I Remember You by Elisabeth de Mariaffi
|I Remember You by Elisabeth de Mariaffi|
|Reviewer: Amy Etherington|
|Summary: A thriller mixed with paranormal elements which sounds promising, but sadly lacks bite. I Remember You is an ambitious, yet ultimately underwhelming read.|
|Buy? No||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 480||Date: March 2018|
|Publisher: Titan Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Heike Lerner leads a seemingly pleasant life in America after a damaged childhood in war-torn Europe. She is a stay-at-home mother, the wife of a successful psychiatrist, and her everyday routine is pleasantly quiet. Then one afternoon her four-old-son befriends a young girl by the lake, who vanishes suddenly under the water. Although Heike dives in after her, the girl is nowhere to be seen, leaving Heike wondering what happened to her. In an attempt to find answers, Heike seeks the help of paranormal television writer Leo Dolan after her controlling husband refuses to believe her. But then things take another turn when Heike's son disappears, and it's her husband who was the last to see him alive.
I love a good thriller. Reading a story centred around a mystery is usually guaranteed to keep me hooked, and the blend of thriller and paranormal elements in I Remember You sounded gripping. So why did I find myself struggling with this so much? I'll be honest, I think this is a case of its-not-you-it's-me with this book because it just didn't grab me like I hoped it would. I like my thrillers to be quick and engaging, to have me hooked as early as possible. Yet this book felt choppy and disjointed to the point where I cared less about the story the more I read. Unfortunately, it wasn't for me.
I think my main issue lay with the tone and the pace. This is my first Elisabeth de Mariaffi novel and her writing style is different to what I expected and sadly, I just didn't gel with it. It's a slow burner and for a book of nearly 500 pages, it takes a while to get in to the story. The incident with the disappearing girl happens in the first couple of chapters and you're introduced to Leo Dolan fairly early on, but it took its time actually getting anywhere. There's something going on, that you can tell straight away and there are layers to the story which is always good for adding depth. You flit back and forth between 1956 when the main story is set, to back during the war, and it isn't done badly but it just seemed to lengthen the plot more than was necessary. It starts well and you're thrown in to the story fairly quickly, but I'm sorry to say it was a downhill journey from there.
For me, there was too much time spent on setting up the story and very little story telling. Sometimes gentle paced reads can be a good thing but I found it didn't work for this book which is a shame because the premise showed real potential. Sadly, I Remember You was a bit of an underwhelming read. If you're a fan of Elisabeth de Mariaffi's previous works or you prefer your thrillers to be slower paced then you might find something you like here. However, I've read plenty of other thrillers which beat this to the punch I'm afraid.
If you want a suspenseful story that will keep you on your toes, then I would recommend Give Me The Child by Mel McGrath.
You can read more book reviews or buy I Remember You by Elisabeth de Mariaffi at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy I Remember You by Elisabeth de Mariaffi at Amazon.com.
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