Author: Tove Alsterdal
Series: High Coast #1
Published by: Harper on Sep. 28, 2021
Format: ARC, Paperback
Source: Minotaur Books
Book Rating: 8.5/10
A missing girl, a hidden body, a decades-long cover-up, and old sins cast in new light: the classic procedural meets Scandinavian atmosphere in this rich, character-driven mystery, awarded Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year, that heralds the American debut of a supremely skilled international writer.
It’s been more than twenty years since Olof Hagström left home. Returning to his family’s house, he knows instantly that something is amiss. The front door key, hidden under a familiar stone, is still there. Inside, there’s a panicked dog, a terrible stench, water pooling on the floor. Upstairs in the shower, the father Olaf has not seen or spoken to in decades is dead.
For police detective Eira Sjödin, the investigation of this suspicious death resurrects long-forgotten nightmares. She was only nine when Olof Hagström, then fourteen, was found guilty of raping and murdering a local girl. The case left a mark on the town’s collective memory—a wound that never quite healed—and tinged Eira’s childhood with fear. Too young to be sentenced, Olof was sent to a youth home and exiled from his family. He was never seen in the town again. Until now.
An intricate crime narrative in which past and present gracefully blend, We Know You Remember is a relentlessly suspenseful and beautifully written novel about guilt and memory in which nothing is what it seems, and unexpected twists upend everything you think you know.
Tight, sinister, and murky!
We Know You Remember is a gritty, menacing thriller that sweeps you away to the Swedish countryside and into the life of Eira Sjödin, a young detective who inadvertently finds herself investigating and unravelling what seems to all intents and purposes to be the solved case involving the rape and murder of a teen twenty-three years ago when the convicted felon Olaf Hagström finally returns home only to stumble across the murdered body of his reclusive father.
The prose is methodical and gritty. The characters are diligent, troubled, relentless, and multilayered. And the plot is an ominous tale full of twists, turns, secrets, red herrings, deception, manipulation, desperation, deduction, mayhem, violence, and murder.
Overall, We Know You Remember is an unsettling, atmospheric, taut whodunit by Alsterdal that has all the qualities you look for in a Swedish Noir novel and is a promising US debut for this new-to-me author.
This book is available on September 28, 2021.
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Thank you to Harper Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.