Thank you so much to Minotaur books for the free advanced copy, all opinions are my own!
I thought I was done with finishing books this year, but The Resting Place is such a quick, twisty thriller, that I started it at 8pm last night and finished this afternoon! I read it in two sittings and have no regrets.
Bookish Quick Facts:
- Title: The Resting Place
- Series: N/A
- Author: Camilla Sten (tr. Alexandra Fleming)
- Publisher & Release: Minotaur Books, 03/29/22
- Pages: 336
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ for fans of twisty, cold weather, locked door type thrillers
Here’s the synopsis:
Deep rooted secrets.
A twisted family history.
And a house that will never let go.
Eleanor lives with prosopagnosia, the inability to recognize a familiar person’s face. It causes stress. Acute anxiety.
It can make you question what you think you know.
When Eleanor walked in on the scene of her capriciously cruel grandmother, Vivianne’s, murder, she came face to face with the killer―a maddening expression that means nothing to someone like her. With each passing day, the horror of having come so close to a murderer―and not knowing if they’d be back―overtakes both her dreams and her waking moments, thwarting her perception of reality.
Then a lawyer calls. Vivianne has left her a house―a looming estate tucked away in the Swedish woods. The place her grandfather died, suddenly. A place that has housed a chilling past for over fifty years.
Eleanor. Her steadfast boyfriend, Sebastian. Her reckless aunt, Veronika. The lawyer. All will go to this house of secrets, looking for answers. But as they get closer to uncovering the truth, they’ll wish they had never come to disturb what rests there.
I tend to really love thrillers by Swedish authors, they have the cold weather, creepy atmosphere, with intermittent violence thing down PAT! The synopsis reads a bit roughly to me but overall the book feels like a great translation.
This is a locked door thriller, taking place on the recently discovered family’s estate in the Swedish countryside. In the winter. It has all the cliches like a creepy house, severe storm, power outage, cars not working … but there are also many parts that I didn’t see coming, including who the heck the antagonist was.
The book starts off by jumping around in time a lot, and it was almost off putting, except that it quickly splits into simply Eleanor in the present, and Anushka in the past. I liked the dual storyline as it swaps between the thrilling events and unravelling mystery in the estate, and the past, where the old secrets slowly unwind.
Eleanor isn’t a particularly likeable character, but I liked the theme of standing up for yourself and overcoming trauma. I was rooting for her to come out safely either way. I really didn’t like Sebastien at all, it seemed like he should have been the rational one and kept his head, but it served to show Eleanor’s strength that she ended up holding everyone together. That characterization did a lot for the story. The aunt had a bit of an arc, mostly showing another coping mechanism and how trauma affects people differently.
Eventually all the secrets come out. It’s a bit of a sad story, about mental health and wealth and doing whatever it takes to maintain a certain image. I had parts figured out or guessed before they happened, but the ultimate shocker had me stumped yet again.
Lastly: in typical Swedish fashion, there is a bit of gore and death and violence, but not very much really. There are a few graphic descriptions of bodily injuries that added to the chilly overall atmosphere.
I’m not saying the book is perfect, but anything I read in two sittings gets 5 stars from me, I hope other thriller fans enjoy it equally!