The Burden of Memory | Critical Book Review

Rick Christman’s The Burden of Memory is a slow-burning thriller that delves into the awakening of an archetypal everyman, throwing him into the chaotic realm of justice and personal redemption. While the novel unfolds with a certain charm, its dark underbelly reveals a narrative that’s both suspenseful and, at times, uncomfortably violent.


Mundanity Shattered

Robert Russell, our reluctant witness and protagonist, emerges from the shadow of a mundane life after witnessing a murder. Christman masterfully explores the aftermath, showcasing how the most ordinary existence can be disrupted by unexpected tragedy. The novel unravels a complex web of crime, revealing the stark darkness concealed beneath seemingly idyllic facades.


A Reluctant Hero’s Evolution

Robert’s journey, from a reclusive teacher to a man of action, unfolds with surprising twists. However, his sudden transformation into a figure willing to confront crime head-on raises questions about the credibility of his character development. The narrative hints at hidden depths, yet more insight into Robert’s backstory earlier in the novel would have added depth to his evolution.


Romantic Awakening Amidst Intrigue

The novel introduces a romantic subplot that, while pivotal to the plot, feels a bit rushed and unconvincing. Robert’s rapid transition from a solitary life to a romantic entanglement seems incongruent with his lengthy period of celibacy. The lack of a more nuanced exploration of his romantic history leaves this aspect of the storyline somewhat underdeveloped.


Unpredictable Thrills and Complex Trails

Despite these narrative quibbles, The Burden of Memory maintains a gripping pace, steering the reader through unexpected twists and suspenseful intrigue. Christman skillfully navigates Beaufort’s hidden depths, crafting a complex criminal trail for Robert to follow. Lies, double-crosses, and unforeseen alliances keep the tension high, making this thriller a captivating, albeit occasionally perplexing, read.


In conclusion, The Burden of Memory is a thriller that offers more than meets the eye. Its exploration of a seemingly ordinary man thrust into a world of crime provides both suspenseful thrills and moments of disquieting violence. While some aspects of the narrative may feel rushed or lacking in depth, the novel’s unpredictability ensures an engaging experience for readers seeking a dark and intricate tale.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, ISBN

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Atmosphere PressMystery, Thriller & Suspense/Crime206 pages9781639888139

Rick Christman’s The Burden of Memory is a slow-burning thriller that delves into the awakening of an archetypal everyman, throwing him into the chaotic realm of justice and personal redemption. While the novel unfolds with a certain charm, its dark underbelly reveals a narrative that’s both suspenseful and, at times, uncomfortably violent. Mundanity Shattered Robert…