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Friday, 13 February 2015
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
There are six homesteads on Blackåsen Mountain.
A day's journey away lies the empty town. It comes to life just once, in winter, when the Church summons her people through the snows. Then, even the oldest enemies will gather.
But now it is summer, and new settlers are come.
It is their two young daughters who find the dead man, not half an hour's walk from their cottage.
The father is away. And whether stubborn, or stupid, or scared for her girls, the mother will not let it rest.
To the wife who is not concerned when her husband does not come home for three days; to the man who laughs when he hears his brother is dead; to the priest who doesn't care; she asks and asks her questions, digging at the secrets of the mountain.
They say a wolf made those wounds. But what wild animal cuts a body so clean?
Okay so GoodReads synopsis to retain the air of mystery because if I do my own synopsis it's going to be like "gush gush gush, actual information, gush gush, gives away entire plot accidentally, gush gush guussh" and no-one wants that! It's not often I get surprise book post, but man I could hug Hodder for sending me this.
I LOVED this. As soon as you start reading, you're intrigued, you're drawn in and as you carry on reading you fall deeper and deeper in to the story until it's been hours and you've finished it and you have no idea what the time is or any sense of anything but the book. I was so involved in the story, I was pretty much useless to anyone trying to talk to me!
The world engulfs you, so it's kind of perfect to read curled up by the fire with a blanket because there's lots of snow and you feel the snow, the atmosphere starts to effect you and you feel the suspense, the danger, you feel the mood of the book, you can feel how haunting and dark it is. Said darkness, not to mention the cold, are practically physically real while you read. It's so incredibly vivid, I feel like I hopped in the Tardis and spent my afternoon in Swedish Lapland circa 1717. It's truly a book you can get lost in.
The world building is simply breath-taking, the book is so beautifully written and described with such beautiful turns of phrase, the book just makes you keep wanting more, you keep wanting to read the beautiful words on the page, stay in the world, and the ending....you kind of decide for yourself, but I'm just desperate to be lazy and have another book!
I love history, so I loved this, I loved the setting, I loved reading about it, seeing the way of life of the time, what was normal back in that time period and the superstitions, tales, and so on. I seriously can't get enough of it and I'm currently obsessed with finding out more about this time and this particular area of the world.
The characters are beautifully created, they where each strong, you connected to each of them, they where so full of depth, it was a strong cast! It was fascinating to read the dynamics of the community, the relationships, the people of the time. We have three groups in this book, the Lapps aka natives, the settlers our homestead occupiers, and the people who live in town. We mostly see the settlers world, as it where, because Maija and her daughter are the main protagonists, and the murder was in their territory, but you get a good look at all three groups, a feel for them, and an understanding of how they all connect together, and to see how they all trust each other when someone comes prying in to things.
I had no idea what was going to happen next, where the story was going, who the culprit was, I was pretty much along for the ride, going with whatever conclusion the character had....convincing myself it was right because of certain evidence, then, like the character, being wrong. I love books that are unpredictable! Nordic Noir Thriller indeed GoodReads! The plot was rich and intricate and was about so much more than a murder. Survival is a huge them of the book, you may have already guessed this from the title, but ya know...there's a seriously hardcore winter going on.
Wolf Winter should be read by YOU, yes you, because it is utterly, incredibly atmospheric, beautifully written and imagined, utterly breathtaking, and truly fascinating as well as intriguing. Full of suspense, it combines two genres, historical and thriller, smoothly and with a smidgen of darkness making it original. Not to mention the unique and vivid setting!