Monday, 19 June 2017

BOOK REVIEW | 'October is the Coldest Month' by Christoffer Carlsson (****)

Hi guys, and happy Monday! Today I am very excited to be sharing with you a review of a fab book I read last week, called October is the Coldest Month by Christoffer Carlsson. It is my first scandi noir book, and it gripped me so much I read it in just one day! This book was released on the 8th June, and I'd highly recommend that, whether you normally like crime/murder novels or not, to go and pick up this book. 

I received October is the Coldest Month by the lovely people at Scribe Publishing, in exchange for an honest review :)

October is the Coldest Month follows sixteen-year-old Vega Gillberg, who inadvertently becomes involved in a murder. When her brother Jakob disappears, Vega realises that he is in way deeper than she ever imagined, and makes it her mission to find out what's going on, and who is to blame for the murder. They live in a small town, and in small towns stories spread easily; secrets are hard to hide. Will Vega uncover the truth, or will this one particular lie exist to haunt her forever?

Intrigued? Check out the blurb here...

Vega Gillberg is 16 years old when the police come knocking on the door looking for her older brother, Jakob.

Vega hasn’t heard from him in days, but she has to find him before the police do. Jakob was involved in a terrible crime. What no one knows is that Vega was there, too.

In the rural Swedish community where the Gillbergs live, life is tough, the people are even tougher, and old feuds never die. As Vega sets out to find her brother, she must survive a series of threatening encounters in a deadly landscape. As if that wasn’t enough, she’s dealing with the longing she feels for a boy that she has sworn to forget, and the mixed-up feelings she has for her brother’s best friend.

During a damp, raw week in October, the door to the adult world swings open, and Vega realises that once she has crossed the threshold there is no turning back.

From bestselling Swedish crime-writer Christoffer Carlsson.

I loved this book! I have never read a Swedish crime novel before, yet this book totally worked for me and I was completely sucked in. The characters were so gritty, edgy and believable, and the writing echoed this. It was cold and dark, yet at the same time lyrically beautiful. Carlsson writes in such an evocative way, and I was entranced.

The idea of the small, close knit community was something so well explored in this book, and so interesting to read about. All the characters had such interesting interactions and relationships with each other and I feel like the reader was given such an intimate insight into this community. 

Before I started reading this, I was hoping for vivid, haunting descriptions of scene and setting (seeing as it is a scandi noir!) and I was delighted to see that I was not disappointed. Carlsson creates a world so dark and impenetrable that the reader is completely immersed in this world, and all the hidden secrets that come with it.

I thought the story itself was impeccably crafted and I was impressed by the twist at the end. I did feel slightly left on a cliff-hanger as to Tom and Vega's relationship - throughout the novel she was presented as such a strong and determined character when it came to investigating the murder and uncovering the secrets of the people around her, yet I never really saw her condemning Tom's treatment of her. I thought her character was developed really well, however were just a few issues for me as to how she wasn't presented as a particularly resilient and staunch female character. 

However, overall I adored this book and it's a fantastic story to completely lose yourself in. It's out now, so run to your nearest bookshop and pick it up!

Until next time :)

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