Published: September 2018 by Mulholland Books
Category: Crime, Mystery, Mythology, Swedish Noir, Book Review
In the remote Swedish wetlands lies Mossmarken: the village on the edge of the mire where, once upon a time, people came to leave offerings to the gods.
Biologist Nathalie came in order to study the peat bogs. But she has a secret: Mossmarken was once her home, a place where terrible things happened. She has returned at last, determined to confront her childhood trauma and find out the truth.
This is a story of two halves for me. On one hand there’s the darkness, sense of unease and mystery surrounding the crime and paranormal element, on the other a lot of wading through unnecessarily detailed accounts that brought a slow burning but intriguing plot almost to a standstill.
I don’t normally mention the formatting of an ARC (I know they’re uncorrected much of the time) and I only do so now because reading this one was a challenge as there were no page breaks to speak of, signifying chapter endings or changes of perspective, which made the read quite confusing and probably contributed to my lack of engagement with the story.
Nathalie Ström had returned to her childhood home of Mossmarken to work on her doctoral dissertation, studying the effects of greenhouse gases in peat bogs of the wetlands area, hoping it would help climate research. She left Mossmarken when she was twelve years old after a family tragedy and has never been back. Until now. Another reason she chose this place for her work—she wanted to find out the truth of what happened all those years ago. On one of her excursions into the bog she discovers the unconscious Johannes, someone with whom she has recently become acquainted. His pockets were filled with coins, mirroring the ancient human sacrifices.
The moon sailed out from behind the clouds in the dark sky. It illuminated tendrils of fog as they slowly swept across the damp ground.
He thought he heard a noise. Was it the wind? Or an animal? It almost sounded like a wail. Like faint cries.
Then he saw a glow coming down the path.
A torch. Someone was coming!