About the book:
Early spring has its icy grip on Ödesmark, a small village in northernmost Sweden, abandoned by many of its inhabitants. But Liv Björnlund never left. She lives in a derelict house together with her teenage son, Simon, and her ageing father, Vidar. They make for a peculiar family, and Liv knows that they are cause for gossip among their few remaining neighbours.
Just why has Liv stayed by her domineering father’s side all these years? And is it true that Vidar is sitting on a small fortune? His questionable business decisions have made him many enemies over the years, and in Ödesmark everyone knows everyone, and no one ever forgets.
Now someone wants back what is rightfully theirs. And they will stop at nothing to get it, no matter who stands in their way…
The Last Snow by Stina Jackson, and translated by Susan Beard is an entertaining and appropriately creepy Scandi noir novel that built the tension throughout the story.
Set in a fictional town of Ödesmark, in Lapland, Northern Sweden, the creepy location really added to the tension. The story centres around Vidar, Liv and Simon. Vidar, the 80 year old recluse who lives with his daughter Liv and her son Simon, is universally disliked by numerous people who have many reasons for wishing him harm.
The story is told primarily by Liv, and with flashbacks to her teenage years. We also view the story through Liam Lilja and his unpleasant brother Gabriel who are the local drug dealers and general lowlifes. Liam desperately wants to get out of the life he has been sucked into by his older and controlling brother, and make a new life for him and his young daughter who idolises him.
This story was a slow burn but it was certainly intense, building the tension gradually as I turned the pages. The bleakness of the landscape, and the oppressiveness of the forest around them, together with the blatant flaws of all of the characters really added together to make this a gripping and compelling tale.
I found the conclusion unexpected, having been misdirected throughout the story, and I felt that I really connected with the characters of Liv and Liam. I felt that as the story progressed I was really getting to know them.
This slow burning thriller had me in its’ thrall from beginning to end, and I was very satisfied with the resolution. I look forward to reading other books by Stina Jackson in the future.
Many thanks to Anne Cater and the Random Things Tour, together with Corvus Books and Stina Jackson for the invitation to take part in this blog tour. Please check out the other stops on the tour.
About the author:
Stina Jackson was born in 1983 and raised in Skellefteå, northern Sweden. In 2006 she moved to Denver, Colorado, where she lives with her husband and small dog. Her debut novel, The Silver Road, was an international bestseller and won The Best Swedish Crime Novel Award in 2018. The Last Snow is her second novel.