Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Darkest Room (The Öland Quartet #2)The Darkest Room by Johan Theorin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Johan Theorin's "The Darkest Room" will be a very good read for people who like mysteries with a slightly supernatural bent. The novel takes place in northern Öland, Sweden, and the author aptly conveys the "barren and fatal" landscape of the place.

A couple with two small kids moves in to a huge manor house next to a lighthouse on the coast of Öland island. Then the grim events from the past begin to affect the present. We learn about a string of several deaths and disappearances connected with the manor in the past, and soon this trail of death continues in the present. The plot unfolds unhurriedly, but after about 400 pages, it culminates in a crazy climax during one of the worst snow blizzards ever to happen in Öland.

The writing and translation are good. The plot, even with the non-stop action ending, makes some sense, although I find the denouement quite contrived. Alas, I cannot stand getting the hints that maybe the dead can talk to us. Thus, many readers will rate this book much higher, but I can rate it only with

Two stars.

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