My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If you’re looking for a book to creep you the heck out – look no further. You’ve found it. This book has two interlaced storylines and both are enough to make you pull the covers around you a little tighter and jump at stray noises.
In modern day Reykjavik, Odinn is handed a new project just as his personal life is in turmoil. His ex-wife was in an accident, leaving the care of their 11-year-old daughter to him. The project relates to an old care home for delinquent boys, which was shut down after a bizarre accident in the 1970s, and whether the boys were mistreated and could be entitled to compensation. Then bizarre things start happening and Odinn begins questioning his sanity the further he gets into his investigation. The second storyline – which follows a young woman hired to clean at the home – reveals the bizarre events leading up to the accident. The past and present collide in a huge climax which will leave you with goosebumps.
Yrsa Sigurdardottir is an Icelandic author who specializes in horror novels, and while this isn’t necessarily horror, it’s a thriller at its best. There are some hints about what the ultimate conclusion will be, but it’s still shocking and spooky when it happens.
I did guess at least part of the “modern” storyline “secret,” but the past story had me stumped. And I was not disappointed in either story even having guessed a little bit of what was happening. The author keeps you second-guessing everything you think you know about the characters and their motivations. There’s definitely a creeping, pervasive feeling of dread that really culminates when your theories are finally confirmed. It’s really good.
The author does a great job of creating an air of suspense where you’re not sure what the heck is going to happen next. As Odinn’s investigation creeps forward and as Aldis’ time at the home goes on, everything just builds and builds to its conclusion – by the time I got to about 60 percent through the book I couldn’t stop reading. I had to know what was going on – in both stories! That’s really an incredible thing: to create to stories in one that are just that good.
I am so glad I got a chance to read this book and am so thrilled to have discovered Yrsa Sigurdardottir. Do yourself a favor and pick this book up when it is released (Feb. 14).