… the book that’s part compelling Scandinavian crime thriller, part creepy-as-hell ghost story?
In I Remember You by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, it feels like you’re reading two completely separate story lines. The first follows a group of three friends who travel to the isolated town of Hesteyri to renovate an old house. Problem is, the house seems to be haunted. The second follows Freyr, a psychologist, who is brought into a compelling mystery that somehow connects with the disappearance of his son three years ago. But as the book progresses, the two plot lines begin to converge until they are inextricably woven together at the very end.
Even though this novel isn’t considered pure horror, it’s still one of the creepiest ghost stories I’ve ever read. The buildup of suspense is done very gradually (odd odors, wet footprints, creaking floors), but holy cow, is it ever effective. One night when I was in the middle of reading the book, I had to consciously force myself to turn the lights off because I was afraid of what was waiting just around the door frame. It’s been awhile since I’ve been spooked like that after reading a horror novel. And no gore. These are honest-to-God scares.
I spent several late nights with this novel, but it was worth every moment of sleep deprivation. Great suggestion for fans of Nordic suspense, good mysteries, or haunting ghost stories.
Reviewed by Katie (staff)