Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I Remember You by Yrsa Sigurdardóttir

When Líf's husband Einar got the idea of buying a house in Hesteyri, Katrín's husband Garðar was definitely on board. Garðar had been unemployed and the couple's savings had taken a real hit, so the investment and the potential earnings in revamping the place for boarding were promising. But then Einar died leaving Líf widowed and the project up in the air. Still, the three friends are determined to carry on, which is why they find themselves settling in for a week in the abandoned village. Things start to go wrong as soon as they arrive - strange noises, injuries and accidents, and evidence that the town may not be as empty as they thought. 

At the same time, a vicious occurrence of vandalism has alarmed authorities in nearby Ísafjörður. As the only local psychiatrist, Freyr is called in to consult and soon learns that a similar crime occurred at another nearby school. In spite of the striking similarities, police are sure there can't be any connection as the prior case is over fifty years old, but Freyr is less doubtful. The case becomes even more odd when a local suicide turns out to be linked and that the dead woman had apparently been obsessed with Freyr's missing son, Benni. 

An Icelandic horror story, who'd have thought? Actually, Sigurdardóttir's Thora Gudmundsdottir thrillers do have a very dark slant to them so this ghost story isn't so much of a deviation as one would think. 

I Remember You is definitely of the slower more atmospheric vein. Readers expecting non stop action and gore will be disappointed but if you're like me and you appreciate a slower pacing I definitely recommend it. Considering our alternating gloomy still icky snow days, I have to admit that I Remember You hit the spot for me - I'd been craving more dark reads and horror in the wake of Laura Kasischke's Mind of Winter and the weather really added to experience! (Who am I kidding, I almost always crave darker reads and ghost stories happen to be my favorite horror flavor, too.) Actually, fans of Kasischke's latest will likely be the perfect audience for this one, plus it's a great introduction for anyone who might be new to Sigurdardóttir's work. 

I did find that the translation (possibly the translation) had a few minor issues here. There were times when certain phrasing seemed contradictory to previous points in the plot. This was a very minor issue that didn't detract at all in the overall reading of the book, though. (I noticed it a lot in Freyr's interaction with his wife, maybe it was more a clunky indication of her frail mental state.) 

Rating: 4/5

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