Review: I Remember You / Author: Yrsa Sigurdardottir / Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton / Release Date: Out Now
I Remember You, written by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, takes the two genres of crime and horror, throws them together into an unholy mix, and the result is a gripping, emotionally charged story you’ll not forget in a hurry.
There are two sections to this horror story, and at first they appear to be worlds apart, but slowly, inexorably, they draw together for a satisfactory and chilling conclusion.
We are introduced to Gardar, Katrin and Lif. They’ve purchased an old dilapidated house in an abandoned village in the Icelandic West fjords. They hope to turn it into a guest house for tourists during the summer season and cross the fjord eager to begin a week of home repairs, complete with camping gear and pet dog.
Their adventure comes across as either very brave or incredibly foolhardy, perhaps both, considering the adverse weather and isolation they soon encounter. From day one events turn sour; the skipper of their privately hired boat is uncertain about leaving them in the wilds. Nevertheless, the team get to work on renovating their dream guest house. However, over the next week they catch glimpses and hear snippets of conversation from an odd figure lurking in the abandoned village. As time progresses, this sinister entity finds a way inside the house, and that’s when the fun really begins...
Terror soon replaces curiosity when Katrin is shoved down the stairs and our protagonists’ vulnerable predicament becomes bleakly apparent.
The second narrative thread follows Doctor Freyr, who helps the police investigate the disturbing suicide of an elderly woman. Freyr comes with his own emotional baggage. His son disappeared years back, presumed dead, and his marriage collapsed as a result. He never quite gave up hope and through the course of the investigation soon discovers that the suicide is mysteriously connected with his missing son.
While Yrsa can spin a good mystery, her characters tend to be unremarkable, bordering upon tedious. In fact, it often seems that the author has forgone character development in favour of spine-tingling chills. And in this, I Remember You is a widely regarded success.