Sigurdardottir, Yrsa - 'I Remember You' (translated by Philip Roughton)
What an excellent book! This is the fifth adult book written by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, who also writes for children and has won prizes for her work. The superb mix of crime fiction and ghost story makes I REMEMBER YOU totally absorbing. This spooky tale is based on a true story, as well, and that makes it all the more interesting. It has also been translated extremely well and is thoroughly engrossing from start to finish.
The story is divided into two sections that at first seem to be entirely unconnected. When the link between them is finally revealed, the novel becomes even more terrifying.
In the first section, we are introduced to three, somewhat foolhardy, individuals: Gardar, Katrin and Lif, who have bought an old house in an abandoned village in the Icelandic Westfjords. They decide to do it up themselves and intend to turn it into a guest house for tourists that make their way to the region in the summer. They set out to spend a week there and are taken across in a boat with all their gear. And their dog. The weather is not good and, as it is getting colder, the skipper who has taken them across is not that happy at the prospect of leaving them there. After lugging their kit from the beach to the house, they settle in and get to work, but over the next few days they start to see and hear a strange person who somehow manages to get into the house in the night, and definitely doesn't want them around. when Katrin has an accident - apparently pushed down the stairs by the mysterious person, it begins to dawn on the friends that their lives might be in danger.
Meanwhile, in a town across the fjord, and not far away, we find Freyr, a young doctor. He has been asked to help the police investigate the apparent suicide of an elderly woman and is increasingly disturbed by what he finds out. Still distraught after the disappearance, and presumed death, of his son and the subsequent break down of his marriage, three years before, Freyr is searching for answers. He is astonished to discover that some of the people he interviews in connection with the suicide might have some information about his own private agonies.
The truth behind the link between the stories is truly shocking. Everyone has secrets and has told lies to cover themselves, but the truth always has a way of being found out.
This is definitely another book for my top 5 list. I love twists that I can't guess at and stories that really get into my head. This tale well and truly fits the bill.
Extremely Highly Recommended.
Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland