Wonderful, haunting new book from this new Scandi Noir star. 

25766707We are back at Blackåsen Mountain in Lapland in far northern Sweden, the setting of Ekbäck’s wonderfully atmospheric debut novel, Wolf Winter. 

It is 145 years later, 1856, but the mountain is still exerting a tremendous power over the local inhabitants, which include a nomadic Lapp group and a scattering of local settlers.

In Stockholm, the State Minister of Justice has just heard of a massacre at Blackåsen, presumably by a Lapp.

He sends his son-in-law Magnus  to “shut it down” under cover of doing important mineral research; it is sensitive time for Lapland, with the King trying to sell local mines and associated works to international interests.

With Magnus goes the Minister’s disgraced daughter, Magnus’s sister-in-law Lovisa.

It is a physically arduous journey to a land full of ancient mysteries and dangerous secrets, and people who are not at all happy when Magnus starts asking questions.

And the locals are even less happy when he starts digging into the sacred mountain, looking to map its extensive resources.

They call this Nordic Noir, which has a nice alliteration, but for me it’s a Gothic, but one where the focus of all the scary, dangerous, possibly supernatural goings on is a mysterious mountain, rather than a crumbling castle. Whichever it is, Ekbäck does it brilliantly.

My review of Wolf Winter is here.