Saturday, 22 November 2014

Grey Doll's Retro Criminal Read : The Darkest Room

It's getting to that dark time of the year for us here in the northern world... Halloween has been and gone and we are heading into midwinter ... the time for shivers and ghost stories as we close the curtains against the dark outside.

Coincidentally, I have just finished reading Johan Theorin's second "Öland" book - The Darkest Room - beautifully translated by Marlaine Delargy. Remember I did post that I was intending to catch up with earlier books written by this Swedish crime writer? I can assure you that this is just the chilling read for a stormy winter night.

The book starts with a local reference to a tradition that the dead meet to worship at a local church on Christmas Eve.... We are back on the Swedish Baltic island of Öland, midway between the Swedish mainland and the larger island of Gotland. A young family has moved into a run-down manor house with its two lighthouses at Eel Point, on the island's north-east coast. As Öland begins to face the Baltic storms and blizzards of winter, one of the family is found drowned close to the lighthouses. Add a burglary spree by a gang that likes to scout out their crimes with a ouija board.... and what follows is a moving story of grief, secrets, violence and tragic threads from the past reaching into the present.

I don't usually search out supernatural books but I can take a bit of shiver - and I have to say that Johan Theorin writes a wonderful mixture of modern crime and psychological chill. This is perhaps the most ghostly of his that I have read so far but he weaves the strands together so well that, as the suspense builds, it seems that both worlds are colliding in one tense crisis.

No comments: