Remember Me This Way by Sabine Durrant (3 out of 5)
I liked the sound of this one from May when I bought it. No word of mouth from the customers on this one. I think I bought it because I was hunting for the next great psychological suspense. Well, this wasn’t great, nor did it suck. The problem was that it was just another good book. Nothing about it cried out literary orgasm. In fact, I wanted to punch our main female character through much of it.. but I didn’t need to because the “soulmate” male in her life, Zach, had some violent tendencies and took care of it for me. I know…a truly horrible thing to say, but really, I thought it a few different times through the book. The book begins a widowed and still mourning Lizzie going to lay flowers by the site of the car accident that killed her husband Zach. There is another bouquet of flowers there from a “Xenia”. Lizzie flips out and heads home, mentally ripping her head apart at who this Xenia was and who she was to leave flowers in Zach’s memory. Weird, inexplicable things start happening to and at Lizzie’s house, and a trip to close up Zach’s abandoned art studio leaves more questions than answers. A trip to the PM’s house leaves Lizzie striking up a weird (WEIRD) companionship with the daughter, Onnie, who devoutly defends Zach’s memory at every turn in a conversation crosswalk with Lizzie, which makes her even more suspicious. Not suspicious enough to question this girl more closely when she gets an extra key made to the house, steals Zach’s laptop, or lies about taking Lizzie’s sick dog to the vet, but… I’m sorry, no matter how lonely this odd girl was.. if that cold-hearted bitch lied about taking my sick dog to the vet after promising to do so, her ass would be grass and I would be the lawnmower! Lizzie is keeping her around to solve this odd puzzle of what happened to Zach, and oh shit!- Is he still alive and faked his death? Did Onnie the lost pony help him? Is he trying to gaslight Lizzie out of revenge, since their marriage was comprised of jealousy over her students, little kids, and even the poor dog? PETA should be involved with this novel, for what poor Howard the Dog has to go through. So, yes, Lizzie thinks Zach is alive and torturing her, so she enlists Onnie to help her crack the password on Zach’s laptop, so they can see what he was up to. This whole novel is told in such a mishappen and stilted direction that it unravels in a strange manner, and takes the reader with them. While I was glad that I didn’t see this ending coming (kudos to the author), it still stunk (the parts of the plot that were found on the road dead) enough that I really didn’t buy the shocks even as they were coming. As I said, such a strange premise and such a strange dynamic between Zach, Lizzie, and Onnie that there really was no upside once the decline had shown itself. A good read, but I am hard-pressed to give it more than that.