IoS paperback review: I, Anna, By Elsa Lewin

The psychological thriller that should have remained a distant memory

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The Independent Culture

Elsa Lewin's 1984 novel has been republished to tie in with a new film adaptation starring Charlotte Rampling.

At its centre is Anna, a middle-aged divorcée who blacks out during a date with a stranger. Waking up the next morning, she resolves to put the episode out of her mind, but when she is confronted by a detective and questioned about a murder, the memories begin to flood back. Lewin's novel is oddly structured: she inexplicably reveals the perpetrator of the crime in a grisly prologue, eliminating any suspense, and the remainder of the narrative is meandering and cluttered with irrelevant characterisation. Quite why this noirish curio has been resurrected for the cinema is anyone's guess.