The Midnight Sun
By: Cecilia Ekback
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
Sweden, 1855. Worst thing I ever saw… The Minister of Justice has received a disturbing message. There’s been a massacre on one of Lapland’s mountains: a priest, a law enforcement officer, and a local settler have been slaughtered by one of the indigenous Sami people. The murderer is in custody, but he refuses to talk. The Minister dispatches his son-in-law, a geologist, to investigate, as there is another reason to visit BlackÂsen: it is a mountain with many secrets, a mountain whose rich mineral deposits have never been exploited. But Magnus does not journey alone. The Minister’s daughter, in disgrace, is sent with him.
The two unlikely companions venture out of the sweltering city to the wild landscape of Sweden’s far north under the strange, insomnia-inducing light of the midnight sun. There, the shocking truth they discover about the murders and what lies behind them will only be matched by what they discover about themselves. For Lovisa and Magnusóand for the people of BlackÂsenó nothing will ever be the same again. In The Month of the Midnight Sun tells a riveting story of the collision of worlds old and new, and cements Ekback’s status as a master of Nordic noir.
I completely forgot but I actually read her first book, Wolf Winter (review), a few years ago. Oops; clearly read too many books at this point :3 Anyway, I picked this book up on a whim (which is something of a rarity these days) and took it with me when I went on holiday a few weeks ago.
By: Cecilia Ekack
Format/Source: eARC courtesy of the publishers via NetGalley
Swedish Lapland, 1717. Maija, her husband Paavo and her daughters Frederika and Dorotea arrive from their native Finland, hoping to forget the traumas of their past and put down new roots in this harsh but beautiful land. Above them looms Blackåsen, a mountain whose foreboding presence looms over the valley and whose dark history seems to haunt the lives of those who live in its shadow.
While herding the family’s goats on the mountain, Frederika happens upon the mutilated body of one of their neighbors, Eriksson. The death is dismissed as a wolf attack, but Maija feels certain that the wounds could only have been inflicted by another man. Compelled to investigate despite her neighbors’ strange disinterest in the death and the fate of Eriksson’s widow, Maija is drawn into the dark history of tragedies and betrayals that have taken place on Blackåsen. Young Frederika finds herself pulled towards the mountain as well, feeling something none of the adults around her seem to notice.
As the seasons change, and the wolf winter, the harshest winter in memory, descends upon the settlers, Paavo travels to find work, and Maija finds herself struggling for her family’s survival in this land of winter-long darkness. As the snow gathers, the settlers’ secrets are increasingly laid bare. Scarce resources and the never-ending darkness force them to come together, but Maija, not knowing who to trust and who may betray her, is determined to find the answers for herself. Soon, Maija discovers the true cost of survival under the mountain, and what it will take to make it to spring.
I’ve been wanting to read this book since late last year when I saw a few fellow book bloggers post reviews on this novel. The premise sounded interesting and some have recommended it if you liked Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites (review), which I did. Many thanks to the publishers for approving me an eARC of the book to read in anticipation for the paperback release of this novel. The paperback of this novel will be available on 2 November 2015.