As I was reading I Remember You, I kept thinking, “I'm not scared. Nope, this book isn't that scary to me. Not scared at all.”
Then Adam put the garage door up, and I jumped out of my chair.
This is why I don't read much horror. (Also, I can't handle gory violence. If blood starts spurting or entrails fall out of someone's body, I'm out.)
However, today is Halloween, and I am nothing if not a dedicated book blogger. It doesn't seem right to let the holiday go by without at least one spine-tingling recommendation in case this season fills you with the urge to terrify yourself with literature. (Especially after the House of Leaves debacle last year, which was only scary in how dreadfully boring it was.)
I Remember You by Yrsa Sigurdardottir is pretty much the perfect horror novel for me: it's not overly gory, most of the scary stuff is off-stage and hinted at but when it does appear lives up to the hype, and it's so tightly plotted if it were a girl in a corset, it would have fainted by now.
Bonus: It's translated from Icelandic! Woo!
The book starts with two alternating storylines that at first don't seem remotely connected, and then slowly, the web spins out and we start to see the ties between them. It's one of my favorite constructions, and I've seen it done really well and really not and everywhere in between, but Sigurdardottir uses it to SUCH creepy effect.
The first storyline follows a group of people trying to renovate an old house in an abandoned village in hopes of turning it into a tourist destination. It turns out they are definitely NOT welcome there, but their cell phones are all mysteriously dead and the guy with the boat isn't coming to pick them up for days and oh, by the way, there's no electricity in the village and it's getting dark...
The second thread is about a psychiatrist who has been asked to help the police with a preschool vandalism case. He's distracted by memories of his young son who disappeared several years prior and his unstable ex-wife who hasn't found a productive way to process their loss.
This book is a little long to be read in one sitting, but trust me, once you pick it up you won't want to put it back down until the bitter end. It's the perfect read for a dark, stormy night.
Or if you're me, the middle of a sunny afternoon with all the lights blazing.