gorgeous" accent that reminded her of her long-deceased grandfather, another real gentleman, and one she remembered fondly. There was no doubt if Jack had been at the restaurant this morning, she'd know.

After I hung up, I phoned the place where he worked. No answer. My brow furrowed again as I tried Jack's cell once more, listening to the standard factory voice-mail message he'd never bothered to personalize. We weren't the kind of couple to live in each other's pockets. Both of us gave one another, and ourselves, enough space to breathe while enjoying every moment we spent together, but I knew Jack. Something was wrong.

I couldn't hang around in my apartment any longer. At the risk of him making fun of my paranoia, I grabbed my jacket, keys and bag, and dashed outside. With a cough and splutter, the on-the-verge-of-death engine of my old Chevrolet gained a little more self-confidence when I backed out of the driveway and headed toward the center of town.

The most direct route to Jack's place took me past Patti's, and I stopped the car outside regardless, craning my neck. All the tables were taken, and while the line of weather-braving, hungry brunchers huddled under the ruby awning was only two rows deep, there was no sign of Jack, or the truck, anywhere.

I set off again, turned left on Marina Road to his apartment. Fat raindrops splattered against my windshield, making me go slower despite my impulses ordering me to put my foot down. Judging by the empty streets, most of the town's few thousand souls had decided to wait out the storm in the comfort of their homes. That was Brookmount—sensible and quiet. Even at the height of summer, most tourists wouldn't venture down this way, preferring the fun-filled attractions Ocean City had to offer. The mentality suited Jack and me fine. We'd found our separate ways here because we'd needed a change and had tacitly agreed not to push each other for too many details. In my experience, people always had a couple of ghosts in their past, skeletons in closets best nailed shut.

I focused on the road, slowed down some more when I passed what had now officially become Jack's prior workplace. Maybe he hadn't been able to finish the job last night after all, and had returned this morning, but my theory didn't add up. First, he'd have called me, or picked up their phone. Second, his truck wasn't parked in the front or at the back. Third, all the lights were off, and—although I didn't need a fourth—the red-and-white Open sign had been turned to Closed.

The fearful, panicking voice in my head, the one I'd attempted yet failed to silence, whispered he'd gone to the beach last night. For a swim. I pushed the thought away, trying to shut it up, but it ignored my efforts, bounding around my mind like a bunny on speed. "He's fine," I said out loud, startling myself. The words did nothing to placate my trembling fingers, or stop the hairs on the back of my neck from standing sentry and sending freezing shivers down my spine.

A few minutes later I arrived at Jack's place, the last house on Bay Court, where he rented the apartment above a double garage. Sam owned the house on the other side of the large driveway and was a veteran pharmaceuticals sales rep, often gone weeks at a time. The testament to his successful career—a bright yellow Porsche—was the only vehicle parked outside. I got out of my pathetic excuse for a car, held my jacket over my head in a pointless attempt to avoid the steady downpour and sprinted up the wooden steps to Jack's front door, where I rattled the handle. Locked. I banged on the glass.

"Jack? Are you home?"

I knocked another few times, waited awhile for a reply in case he was in the shower. I so desperately wanted to hear him in the hallway, imagined him with sopping wet hair, a towel wrapped around his trim waist, and muttering something like, "All right, all right, mate, keep your hair on." He'd open the door and I'd fling my arms around him, then take a step back, put my hands on my hips and ask if he had any idea how worried I'd been. The imminent feeling of relief made me hold my breath, but when there was still no answer, I had to let it go.

Forced to concede Jack being in his apartment when the truck wasn't there made no sense, I nonetheless invented stories. Maybe Sam had borrowed it. Unlikely, considering Jack had both sets of keys. Perhaps the Ford had broken down and Jack had got a ride home, or he'd parked the truck down the street for some reason, and I'd missed it when I'd driven by. Whatever the case, in all these scenarios Jack was inside either taking a shower, or fast asleep. I knocked again, cupping my hands against the frosted glass, peering inside and calling out Jack's name, but the place remained dark and silent.

I thundered down the stairs and ran to Sam's oversize front door, where I pressed my finger on the buzzer. I didn't let go until Sam stood in front of me dressed in red-and-blue-striped pajamas, his thick white hair sticking up like fuzzy antlers above his temples.

"Hey, Lily," he said as he rubbed his eyes, his yawn turning into a smile. Sam was always happy to see me. He'd once told me I reminded him of his daughter who'd moved to Los Angeles a few years ago. When I'd mentioned my parents lived there now, too, he'd declared it a sign and given me a bear hug. His fatherly affection was welcome, and more than I'd received from my mom and dad in years, ever since they'd banished me out of their lives and onto their pretentious look-at-our-perfect-family-just-don't-ask-about-Lily Christmas card list.

Sam ushered me inside. I wasn't sure how he did it, but although his house was large enough to fit an entire family, complete with kids, pets and a few sets of football gear, it was always cozy and inviting. Somehow the air smelled of freshly baked muffins despite Sam's self-described inability to boil an egg. He grabbed a towel from the powder room and draped it over my shoulders, making me notice for the first time how cold and shaky I felt.

"Did I wake you?" I said, my teeth clattering an indecipherable symphony as I clutched the towel, bringing it closer to my chin.

Sam waved a hand and grunted. "Freaking storm kept me up half the night, so I slept in. I had no idea how late it was and..." He looked at me, rubbed the stubble on his fleshy cheeks with an equally meaty hand, as a puzzled expression crossed his face. "What's going on?"

"Have you seen Jack?"

"I assumed he was at your place."

"No, and he's not answering his phone."

The look on Sam's face changed from half-asleep to fully alert in a split second. "That's not like him. That's not like him at all."

His confirmation made the panic billow and mushroom inside me. Fear traveled up my throat, thick as molasses, threatening to suffocate me in the hallway, turning my next words into a strained whisper. "I can't get ahold of him. We haven't spoken since last night when—"

"I'm sure he's fine—"

"He went swimming, Sam. At the beach."

"We'll take my car."

I didn't argue, didn't think I'd be able to get my hands and legs to cooperate well enough to drive. Sam grabbed his sneakers, threw on a jacket, and we were on our way to Gondola Point, the secluded beach where Jack preferred to swim any day the weather would allow. It was a ten-minute drive. Sam made it in seven.

"There!" I yelled as we turned the last corner, pointing to the truck at the far end, but the relief was swiftly replaced by more rising anxiety when we got closer and I saw the vehicle was empty. Before Sam came to a full stop, I jumped out, ran over and tried the handle, but the truck was locked. Undeterred, I searched underneath the front bumper, found the set of keys that Jack often hid there, something I made fun of him for because it was the most obvious place a thief would look. Except now I didn't think it was funny. It wasn't funny at all. I unlocked the truck, reached under the driver's seat and, when my fingers closed over Jack's wallet and phone, let out a whimper. Sam stood next to me now, and when I turned around and he saw me clasping Jack's things, the fear I knew he'd worked hard to hide was splashed all across his face.

"Where's Jack?" I shouted, my voice carried away by the wind. "Where is he?"

Sam put his hands on my shoulders. One look and I knew what he was going to say. I wanted to press both of my hands over his mouth, forcing his words to stay inside. Once he said them, they'd be out there. They'd make this nightmare real.

"No," I said, trying to back away so I wouldn't hear, but Sam held firm.

"Lily, honey," he said, his voice gentle. "We have to call the cops."



I woke up with a start, needed a moment to figure out where I was before allowing myself to sink back onto the mattress, my mind retracing the events that had led me here. After I'd staggered away from the beach, I'd come across a dusty, four-foot-wide track. Trying yet continually failing to regain focus, I attempted to force my brain to decide which direction to take. I stood by the side of the path forever, my mind spinning. Unanswered questions piled on top of each other, layer after stifling layer of uncertainty. When I couldn't bear it any longer, and for no discernible reason other than gut instinct, I turned right.

As I'd limped along, forcing one foot in front of the other, the sky had clouded over, taking away most of the moonlight and visibility, making everything around me more ominous. I picked up the pace, ignoring the pain in my temple, which ordered me to slow down, to sit down, and kept walking. About a quarter of a mile later, a fat water droplet bounced off the top of my skull. A flash of lightning followed, and not long after I heard the sound of rolling thunder in the not-too-far-away distance. Shivering, I upped my speed some more, hoping to find refuge before the heavens opened and dumped the brunt of the approaching storm on top of my aching head.

The track had been deserted. Not a single pedestrian, cyclist or anyone in a car I could ask for help. As I walked, my feet thudding in a steady rhythm on the path, I'd asked myself the same question over and over, saying it out loud, as if making a demand would suddenly provide the answer. "What's my name? What's my name? What. Is. My. Name?"

Fear came and went like waves on the beach. One minute my mind screamed at me to find shelter and get warm, but the next, the question returned, running through my head at a maniacal speed. What's my name? What's my name? What's my name? What's my name?

I'm not sure how long I walked. An hour? More? Bombarded by the frigid rain, barefoot and wearing nothing but shorts, my head still pounding and no recollection of...anything, I needed to find help. I ordered myself to keep going. Keep going. Those two words became my new mantra, the only way to drown out the voice in my head bellowing this was all wrong, I was in trouble. Serious trouble.

When the track veered to the left and I'd seen a flickering light in the distance, I'd wanted to run to it. My legs refused. They were at least twice as heavy since I'd started out, making me walk more slowly as I tried to ignore the sharp pebbles and stones digging into the soles of my feet. Getting closer to the light, I could make out the faint shape of a single-story home and I let out an exhausted grunt. Almost there, I told myself. Hobbling up the long driveway, I staggered in the direction of the front door, but when a flash of lightning illuminated the skies and the car parked outside, my feet stopped dead. I squinted at the large blue-and-white letters on the side of the vehicle. The word POLICE.

I scrambled, toes and heels searching for traction, as if they, not my brain, sensed danger. It didn't make sense. An officer might be able to help me, except I knew—I knew—I couldn't knock on that door. Couldn't ask whoever was inside for assistance. I had to get out of there, and so I turned and ran this time, disregarding the stinging in my feet and the searing in my lungs as a primeval fear deep within me took over, urging me to put as much distance between me and the house and police cruiser as fast as I could. I kept going for longer than I thought possible, didn't slow down until the track widened some more and changed into smooth asphalt. That was when, doubled over from the effort, I finally caught my breath for long enough to steady the pounding of my heart.

I still had no idea what was going on, what had happened to me or why I was so afraid. I racked my brains, but no answers came, and it was still pitch-black when I'd made it to the outskirts of a town. I couldn't bring myself to knock on anyone's door. I didn't recognize any of the landmarks, street signs or houses, had no clue who lived in the latter, but understood they'd call the cops if they were woken up by a half-naked man who couldn't tell them who he was. Although I knew little else, I was certain I couldn't take that risk.

When I saw a set of headlights coming my way in the distance, I'd crouched behind some leafy bushes to stay out of sight. I rubbed my face with my hands, noticing the watch on my left wrist for the first time. It looked older, had a plain white face with black roman numerals, and the glass cover and silver metal band were scratched and worn. The time said five fifteen, and as the first rays of sunlight crept their way across the skies above the clouds, I decided it had to be morning. I examined the watch, willing myself to recognize it and remember where it had come from, but only found a blank static space in my mind where the knowledge should have been. Heading underneath the nearest streetlamp, I released the clasp, took off the watch and examined it from every angle, ran a finger over the engraving on the back.

To Brad

All my love,

Rosalie x

"My name's Brad?" Hearing my voice was like listening to a stranger. "My name's Brad." I made it a statement this time, trying to convince myself with certainty. Now I had my name, I hoped other things would fall into place. I stood there with my arms bent, palms facing the sky, as if expecting a miracle. Nothing. Everything remained as strange as it had been since I'd woken up. My name sounded unfamiliar on my tongue and as for Rosalie, I had no idea who she was, or if I loved her back. Was she out there searching for me? Why couldn't I remember someone who was obviously an important person in my life? My pulse accelerated again as I tried to process yet more questions I didn't have the answers to. They frustrated me so much I slipped the watch back on my wrist and kept going, repeating my name is Brad, in the hope it would have the desired effect if I said it enough.

A little farther down the road I'd reached a single-pump service station with a store that had a bright, wooden Jim's General & Deli sign on the door. Perched above it on the front of the roof was a giant, weathered plastic sculpture of a fish my brain somehow identified as a sturgeon. Another sign near the door caught my eye, some company proclaiming they offered the best fishing charters in Maryland. Maryland. Instinct combined with logic told me that's where I was, although I didn't know how I felt so certain, or why I somehow also knew this wasn't where I belonged. I looked around. Two cars were parked out front, one with a teardrop trailer attached to the back. Great. I knew the species of a plastic fish and what kind of trailer this was but couldn't remember my own name or what I was doing in Maryland. There had to be some comedic value in that—too bad I couldn't find it. I shook my head, immediately regretting the gesture because of the sharp stabbing pain it caused in the side of my skull.

Staying low, I crept to the vehicles. My immediate and not particularly brilliant plan was to find water, clothes and shoes before retreating someplace else, getting warm and figuring out what to do next, but as I got closer to the trailer, I'd noticed the Maine number plate on the back. Black-capped chickadee. Pine cone. The word Vacationland.

A jumble of pictures flashed through my mind. An old house. Twinkling, star-shaped lights. The sound of laughter. As I tried to grasp the fragments they retreated into the corners of my mind, disappearing from reach. Had I remembered something from my past?

On Sale
May 25, 2021
Page Count
400 pages