Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Book Review: "Remember Me This Way" (Sabine Durrant)

Lizzie Carter thought she knew her husband Zach. Before he died in a terrible car accident, one for which she blames herself, they spent every possible second together, very much in love.

Then, on the anniversary of his death, she visits the site where he died and finds a bouquet of flowers left for him ... by another woman.

Thus begins a nightmarish mystery as Lizzie recalls her relationship with Zach, with all of its unexplained surprises and unexpected turns, and works to convince herself that her husband really is dead, and not still alive somewhere, watching her to make sure he still has her all to himself ... 

Author Sabine Durrant's dark psychological thriller Remember Me This Way debuted in May this year.

You think you know someone, the person you married, the person you dated, the person you've lived with for five or ten or thirty years. You think you've got that person figured out, all his or her quirks, ticks, habits, hobbies, likes, dislikes, and patterns.

Durrant's work is a testament to the fact that sometimes, you really can't say you know someone until you've seen that person in a whole different light.

That's what happened to Lizzie, the protagonist in this page-turner of a suspense novel. Sweet, likable, and willing to believe the best about everyone, Lizzie never even suspected something might be wrong with Zach's mental state until he was gone and she was faced with incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.

The novel works both sides of the story. In one half, Lizzie makes increasingly frantic attempts to track down who her husband really was while remembering one conversation, event, or circumstance after another about their relationship that should have told her Zach was growing more and more unstable and controlling.

In alternating chapters, Durrant feeds readers Zach's point of view about those same memories Lizzie revisits, except that Zach's is an immediate "happening now" perspective on each of those events, while Lizzie is only recalling them from the "now" present future.

The glimpses into Zach's psychological makeup are some of the most fascinating and compelling in the whole novel. He is truly a troubled character --- very much an active force on Lizzie's present circumstances, even in death --- and therefore truly frightening for his constant neediness and insecurity, which gradually manifest themselves as jealousy and then even more. He is the most dynamic character in the work.

For Lizzie, change comes slowly as she fights her way through years of denial (hers) and deception (his) to realize the truth about Zach, their marriage, and his death. If anything, Lizzie sometimes comes across as so naive and innocent she seems almost unbelievable. Could anyone really live with so much faith in humanity that he or she didn't see the reality that actually existed?

Then again, how many of us could actually say that we know, really know, those to whom we are closest?

Every twist and shocking revelation in this novel is guaranteed to keep readers turning pages into the night.

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Author: Sabine Durrant
Title: Remember Me This Way
ISBN: 978-1-4767-1634-3
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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