Coming August 2024

from CamCat Books

Peppered with mystery, wry humor, and compelling characters, The Mechanics of Memory is a near-future thriller that explores love, loyalty, and the malleable nature of memory.

The Mechanics of Memory

What if everything you remember never happened?

A year ago, Hope Nakano’s life revolved around desert sunsets, single malt scotch, waffles on Saturday mornings, and Luke.

Today, not so much.

For the past six months, Hope has been eating organic food, doing yoga, and meditating in the immersive VR programs at the uber-posh Wilder Sanctuary in Rancho Mirage. Which might not be so terrible, if only she were allowed to leave. Or knew why she was there in the first place.

Hope also has little memory of her last year, how she got to Wilder, and why she’s institutionalized.  Employing a variety of unorthodox therapy practices, the doctors at Wilder are working to reconsolidate her memories. Yet their obsession with the Mad Hatters—a vigilante hacker group that exposes corrupt companies—raises Hope’s suspicions about what they’re hiding.

During a VR session Hope receives a coded message from an unknown source, and each subsequent visit presents clues triggering disparate pieces of Hope’s lost year. As more memories continue to surface, Hope finds they are in conflict with what she knows, what she’s been told, and the man she thought she loved.


The Mechanics of Memory is a swift, twisty speculative novel that grabs you from page one. With engaging characters and intriguing science, the reader is absorbed throughout. For fans of Blake Crouch and other high-end speculative twist rides.”
—Shannon Kirk, International-Bestselling author of Method 15/33
“Debut author Audrey Lee has created an intoxicating mix of psychological thriller and domestic drama a la the streaming series Severance. As you take your first steps in The Mechanics of Memory, you will find yourself falling under Lee’s spell, unable to leave her world until the very end.”
—Naomi Hirahara, USA Today bestselling author of Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning Clark and Division
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest meets Inception in Lee’s stunning debut. A must read.”
—James L’Etoile, award-winning author of Dead Drop and Face of Greed
“Audrey Lee’s mesmerizing The Mechanics of Memory is as complex as it is thrilling. All we ever really have are our memories, but what if those memories aren’t real? Lee takes this premise to frightening extremes… Steeped in paranoia and delightfully playful with the concept of reality, The Mechanics of Memory is wildly entertaining and, ironically, quite unforgettable.”
—Carter Wilson, USA Today bestselling author of The Father She Went to Find

The Mechanics of Memory is propulsive and muscular. I hung on every word.

As a narrator, Hope Nakano is both strikingly unreliable and deeply endearing as we move with her to reconstruct the part of her past that is missing. Institutionalized, though she’s not sure why, the deeper she digs, the more secrets she hits, until she’s questioning not only what she lost, but even what she thought she knew with authority.

A technological thriller that keeps us perched on the edge of our seats as well as our disbelief, Lee pulls it together masterfully. In the end I cried in relief… and instantly wanted more. Can’t wait to see what’s coming from her next.”
—Linda L. Richards, Author of Dead West, One of LA Weekly’s Top 15 Authors to Read in 2023