Reptile Memoirs (Hardback)Silje Ulstein (author)
Delightfully dark and meticulously plotted, Ulstein's sinister thriller explores disturbing family dynamics and the cold-bloodedness of humanity when an eleven-year-old girl goes missing.
Liv has a lot of secrets. Late one night, in the aftermath of a party in the apartment she shares with two friends in Alesund, she sees a python on a TV nature show and becomes obsessed with the idea of buying a snake as a pet. Soon Nero, a baby Burmese python, becomes the apartment's fourth roommate. As Liv bonds with Nero, she is struck by a desire that surprises her with its intensity. Finally she is safe.
Thirteen years later, in the nearby town of Kristiansund, Mariam Lind goes on a shopping trip with her eleven-year-old daughter, Iben. Following an argument Mariam storms off, expecting her young daughter to make her own way home... but she never does. Detective Roe Olsvik, new to the Kristiansund police department, is assigned to the case of Iben's disappearance. As he interrogates Mariam, he instantly suspects her - but there is much more to this case and these characters than their outer appearances would suggest.
A biting and constantly shifting tale of family secrets, rebirth and the legacy of trauma, Reptile Memoirs is a brilliant exploration of the cold-bloodedness of humanity.
Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 619 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 x 28 mm
'Original, sharp, tender and chilling, Reptile Memoirs is hugely ambitious and hypnotically readable.' - Chris Whitaker
'A beautifully dark and twisty story with jaw-dropping twists and pin-point plotting.' - Joanna Cannon
'Neither Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl), nor Paula Hawkins (Girl on the Train), nor Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient) - to name some well-known examples from the last decade - can measure up to Ulstein... This debut is a great discovery... A thriller that really stands out.' - Aftenposten
'This book is a shapeshifting marvel. I found it compulsively readable, and not just for the unexpected paths by which it unpacks its secrets. Silje Ulstein writes about snakes in ways that made me feel I've never really seen them before: In language that is as seductive as it is prickly, she pries open the boundaries between reptiles and humans, adults and the children they once were, and criminals and victims. An uncanny, unsettling and totally immersive read.' - Emily Fridlund, author of History of Wolves
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“A highly unusual narrator”
I chose this book as it sounded unlike anything I have read before. I can honestly say, I think The Reptile Memoirs is the strangest book I have ever read.
Some of the chapters are narrated by a most unusual... More
“Weird but interesting”
This book was weird. Confusing. It was too many perspectives in not enough space. And even though I kind of liked the plot, I was really having trouble attaching myself to this story.
First of all, let's talk... More
“Unusual Norwegian crime thriller”
My thanks to Atlantic Books Grove Press UK for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘Reptile Memoirs’ by Silje Ulstein in exchange for an honest review.
This unusual crime thriller was originally published in Norway in 2020... More
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