A Flavour of the Book: “Vanja was one of the few women in Sweden who had been sentenced to life in prison. Fifteen or sixteen years ago she had suffocated her children in their sleep, slit her husband’s throat, and then set fire to the house in the hope of killing herself in the blaze…”
The Authortrek View: This is a very compelling novel by Karin Alvtegen. It’s not surprising that one of her previous novels is being made into a TV series, although Shame is of such high calibre that it would make an excellent Art house movie. Shame is a subtle, but thrilling psychological thriller. Dr. Monika Lundvall has a guilty secret that she uses to punish herself. However, a freak car accident allows her the possibility of a redemption that she finds so satisfying that she drops the only man that has ever loved her. Meanwhile, clinically obese Maj-Britt is housebound, and also bound by her memories of the past, which she releases by abusing her home helps. But then she receives an unwelcome letter, and discovers a secret that could have repercussions for several lives… Karin Alvtegen’s writing style reminds me of that of the sublime Patricia Highsmith’s, with her wholly original plot that focuses on the dark recesses of the mind and all its irrationalities. This is Karin Alvtegen’s third novel, but the prose is still very fresh, and the ideas behind it so vital, that it bodes well for future books. Shame is not your typical crime thriller, there’s no guns, kidnappings, or forensics, but it will chill you just the same. Karin Alvtegen is also mature enough not to lead the reader or her characters into complete darkness, for there are chinks of light along the way to guide us in this great novel.
Press Reviews: “Reminiscent of Ruth Rendell at her best” – The Herald
“Compassionate and gritty… It heralds Alvtegen as a grisly talent and a name to watch” – The Guardian
“Alvtegen has a strong narrative hold and unusual and suspense filled twists” – Scotland on Sunday
To find out more about the editor, please visit our Karin Alvtegen page.
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