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The Silver Road Hardcover – 7 Mar 2019
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I really enjoyed The Silver Road. There's a haunting, intoxicating atmosphere throughout, intensified by the never ending Nordic daylight, which is in stark contrast to the darkness of the families the story follows. A great read. Source: Ali Land, author of Good Me Bad Me
A stunning read. Beautifully written and utterly haunting. Source: Jo Spain, author of The Confession
I lost the whole weekend to Lelle and Meja and couldn't have loved it more. Deeply affecting and full of heart, yet a dark, despairing page-turner. A very impressive debut. Source: Chris Whitaker, author of All the Wicked Girls
I love everything about this book. Stina Jackson has mastered the art of combining suspense with literary depth. It's oh so beautiful, wistful and well written. Source: Lina Bengtsdotter, author of For the Missing
Beautifully written, haunting and intense. Source: Times Crime Club
A haunting debut... an unflinching examination of the kind of men who prey on vulnerable young women. Source: Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month
An unforgettably atmospheric debut from a rising star about a young woman's disappearance and a lonely man's obsession with discovering the truth.See all Product description
From the Publisher
The Silver Road by Stina Jackson
Even the darkest journey must come to an end...
'Haunting, intoxicating' Ali Land, author of Good Me, Bad Me 'Deeply affecting' Chris Whitaker, author of All the Wicked Girls
An unforgettably atmospheric debut from a rising star about a young woman's disappearance and a lonely man's obsession with discovering the truth.
Even the darkest journey must come to an end...
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It’s been a while since a book affected me as much as this one. I only hope that the author can maintain this standard and that this isn’t just a one-off. I could say so much more about the story, but read it for yourself. You will not be disappointed.
First things first, the translator has made a superb job of the translation from Swedish to English. There is little clunky language use or strange sentence constructions throughout the whole novel - a minor miracle but one that really did improve the reading experience.
Unfortunately, I found little in the book to recommend it. Things start of well enough as we are introduced to Lelle and his search for his daughter, Lina, who went missing from a local Bus stop 3 years ago. During the sunlit Swedish Summer nights he traverses the old Silver Road of the title exploring all the little logging roads and isolated, abandoned dwellings in his quest to find her. He has lost everything - his daughter, then his marriage and now he is becoming more and more estranged from the community.
We are also introduced to Meja and her disfunctional mother, Silje, who move to a remote forester's cabin when her mother meets Torbjorn online. Initially I was confused as to whether her story was contemporaneous with Lelle's but it becomes apparent that it definitely is and they seem to have little that will bring the two story threads together. We do get there in the end by very convoluted means - admittedly by that point I wasn't particularly invested in the book and had more or less figured out the who if not the why and how of Lina's disappearence.
A lot of the book seems to be spent following these two characters doing the same things - smoking cigarettes, wandering in the woods, making coffee and listening to their internal monologues of woe. I hate to say it but it all began to get a bit boring and not even the introduction of the survivalist family living deep in the woods really brightened things up.
Considering all the build up to what happened to Lina, the recent disappearance of another blonde girl, Hannah and Meja's complete dissatisfaction with everything the denouement - when we finally get there - is all reached and over within around 50 pages. It all becomes a rather harried dash to reach the end of the book and it doesn't really hold any twists or surprises.
THIS IS AN HONEST AND UNBIASED REVIEW OF A FREE COPY OF THE BOOK SUPPLIED VIA THE PIGEONHOLE.
Blurb - Three years ago, Lelle's daughter went missing in a remote part of Northern Sweden. Lelle has spent the intervening summers driving the Silver Road under the midnight sun, frantically searching for his lost daughter, for himself and for redemption.
Meanwhile, seventeen-year-old Meja arrives in town hoping for a fresh start. She is the same age as Lelle's daughter was - a girl on the brink of adulthood. But for Meja, there are dangers to be found in this isolated place.
There's two constant threads running alternatively through the story, Lelle and his tragically desperate search for his missing daughter and Meja, arriving in town to live with her troubled Mam and her new loner boyfriend "Pornbjorn". With Lelle, his anguish at never knowing what happened to his daughter Lina, is haunting to read and his distress is palpable. Meja's story holds a more of an anticipation element as you sense she's in danger but don't know where or who from. I did find part one of the story a little slow and repetitive but very atmospheric, though perhaps a little too much so at times. The second part did pick up the pace a lot more and the conclusion was dark, haunting and very emotional. The final chapter certainly tugged at my heartstrings and as a parent I felt the emotion the author was trying to convey and felt she had captured the moment perfectly.
If you enjoyed Will Dean's "Dark Pines" series then I'd definitely recommend this book to you or if you're into slower paced Swedish based thrillers that's haunting and filled with dreaded anticipation then you should enjoy this well written novel too.