Over the weekend I felt like a brief break from review books and my gaze was drawn to UNDER THE SNOW by Kerstin Ekman. I confess to having struggled to get started with BLACKWATER - probably one of her more well known books for reasons I'm not too sure about. I've started BLACKWATER and put it down a few times, but UNDER THE SNOW didn't present me with that challenge (not that I've given up on BLACKWATER - I think I just need to concentrate more).
UNDER THE SNOW is a story set deep in the rural fringes of Sweden - in a small town that's really only accessible via boat or skis in the frozen winter. The local teacher is found dead, in the snow, after a night of drama and everybody in the small community is instantly under suspicion. It's an odd little community, part Swedish, part Sami, part Norwegian, very insular, locked in / contained and the whole book has a slightly edgy, locked in, secretive feel about it. For parts of the book the reader is almost as disconnected from the action as the policeman sent to investigate and that really really works to show how different this world is. At 164 pages, UNDER THE SNOW is a marvellous introduction to Ekman's writing style and perfect for readers who like edgy, quirky stories.
In a village nestling at the foot of a snowy mountain in Lapland, Constable Torsson receives a phone call from an outlying district. He skis off to investigate the death of a teacher following a drunken brawl. The dark deeds of winter finally come to light under the relentless summer sun.