Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Darkest Room

by Johan Theorin

Voted Best Crime Novel of 2008 by the Swedish Academy of Crime.

Katrine and Joakim Westin are starting their new life with their two young children at the old manor house at Eel Point. On the Swedish island of Oland, remote Eel Point has twin lighthouses that guard the coast. The area and the house is laden with history, not all of it good, which reaches out to the present.

Then tragedy strikes when Katrine is found, drowned off the rocks near the lighthouse.

Joakim can't accept Katrine's death, and can't even bring himself to tell his children where Mummy has really gone. He desperately tries to cling to what once was.

Tilda Davisson is a young police woman charged with manning the newly opened Police Station at nearby Marnas. Her work is cut out for her trying to get to the people behind a string of break-ins at summer homes, break-ins that seem to be getting more violent. She also becomes convinced that Katrine Westin's death was no accident.

Meanwhile, a storm is brewing, an arctic storm that rages on Christmas Eve, a night of local legend, when Eel Point, cut off by snow and ice will be visited by terror of all kinds.

Yes, yet another Scandinavian crime novel, and yes, yet another great read.

There were so many things I loved about this book. The story was carefully woven, with glimpses back into the past, and associations with the present gradually revealed throughout the course of the book, giving aha moments for the reader.

The build up of tension throughout was fantastic, with not only the characters and plot, but the weather and physical environment all accelerating towards a looming climax.

The novel also had supernatural elements which were very well done, and enhanced the story.

Clever novelist.


Anonymous said...

Vanda - Lovely review! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this fine novel. It's a compelling read, isn't it?

Jose Ignacio Escribano said...

Vanda - Am currently reading The Darkest Room therefore I will wait to read your review once I finished mine.

Kiwicraig said...

Good review Vanda. I haven't read any of his yet, but have been meaning to for a while.