Fifteen years ago, eight teenagers went into the woods outside their small Welsh village to drink, take a few pills and have a good time. Seven came out, carrying a terrible secret.
Fast forward to today and Ava Cole is living a good life; a detective with the LAPD, she returns to Aberdyth when she gets the news that her ex-husband is dying. But it seems the past is coming back to haunt her, beginning with a series of terrifying texts and building up to a chilling climax.
I was born in a small Welsh town, and D.E. White’s writing took me straight back to my childhood, such that I could even hear my old accent resurfacing when talking with my family after finishing this read - an accent 18 years in Australia has almost erased. I guess you can take the girl out of the valleys, but you can’t always take the valleys out of the girl, a truth Ava discovers at almost the ultimate cost.
The narrative switches between Ava’s third-person PoV and first-person snippets from the villain, and the author does a fine job of slowly teasing out the story, eliminating viable suspects one by one until at last, the reader understands not only who the villain is, but why they are on their particular path.
As with many crime suspense novels, this one should come with a host of trigger warnings about domestic violence, torture, non-consensual sex and murder, but in this case you need to add child pornography and paedophilia to the usuals, in case those are problem areas for you.
Chillingly atmospheric, this one resonated particularly strongly with me, redolent as it is of the shadowed valleys and steep hills of my youth, the insularity of small communities and that strange feeling, when you go home, that maybe you never went away at all, no matter how many years removed you are.
Five stars for a read I thoroughly enjoyed.
Remember Me is available now.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.