Saturday, 1 April 2017

Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck

Swedish Lapland, 1717. Maija, her husband Paavo and her daughters Frederika and Dorotea arrive on the mountain Blackåsen from their native Finland.  While herding the family's goats on the mountain, the girls discover the mutilated body of one of their neighbors, Eriksson.  Maija refuses to believe that he was killed by wolves and begins investigating her neighbours.

As the seasons change, “wolf winter,” descends upon the settlers, It is “the kind of winter that will remind us we are mortal … mortal and alone...”  Told from the point of view of three characters, Maija, Frederika and the priest, a web of tragedies and betrayals that exist on the cursed Blackåsen are revealed.

Ekbäck melds a murder mystery and historical fiction.  She illustrates the lives in the isolated homesteads clinging to Blackäsen, the politics of a failing monarchy at war, the influence of the clergy and the power of legend and lore in feeding suspicion and fear.