Ice Land

I've enjoyed Yrsa Sigurdardottir's earlier books, all set in Iceland and featuring her likeable detective Thora Gudmundsdottir. They're good strong crime novels, but usually with a dash more horror than usual - they're certainly not Agatha Christie, no cosy cyanide among the crockery here. Previous reviews can be viewed herehere and here.

I remember you is rather different, no familiar cast of characters here. Instead Yrsa has moved away from her usual territory, and although there is a crime / detection element, this is more of an outright horror / ghost story. It probably won't surprise any of her fans that she does this extremely well. I remember you is as spooky a tale as you can hope to find, certainly worthy of being compared to other masters of the genre such as Stephen King. I was most reminded however of M.R. James who combines an impeccable sense of place with a bone-chilling storyline.

I remember you opens with what appears to be two unrelated events. Psychologist Freyr is called in to help the police after an unexpected suicide in a local church. Freyr is disconcerted to discover that the dead woman had an obsession with his missing son, and is further puzzled when a separate police investigation seems to provide a link with a missing child case from 50 years earlier. Meanwhile 3 friends from the city set out to a remote island to renovate a house...

Scary, compelling and haunting in every sense of the word, Yrsa seems to have propelled herself with this novel into the top echelons of the ghost / horror world, as fine and spooky a tale as you can hope to find.

The front cover alone scared the life out of many Icelanders. In fact the cover was changed following complaints. The novel though still chills. I read it alone in a remote cottage - not for the faint-hearted.

Partially based on a true story, you can read and see more about the island in a blogpost by Yrsa here.


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