Thursday 19 August 2021

End of Summer by Anders de la Motte @AndersdelaMotte @ZaffreBooks @kellyrose15 #EndOfSummer Transl. @neiltranslator #TranslatedFiction @ClareJKelly


You can always go home. But you can never go back . . .

Summer 1983: Four-year-old Billy chases a rabbit in the fields behind his house. But when his mother goes to call him in, Billy has disappeared. Never to be seen again.

Today: Veronica is a bereavement counsellor. She's never fully come to terms with her mother's suicide after her brother Billy's disappearance. When a young man walks into her group, he looks familiar and talks about the trauma of his friend's disappearance in 1983. Could Billy still be alive after all this time?

Needing to know the truth, Veronica goes home - to the place where her life started to fall apart.

But is she really prepared for the answers that wait for her there?

End of Summer by Anders de la Motte is published by Zaffre today; 19 August 2021 in paperback and is translated by Neil Smith. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review. It is translated by Neil Smith.

Raising my hands up now to say, this is one of the best books I've read in a long long time. I'm a huge fan of translated crime fiction and the translation of this Swedish story by Neil Smith is excellent, possibly some of the best translation I've ever read. 

It's a complex and incredibly intelligently written crime story that is told over two time lines. We have the present day where Veronica works as a bereavement counsellor.  She does this as much for herself as for her clients. Her past was marred by tragedy when her younger brother Billy disappeared from the family garden. Billy was never found and whilst many people thought they knew who was responsible, nobody was ever charged. Further tragedy followed when her mother took her own life and Veronica hasn't dealt with any of it so well. A new client arrives at her therapy session, speaking of his memories about his friend who went missing when he was a child. Veronica believes that he is speaking about Billy and she returns to her childhood home .... only to discover that there are many many secrets still to be uncovered. 

The reader is also taken back to 1983, beginning on the night that Billy disappeared. We follow the police investigations and we get to know the local community and the hierarchy of it. There are some larger than life characters here who in turn terrorise and intimidate the whole community. It's intriguing and clever and perfectly paced. 

My copy of this book is full of turned down corners, marking particular passages that jumped out at me. This author has such an insight into the human mind, and how communities work. He really gets into the mind of his characters, where their thoughts often speak far louder than their words. 

As with most Nordic Noir stories, the author creates such an enticing atmosphere as he describes this small Swedish community, there's an air of menace and fear that lingers over the whole town, it can be incredibly claustrophobic at times, but utterly engaging too. 

Slowly and cleverly, the secrets of Billy's fate emerge, and it really is unexpected and very shocking. When the reader comes to the end, it's plain to see, but before then, this clever author creates enough smoke and mirrors to totally grip his readers. The inclusion of anonymous letters woven throughout the text add a hint of mystery throughout, making the reader question every character.

Really impressive, I was totally hooked throughout and will look forward to reading more from this very talented author.

Anders de la Motte (b. 1971), a former police officer and security manager, made his
crime fiction debut in 2010 with Game and has since become one of Sweden’s most
beloved crime writers. 

De la Motte is the author of three acclaimed crime fiction series and in 2016 he embarked on his new series, the electrifying Skåne Quartet. Four stand-alone books: Rites of spring, End of summer, Deeds of fall and Dead of winter.

All four books of the series have been no1 bestsellers in his native Sweden and shortlisted for several awards.

Twitter @Andersdelamotte

No comments:

Post a Comment