"One often reads the word "unputdownable" to describe a book – it is certainly a true description of this one. As the novel reaches its climax, I was on the edge of my seat, my heart was pounding, and by the end I felt wrecked. It has strong parallels with Wuthering Heights, in which two "normal" people (Gerda as Nelly Dean and Marianne as Lockwood) are the filter through which the reader experiences elemental, horrifically tragic and passionate events that are beyond the witness-narrators' comprehension."
I wrote these words as part of my Euro Crime review of Shadow, the new book by Karin Alvtegen, which is a magnificent novel. As well as the Wuthering Heights analogy, I was also struck by the name of the 92-year-old woman whose death starts the long process of thawing out the frozen wastes of the past. Her name is Gerda, which is the same name as the loyal girl whose long journey is to melt the spliter of ice put into her friend Kay's heart by the evil Snow Queen. Karin Alvtegen's story is no fairy tale, however.
As I read the novel, I was impressed by the translation, by someone I did not think I had heard of before, McKinley Burnett. It turns out, however, that I have heard of him – and so, probably, have you. Thank you, Reg, for bringing this superb author to English language eyes (a few hints about translators' names in the comments here).
Kimbofo of Reading Matters reviews Shadow.
Crimefictionreader of It's a Crime! reviews Shadow.