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How do you solve a murder when you can only remember yesterday?
Imagine a world in which classes are divided not by wealth or religion but by how much each group can remember. Monos, the majority, have only one day's worth of memory; elite Duos have two. In this stratified society, where Monos are excluded from holding high office and demanding jobs, Claire and Mark are a rare mixed marriage. Clare is a conscientious Mono housewife, Mark a novelist-turned-politician Duo on the rise. They are a shining example of a new vision of tolerance and equality-until...
A beautiful woman is found dead, her body dumped in England's River Cam. The woman is Mark's mistress, and he is the prime suspect in her murder. The detective investigating the case has secrets of his own. So did the victim. And when both the investigator's and the suspect's memories are constantly erasedhow can anyone learn the truth?
Told from four different perspectives, that of Mark, Claire, the detective on the case, and the victimFelicia Yap's staggeringly inventive debut leads us on a race against an ever-resetting clock to find the killer. With the science-fiction world-building of Philip K. Dick and the twisted ingenuity of Memento, Yesterday is a thriller you'll never forget.
|Publisher:||Little, Brown and Company|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
Felicia Yap grew up in Kuala Lumpur. She read biochemistry at Imperial College London, followed by a doctorate in history at Cambridge University. She has written for The Economist and the Business Times. She has also been a radioactive-cell biologist, a war historian, a Cambridge lecturer, a technology journalist, a theater critic, a flea-market trader, and a catwalk model. Felicia lives in London and is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy's novel-writing program.
What People are Saying About This
"Never has psychological crime fiction been so original, so witty and so inventive. This is an absolute firecracker of a read. I haven't enjoyed a debut this much in ages."
"Yesterday is an inventive, wicked thriller with an addictive puzzle-box narrative. Every time I thought I had it figured out, Felicia Yap hits me with another twist."
"A great murder mystery with a unique and unsettling twist. This book delighted and confounded me in equal measure!"
"Felicia Yap's Yesterday is a story about the vulnerability of memory and how the past always returns to haunt us. An exhilarating revenge thriller, equal parts suspense and philosophical science fiction."
"Hypnotic and haunting, Yesterday confidently blends suspense, noir, and science fiction to construct a truly original, breathtaking story. Felicia Yap's debut is a work of genius."
"When it comes to memories, what do we choose to forget? To believe? Felicia Yap looks at these questions in Yesterday, an inventive, engrossing old-school murder mystery wrapped in a futuristic setting with a side of compelling love story and a killer twist at the end. Clever, unconventional, fast-paced, and above all engaging, Yesterday is a book to remember."
"An intriguing, fast-paced thriller that captivated me right from the start."
"This was an amazing book, very original and despite challenging the reader's suspension of disbelief it drew me in very quickly. Terrific to find a book that can be classed as a crime thriller yet stand out from the crowd."
"At once a high-concept thriller with a sci-fi premise and an old-school noir, Felicia Yap's YESTERDAY is a tasty, satisfyingly grounded blend. A rich, rewarding debut that shows the ways that memory can betray us as painfully - and perhaps as inevitably - as those we love."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
From the initial 'blurb' and genre listing of psychological/thriller/mystery, I din't expect this book to be fantasy/science fiction at all. This is a world of mono's and duo's – mono's remember just one day, duo's remember two. Mono's are inferior to duo's. Mark and Claire are a mixed marriage; Mark is a duo and Claire a mere mono. The body of Mark's mistress has been washed up on the river Cam and Claire initially suspects her husband might have something to do with her death. Hans is the detective trying to solve what he suspects is murder, by the end of the day. He needs to do this within a day because he is a mono but also needs to keep this fact from his duo colleagues. I found parts of this book confusing and also I wanted to shout “What does it matter? all will have forgotten by three days anyway” - only they didn't seem to forget everything, which just added to my confusion of how all the mono/duo memories worked. I can't say it's a favourite book and, as none of my friends read fantasy, I can't think who to recommend this book to other than fantasy/sci-fi readers.
[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.] I’m not sure I can really call this ‘science fiction’—‘alternate history/contemporary world’, rather?— and for once I find ‘speculative fiction’ is actually more appropriate. ‘Yesterday’ is set in a 2015 world where people, due to a gene getting inhibited when they become adults, lose their short term memories. ‘Monos’ can only retain the previous days, while ‘Duos’ can retain two days… but nothing more. In order to function, people therefore have to keep writing in their diaries, and make a conscious effort to learn the important ‘facts’ that happened to them. I found this premise quite interesting, especially when it came to setting a mystery in that world: how would an investigator go about their job, link clues together, if they can only rely on written facts and not on actual memories? Because they’re bound to forget to write some details that would then become important, only at the time they looked so trivial they didn’t think them so. This is DI Richardson’s conundrum, as the main investigator in Sophia Ayling’s suicide-or-murder case, since he knows he has to solve this very quickly, otherwise he may miss some important clues. Just like potential suspects will literally forget what a crafty interrogation session could have made them say. All of this, of course, while keeping in mind an important question: are diaries reliable? The story revolves around four characters’ narratives and diaries: Claire Evans, a Mono ex-waitress who married a successful Duo writer, but struggles daily with her feelings of inadequacy compared to her husband’s ability to remember more; Mark Evans, whose career as a writer isn’t so satisfying anymore, just like his marriage, and who’s tempted to veer towards politics… and mistresses; Sophia Ayling, a woman with the rare ability to remember everything… including tiny little slights that built up into hatred and a deep desire for revenge; and Hans Richardson, the inspector determined to crack the case in one day, but who also harbours secrets of his own. [ Read the full review here: http://ylogs.com/archives/review-yesterday ]
Even though the premise of this story feels like a sci-fi alternate universe, it actually takes place in 2015. Society is split between MONOs ... who can only remember yesterday. They are considered the lesser of importance. DUOs are those lucky enough to remember 2 days. They are allowed to hold office and do important things. Mark and Claire are a mixed marriage. She is a MONO. She types notes on a computer to help her remember what happened yesterday. He is DUO and is a novelist turned politician. Together they represent tolerance and equality. When a woman is found dead, she is identified as Mark's mistress. He is now the prime suspect in her murder. Mark has secrets and the investigating detective has secrets. But with both of their memories being erased every 2 days, how can anyone learn the truth? This story is told by 4 distinct voices ... Mark, Claire, the Detective, and the Victim. Its fast paced or maybe it feels that way because the clock continues ticking as their memories start to disappear. This is an intriguing first novel by this author. It's well written with characters that stand out. It's a mix of a little bit sci-fi, a little bit contemporary fiction. Amazon has it listed as a Technothriller. Many thanks to the author / Wildfire / Netgalley for the digital copy of this first novel. The author will bear following. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
This was...different. Unusual and a new kind of writing, at least for me. There was a lot of facts and names to keep track off. At times it wasn't easy to follow all the ups and downs and twists and turns. It's not a book you can skim through and understand, this is a complex story. Enjoyable and very interesting to read, with a conclusion I did not see coming. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thanks to NetGalley and Headline!