Thank you to Karen Sullivan from Orenda Books for sending me a copy of this novel. All views are my own
When I opened the cover to this book, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know that I will be wrapped in a story, so beautifully written and translated. I didn’t know that it would become one of my favourite books I read this year. I simply didn’t know…
The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn starts from a very simple premise: the need to discover and understand the truth. The story unravels in front of the readers eyes from the perspective of Nina, who together with her daughter Ingeborg, go to inspect the house in which Ingeborg together with her daughter and her husband will move into. However what Nina doesn’t expect is that shortly after they give notice to Mari, the current tenant living in their house, she would disappear without a trace.
The need to understand what happened together with the feeling that something more hides behind this disappearance, especially when Mari left behind her son with her parents, steers Nina deeper and deeper into the story. Is Nina prepared to face the truth? Or is she just going along because she wants to alleviate the guilt that has nestled inside herself ever since she’s visited the house?
Agnes Ravatn has written probably one of the best psychological thrillers set in Norway; the ending leaving its readers wondering why they haven’t read the book sooner.
Structurally, Ravatn captures the attention of her readers by writing short snappy sentences, within short chapters. From the get-go, the urgency of the story and the sinister, dance together before the readers eyes, enticing them to read more and more.
The cast of characters are just fabulous; Nina is my favourite out of them. She’s a 40-year-old, highly educated woman who isn’t afraid to be herself. I could read an entire crime saga with Nina at the front and center of the series, because she comes off as a natural character, feeling almost life-like. Through out the novel, all decisions she takes make sense, and doesn’t strike the reader as out-of-character.
The Seven Doors is out now and can be ordered from Orenda Books. I highly recommend this read to everyone who is a fan of Nordic Noir. But I also see this book being enjoyed by people who haven’t read Nordic Noir before, because this book is a marvelous introduction to what a good, Noir novel can do.