Yrsa Sigurdardottir - I Remember You
An Icelandic horror that's both unputdownable and exasperating
Elbowing Iceland into the whole Nordic Noir hoo-ha, Yrsa Sigurdardottir presents her latest English-translated work. Part-way between a dark, depressive thriller and a mildly absurd, supernatural fable – distinguished by that unmistakable horror trait of characters expert at putting themselves in danger – I Remember You relays between two slowly-interweaving narratives.
One features three city slickers inexplicably renovating a derelict house on a deserted island who become stalked by a ghostly presence; the other has a mainland doctor investigating a vandalised primary school and a strange suicide. These seemingly unlinked incidents tie in to the disappearance of the medic’s own young son and as these strands tighten and the intrigue thickens, the pages fly by.
Ditching steady character development in favour of rapid chills, Sigurdardottir somehow pointedly ends every chapter on a cliffhanger, even if her often dozy protagonists are difficult to sympathise with. The tome is both unputdownable and liable to be thrown at the wall in befuddled exasperation.