Wednesday 2 October 2019

Kult by Stefan Malmstrom @kpstefan BLOG TOUR @BOTBSPublicity #BlogTour #Kult @silvertailbooks

When a four-year-old girl and her father are found dead in the Swedish city of Karlskrona, the police quickly conclude it was a murder-suicide, a tragedy requiring no further investigation.
But Luke Bergmann, a reformed criminal still haunted by his violent past, believes they are wrong. The dead man, Viktor, was his best friend, and Luke knows he would never commit such a horrific crime.
When more bodies turn up, Luke is certain the same killer has struck again. Alone, he embarks on an investigation which reaches back through decades to his friend’s involvement with a sinister cult and dark secrets are exposed as Luke struggles to keep his own long-buried demons hidden away.
And when Luke finds himself in a killer’s sights, his search for the truth becomes the fight of his life.
Can Luke get justice for Viktor and his daughter and prove his best friend was not a murderer, or will the shadows of the past overwhelm him?
Fans of The Killing, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Jo Nesbø and Will Dean will love this dark and gripping début thriller.
NOTE: KULT is inspired by shocking and tragic real events.

Kult by Stefan Malmstrom was published on 5 September 2019 by Silvertail Books. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review, and to Sarah from Book on the Bright Side Publicity who invited me to take part on this Blog Tour

I've always had a fascination for cults, and fiction based on them. Years ago, I worked as a junior secretary for a firm that was owned and run by members of the Plymouth Brethren. As a seventeen-year-old, average girl, I found their ways very strange. We weren't allowed to talk to them about their beliefs; they were in charge, and we were expected to do as we were told. It was an enlightening experience.

Kult by Stefan Malmstrom (translated by Suzanne Martin Cheadle) is a work of fiction, but based on real events. The author was a member of the Church of Scientology for many years and draws upon his experience within the novel.
I guess, due to the high profile members, such as John Travolta and Tom Cruise, Scientology is one of the more well-known cult religions and it was interesting to read about their ways of introducing, and keeping new members.

The story has a shocking and compelling opening. Luke Bergmann goes to the house of his close friend Viktor, only to find him dead and his small daughter Agnes dying on the settee in the same room. It is assumed by everyone that Viktor died by suicide, and murdered his daughter, but Luke has known Viktor for a long time, he doesn't believe it.

The story moves from Luke's story, which is a detailed account of his younger years as part of a gang, to his determination to track down the truth about Viktor and Agnes. The reader is then taken back some years and is privy to the techniques used by the Scientologists when they recruit new members.

It's a dark and at times, overly complex tale. There were times when it felt more like a text-book, with detailed descriptions of the science-fiction element of the cult. However, it's quite intriguing and I read it in a couple of days.

The murder mystery is compelling and the suspense increases as the story moves along.
An interesting story, especially recommended for anyone with an interest in cult communities.

Stefan Malmström is a former news journalist who has worked for Sveriges Radio and Swedish TV4. Today he works as a consultant, lecturer and author. 

At a young age, Stefan was manipulated into the Church of Scientology in Hässleholm, a small town in southern Sweden. 

KULT, his first book, is based on his experiences in the cult. 
Stefan lives in Karlskrona in Sweden with his family.  

Twitter @kpstefan

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