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Remember My Name by Sam Blake

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | Crime/Thriller
Remember My Name pb

By Carolina Cioara

I never really read any mystery or crime or thriller novels, mostly because I was too frightened. But after reading Remember My Name, my opinions have changed. I realise that reading a mystery/crime novel is as fun as piecing together a jigsaw puzzle, and the constant cliffhangers keep you turning the pages. This is how I felt when I read Remember My Name.

Like a perfect hairstyle, not one loose strand, not one hair out of place, this novel is very tight, which, as a reader, makes you pay attention to every single detail. Sam Blake makes you work hard when reading this novel, but she also provides stepping stones along the way. We all know of a character who always warns but is never listened to. Emily Jane repeatedly warns her father about Dirk Akcroyd and I kept my ears pricked up for that throughout the story, and when the truth finally came out, I had an ah-ha moment, like an itch scratched.

Sam Blake’s use of language helps to shape realistic characters, with real thoughts, emotions and struggles, oh, and dietary preferences. As I read the novel, I suddenly craved raspberry tea, or sushi or croissants in the oven with hot chocolate. The engagement of these senses somewhat stirred different emotions in me and helped me to relate taste to character.

Clever use of language also made the story feel modern…happening right now. The pandemic, the hotel businesses, how Ireland is of special interest to the US and the greed that is involved when one becomes successful. Partnerships torn up due to greed. Cybersecurity is a real hot topic now, especially since GDPR spread its wings across the EU. Dead woman found in the Dublin mountains (feels like something I’d have heard on the news). Rich family living in a gorgeous, smart-house by the beach. Alexa playing music in the background. Kate Spicer choosing beauty as her career path and this being frowned upon by others. I really feel like this book, when it will be read in about fifty years time, will really speak of the times in Ireland when this story is set. Sam Blake brings Irish culture, politics, and the here-and-now in a way that is so true and reflective of who we are as a nation and a population. Something very James Joyce about it.

For those looking for a woman-empowering novel, this is for you. I felt that all the women were stronger than the men in this novel. Laurence falls apart towards the end, Alex is terrified when ‘Nina’ is murdered, Dirk gets exposed by the most unthinkable character, Emily Jane. These women are real people, with real dreams and hopes, intelligent, and with powerful voices. But rather than telling us, Sam Blake shows us just how hard these women must work for them to convince the readers that they truly are powerful.

Remember My Name pbThe last thing I want to mention is the ‘what-if’ concept. A split-second moment that happened at the beginning of the novel matters more than you may think, and shapes the entire novel, but what if it never happened? The last sentence in the novel pulls the rug from under your feet. It makes us all realise the shattering truth that we are all living the consequences of split-second moments which have the power of turning our lives upside down…or in the case of this book, lead to murder…

I recommend it to anyone looking for a thrilling reading experience!

(c) Carolina Cioara

Order your copy online here.

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