The Last Snow by Stina Jackson Translated by Susan Beard

Published: 2021 Original title: Ödesmark (2020) Genre: Mystery/Thriller 1. First lines. 2. Cover: Allen and Unwin 3. Nightime at Swedish cabin [CC BY 3.0] Image by Tommie Hansen via Wikimedia 4. Sweden [Public Domain] Image by Vastkusten from Pixabay

In a small village in northern Sweden live Vidar Bjornlund, his daughter Liv and grandson Simon. It is rumoured that even though their house is derelict and they live reclusive lives, they have a safe full of money. Vidar has enemies in the town due to his irascibility and questionable business dealings, and after a crime is committed, police are quick to investigate the family and their enemies.

“Spring arrives with new hope and fills the rooms with the pure naked fear that only love brings.”

  • Glanceabook: “A moody atmospheric thriller with some very unlikeable characters. At times I wanted the story to move along a bit faster, but the plot was nicely twisted to hide the true identity of the killer.”
  • Love Reading UK:Beautiful writing and a creeping chilling tension combine in this atmospheric novel set in northern Sweden. A real sense of menace is created, and something unforgivable lurks, waiting to be found. The characters are as deep as the tone is dark, and I read with bated breath. The Last Snow cements Stina Jackson as an author to watch, this is a story that just thrums with foreboding atmosphere and demands to be read, highly recommended.”
  • The Book Trail: “The novel started out very bleak and the Scandi Noir theme got darker as the novel went on. You could cut the tension between the inhabitants with a knife. The bad blood runs more than the river beside the village. As for those woods, well you’d better not go anywhere near them. They will swallow you whole.”

Quotes:


“It was a season suited to her purpose, with the chance that any tracks they left behind would melt away or be snowed over. No one day was like another when winter and spring were in combat with each other.”

“You can’t investigate a murder without looking at the people who were closest to the victim.”

“The village stood like a last outpost at the end of a road that no longer led anywhere. Twenty kilometres to the west it was swallowed up by the pine forest and the undergrowth, and the ruins of what had once been. If you drove a lap around the village you quickly got the feeling that the forest was biding its time before it swallowed that as well. The houses were a comfortable distance apart, separated by pine forest and marshland and the black eye of the lake that lay in the middle of it all, reflecting the isolation. There were fourteen farmsteads all told, but only five were inhabited. The rest brooded with their boarded-up windows and weather-beaten facades, well on their way to becoming overgrown”

Awards: Shortlisted for the Book of the Year Award Sweden 2020; Shortlisted for the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award (Best Swedish Crime Novel) Sweden 2020


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