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We Know You Remember: The High Coast #1    by Tove Alsterdal order for
We Know You Remember
by Tove Alsterdal
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2021 (2021)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

We Know You Remember (awarded Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year) is the first episode in Tove Alsterdal's nordic noir series, The High Coast. It was translated by Alice Menzies.

The novel opens on a homecoming - of sorts on Midsummer's Eve. Twenty years before (at age fourteen) Olof Hagström confessed to the rape and murder of a local teenager, Lina Stavred. He was sent to a group home, and his parents 'declined all contact.' We see him planning only a quick visit, until he hears a dog howling and scratching, and sees water trickling down the side of the house. He finds his father murdered inside.

A neighbor, Patrik Nydalen, speaks to him and calls the police. Patrik, his wife Sofi and their children are staying with Patrik's parents, Tryggve and Mejan. Detective Eira Sjödin, who was nine when Lina died, investigates, partnered with rookie August Engelhardt and later with Violent Crimes Detective Georg Georgsson. Eira lives with, and cares for her mother, who has become increasingly confused and forgetful.

The story moves back and forth in time - between Olof's memories of his crush on Lina, interactions with her, unrelenting police interviews, and the modern day uproar over his presence again in the community. He stays in the house and bonds with the dog, Rabble. He's viciously attacked. Meanwhile, Eira finds links to a brutal gang rape forty years before. She reviews Olof's case and finds evidence disturbingly close to home.

The solutions to both the cold and the modern case are shocking, and quite unexpected. This is an outstanding police procedural.

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