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Description - Blackwater by Kerstin Ekman

Startling in its revelations, disturbing in its implications - a thriller of gripping intensity and immense literary power. Two violent deaths in the Swedish wilderness; the hurried flight of a sinister stranger: terrible events long buried in Annie Raft's memory - until she sees her daughter in the arms of the man she believes responsible for the killings...

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099521211
ISBN-10: 0099521210
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 129mm x 28mm)
Pages: 448
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 2-May-1996
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Blackwater by Kerstin Ekman

US Kirkus Review » Swedish writer Ekman, author of 17 novels, debuts in English with this prizewinning thriller: a literary crime story for readers who thought Peter H eg's Smilla's Sense of Snow was too upbeat. Arriving at the Swedish commune Starhill to join her lover Dan Ulander, Annie Raft stumbles on two corpses lying in a tent and sees a boy running from the scene. Eighteen years later, she and her daughter, Mia, see the boy, now grown to manhood. Before Annie can tell the authorities that she's recognized their only lead in the unsolved case, Mia is killed. But alert readers will long since have surmised that the boy she saw was Johan Brandberg, who fled his miserable family after escaping from the well his resentful stepbrothers had lowered him into. Taking with him an eel he rescued from the well, Johan had hitchhiked with an older woman calling herself Ylja across the border to Norway, where the woman briskly relieved him of his virginity, established him as the latest incarnation of the mystical Traveler who was prophesied to arrive with a live animal, and finally drove him away. The frenzy of isolation to which Ylja pushes Johan is mirrored by Annie's own alienation back in Starhill, where the hatred of Swedes for Lapps and commune members for the bourgeois who surround them - not to mention the rivalries within the commune - finally reaches toxic proportions. In an Arctic landscape whose grim determinism recalls Hardy, commune families grow, harden into deformity, or split up with chill fatalism, and readers impatient with Ekman's brooding vignettes of calcifying loneliness are likely to feel like polar explorers trudging along under heavy loads in the worst weather, hoping to find, in the aftermath of Johan's return, the key that will redeem their ordeal in a burst of wild insight. Not for the impatient or fainthearted: a dour study of murder as the logical outgrowth of simmering, all-consuming rage. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Kerstin Ekman

Kerstin Ekman is one of Sweden's most prominent novelists. She was born in 1933 in Risinge, a small village in the middle of Sweden. She has written many novels which have been widely published in other Scandinavian languages, German, Finnish, Dutch and French, and have won numerous prizes and awards. She became a member of the Swedish Academy of Arts and Letters in 1978, but resigned in 1989 when the Academy did not make a statement that she could approve of about the Rushdie case. Blackwater has been awarded the Swedish Crime Academy's Award for the best crime novel, the August Prize, and the Nordic Council's Literary Prize.

Books By Kerstin Ekman

Dog by Kerstin Ekman
Paperback, May 2010
God's Mercy by Kerstin Ekman
Paperback, July 2009
Blackwater by Kerstin Ekman
Paperback / softback, December 1996