Book Rating: 4.2 ⭐
Swedish author, Tove Alsterdal, delivers her American debut with We Know You Remember, a gripping, atmospheric, mystery-thriller. Alsterdal transports the reader to a sawmill district of Adalen, Kramsfors, a municipality of Sweden, where veteran police detective, Eira Sjodin, connects past and present as she re-investigates a 23-year-old missing persons case that threatens to unravel the small close-knit community she grew up in.
At the age of 14, Olof Hagstrom was coerced into confessing the rape and murder of a classmate. Two decades later Olof’s father is found murdered in his own home and Olof is once again accused of murder. Eira and her colleagues investigate both crimes dredging up remaining witnesses and tracking down old leads that were never properly followed up. During the investigation Eira uncovers long held secrets and a shocking truth.
Alsterdal incorporated aspects of cases that involved minors; confessions of murder that later were proven they had not committed. In those cases, the police were accused of coercing the confessions which lead to a significant change in Swedish law regarding the treatment of minors while in custody. Alsterdal skillfully weaves these real-life incidents into a fictional account.
We Know You Remember captures the human essence of survival and coping mechanisms in all its multilayered forms. Alsterdal examines the interconnectedness of a community, the depths of family, loyalty and sacrifice while creating a winding maze of criminals and victims that culminates in a satisfying and unpredictable ending. Fans of Gone Girl and Sharp Objects will enjoy We Know You Remember. Alsterdal has created solid characters and embellished her prose with vivid imagery of Sweden’s small-town charm, while intriguing the reader with a well-crafted thriller. I’ll be looking forward to Tove Alsterdal’s next literary creation.
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