Title: The Silver Road
Author: Stina Jackson
Publisher: Corvus, Atlantic Books
Publication Date: 7th March 2019
Summary: from Amazon
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. As autumn’s darkness slowly creeps in, Lelle and Meja’s lives are intertwined in ways, both haunting and tragic, that they could never have imagined.
I’m a big fan of the Scandinavian crime novel trend because I do think they bring something quite unique in terms of their style. For some reason, a Swedish setting just works for a dark crime or mystery story. The Silver Road is translated from the Swedish by Susan Beard and she’s done a great job – the language feels natural and flows really well. The plot is made up of two strands: One follows Lelle, a father searching for his daughter who went missing three years ago, the other follows Meja, a teenage girl who has been dragged to the area by her unstable mother to live with the mother’s new boyfriend. As the story progresses these two strands start to intertwine leading to a very intense conclusion.
I found The Silver Road extremely compelling pretty much from the start. Lelle is not a hugely likeable character, but I still felt immense sympathy for him. He is completely consumed by his obsession with searching the harsh landscape for his daughter. The extreme nature of the climate also added another interesting facet to the book. During the summer it is daylight 24/7 which seems to put Lelle into a sort of suspended state where nothing else registers with him besides his search mission. There is a palpable tension to the story and a real sense of unease which had me gripped. I couldn’t work out how the mystery would be resolved and I loved that lack of predictability. I was racing through the book because I just had to know how it would end.
Meja was an equally intriguing character to follow in a different way. Her situation with her difficult mother is so complex and I felt so sorry for her at times. Her feelings of loneliness and her desperation for a sense of stability and safety is so understandable and saddening. As a reader, we can see Meja being pulled into a dangerous situation that she seems to be slightly oblivious to and I was holding my breath for her throughout.
Overall I think The Silver Road is a highly skilled and beautifully crafted crime novel. There were plenty of shocks and one revelation that totally floored me. It is a story written with such subtlety and has an incredibly strong sense of atmosphere to it. Highly recommend it!
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I received a copy of this book from Readers First. My review is my own honest opinion.