Dislcaimer: an advance digital copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher (HarperCollins UK) in exchange for my honest review. Remember Me will be published on February 6th.
Fifteen years after the disappearance of her best friend on what seemed like a regular night of partying, Ava Cole returns to the small Welsh village she grew up in to finally share the truth about what happened that fateful night. Now a police detective living in California, Ava is determined to find justice for her friend. Forced to face the son she left behind and the friends she broke ties with many years before, Ava finds that her presence is less than welcome in the tight-knit community, especially by a mysterious individual set on running her out of town before she can unveil the truth.
Remember Me is a promising police procedural that falls slightly short of gripping. While driven by a smart, interesting plot and a compelling main character, the book is a little too long to hold the readers’ attention and a little too ambitious to feel fully cohesive and straightforward. Side plots involving reality television shows and shaky romantic relationships take away from the central mystery and concise writing style.
Steadfast procedural readers will enjoy Remember Me, finding it similar to other whodunnit novels involving friend groups like She Lies In Wait and female-driven crime stories like Sweet Little Lies. Remember Me is entertaining, enjoyable, and original enough to not fall flat in comparison to the thousands of other crime novels on the market. The plot holds up and the loose ends are neatly tied, and even with the many distractions White introduces throughout the story, readers will feel driven to finish the book and uncover the truth.
The one real pitfall of Remember Me is how White never takes full advantage of the scenery and atmosphere at her disposal. The snowy countryside of Wales is the perfect setting for a crime story, but its’ description feels disjointed and confusing, and it will be hard for readers to create a real image in their minds of what Ava’s backdrop looks like.
Remember Me’s many characters can be difficult to keep track of at some points, especially as suspects wrack up and Ava begins to reintroduce herself to the people of the small town she once left behind. That being said, if you read carefully and pay close attention, you’ll find the book to be filled with interesting people and many potential clues. It’s the kind of book where you’ll find yourself constantly adding new names to the top of your suspect list only to discover later on it has to be someone else.
The ending of the novel is quite satisfying, and offers the right tone and conclusion for a crime novel. Overall Remember Me is a strong story.