January 2017, Brilliance Audio, 6 hours 48 minutes, Audiobook, Review copy from Audible
Content strong exotic adult relationships, strong swearing, domestic violence,
Summary from Audible
An ordinary outing takes Greta, Alex, and four-year-old Smilla across Sweden's mythical Lake Malice to a tiny, isolated island. While father and daughter tramp into the trees, Greta stays behind in the boat, lulled into a reverie by the misty, moody lake...only later to discover that the two haven't returned. Her frantic search proves futile. They've disappeared without a trace.
Greta struggles to understand their eerie vanishing. She desperately needs to call Alex, to be reassured that Smilla is safe, or contact the police. But now her cell phone is missing too. Back at her cottage, she finds it hidden away under the bedsheets. Had she done that? Or had someone else been in the cottage? But who, and why? As Greta struggles to put the pieces together, she fears that her past has come back to torment her, or she's finally lost her grip on reality...
First I must state I really loved this book, even if my initial comments may seem to hint the opposite. It was the most confusing read I've ever listened to/read. As someone who can struggle with concentrating because I read when I'm tired (any time of day), following a story with both multiple viewpoints and flashbacks made me thoroughly confused most of the time. I didn't know until the end whether Greta was hallucinating, having a mental breakdown, having cruel tricks played on her. I won't avoid similar reads in the future because I absolutely loved the way tidbits of necessary info was spread throughout the book. It was information that either confirmed my theories or simply confused me some more.
Greta had a horrific childhood, which she didn't necessarily remember accurately. Her recent present life had it's own horrors which had me almost stop listening for good as they got really unpleasant (that's the exotic relationships part in the content warning). It's not exactly easy to skim past sections I don't like on audiobook as I do with a physical/ebook. But because I was desperate to know if there was a happy ending I kept going until the end, which managed to confuse me because I may have misunderstood what a character said to another (it could mean certain death which Greta miraculously avoided up to the end).
The narration was first class, I was completely immersed into the insanity of the characters and the plot. I think I will relisten to it eventually, after many fluffy listens-I was a bit disturbed emotionally by the end and had to placate the horrors with super cute gaming, as the topics are very hard hitting and made me sad for those whose live through similar goings on.
You can find another brilliant thriller in Dead Silent by Mark Roberts (Thriller, 10/10E, short 'n' sweet review)