THE FORBIDDEN PLACE ****
THE FORBIDDEN PLACE
When a man is found unconscious in the mires of Mossmarken, a sacrificial bag of coins in his pocket a light is shone on the dark human and supernatural history of the area. It also begs the question - how many other victims are hidden in the marshes?
The Forbidden Place is a psychological thriller told from the perspective of biologist Nathalie, a returning visitor with a secret past and photographer Maya who is on a mission to uncover the truth. I felt that it was quite slow to start with a lot of detail and events we didn’t really need. The setting is very atmospheric though and I liked the history of the peat bodies and ancient sacrifice which really added to the ambience of the plot. The book also kept me gripped and wondering what was going to happen next – I didn’t guess the outcome ahead of time and I finished it in 2 sittings.
I try to hold off on judging formatting of ARCs but this book is now out to buy so I feel I should mention that the paragraph spacing is not done well. The book jumps narrative perspectives from one sentence to another which makes it very hard to follow at times. Both female characters are also written quite similarly which adds to the confusion.
This book is translated from Swedish and on the whole I think the translator did a really good job. The only time I was really brought out of the story and noticed it had been translated was where the phrase ‘just the two of us’ was described as ‘those three words’! I did also find the flirting and ‘romantic’ scenes between the characters to be a little cringe-worthy in their description and choice of wording.
Overall The Forbidden Place is a atmospheric thriller with an interesting setting – just needs better formatting to make it easier to delve into. Thank you to NetGalley & Hodder and Stoughton – Mulholland Books for a copy of the ARC in exchange for an honest review.