The book Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter lies on a table with a smart phone and a pair of sunglasses. The table is covered in a blue table cloth.

Pretty Girls

Author: Karin Slaughter

Published: HarperCollinsNordic, 2015 (in Danish)

Danish title: De smukkeste

I enjoy a good thriller just as much as I enjoy a good fantasy, but I often feel that the thrillers I read dissappoint me. That they are not creepy enough or written cleverly enough. It’s not that I need a good thriller to be one that constantly takes me by surprise, but if it doesn’t it needs to be hella good written! One of my friends recommended I read Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter, because it was really creepy and really, really good. I have loved every single book she has recommended, so I figured I’d love this one as well.

The Book

Pretty Girls is a psychological thriller about a young woman, whose husband is brutally murdered. We follow Claire as she tries to cope with her husband’s murder and in the process she slowly becomes aware that he was never who she thought he was. With a little help she tries to uncover all the secrets that suddenly rush to the surface without losing her mind or getting caught up in the lies. I don’t know what else to tell you without spoiling anything!

my thoughts

Karin Slaugther is an excellent writer. Everytime I had to put the book away, it was too exciting. I cannot tell you how many times I almost missed my stop, or got to bed too late. Pretty Girls is not a pretty story. At all. It is creepy to the point where I even wondered how anybody could think this up. Write it. And actually let somebody else read it in the hopes of letting thousands of people read it. I sometimes wonder how authors don’t lose their mind. I mean, they write on a project for so long, and they have to know every little thing about ther characters. Every dirty little secret. I can just close my book. Or hurry through it. Or quickly start a new lighter book afterwards.

Pretty Girls is amazing! I love these psychological thrillers, because they creep me out. Because I know that somewhere out in the world, something like this exists. I hope it’s never true, but horrible murders are committed, people do disappear, and the ones who suffer are forgotten.

I do recommend you read this if you like to read thrillers. The story is so well-written. I was constantly surprised and there was never a good time to put the book down. This was my first Slaughter-book, but it is definitely not the last one I will read!

Thanks to Cecilie for the recommendation!

The book Ave Eva is placed a the bottom of a tree trunk in a pile of dead autumn leaves

Ave Eva

Author: Sulaima Hind

Published: Høst og Søn, 2003

The book

Eva is a young girl, who has just started school in the Danish gymnasium (Corresponds to starting junior year in an American high school or starting upper secondary school). She lives with her mother and father, although her mother travels a lot due to her line of work. In a lot of ways she is just like everybody else at that age: A little insecure, yet fighting to be herself. She quickly befriends a few girls from her class, who are very proactive feminists. This leads to Eva’s involvement in several violent actions. Back home her mother is mostly away, and her father practically lives in his study, making him almost as absent. Eva deliberately avoids him at meals, yet still enjoys his company when he pops out of his office to refill his drink.

Eva enjoys writing and she does all of her writing on an old typewriter. Her Danish teacher encourages her to write a novel for the school paper, which she does and he offers to read it and help her improve it. They meet at his place one evening, and instead of helping her with her novel he severely violates Eva, who leaves the place completely shattered.

Broken down she tries to move on with her life, but her friends are quick to see that Eva suffers. They finally get through to her, and decide that Eva needs to be avenged. This fuels Eva’s disintegration further and she stays at home, avoids her friends and makes it her sole purpose to care for her father, while her mother is away. However, the horrors in Eva’s life do not end here.

My thoughts

This story is so heartbreakingly beautiful, yet still so horrible and painful. At several times I wanted to reach out and hold Eva or tell her to seek help. Even before she begins to spiral downwards, there is something about her, that seems fragile. I first read this book shortly after it was published, and I loved it back then. Rereading it now made me realise, that there were a lot of things I did not understand or pick up on back then. The story is told by Eva herself, at a time long after the events occured, and she tells it to a man, who we at first do not know. She begins her story: “I was once a girl called Eva…” creating a distance between the woman she has become and the girl in the story. The writing is excellent and even before I finished the book I reserved another one of Hind’s books at the library.

I secretely considered keeping the book (which is stealing, so no I was not being serious), because I can’t seem to find a copy for sale anywhere. This is a book I would love to own, so I can reread it again and again – even after the library has to put the book away, because so many new ones will have arrived.

I strongly encourage all the Danish readers out there to read the book! It is magnificient and works well wether you are 14 or 27 (or 58 probably).

The Book Regnfaldet (in English: The Rainfall) is lying between green plants

Regnfaldet – The Rainfall

Author: Gudrun Østergaard

Published: Kandor, 2014

In the beginning of July I read Regnfaldet (from now on referred to as The Rainfall, even though it is not the official translation. As far as I can tell the book has only been published in Danish.)

the book

The Rainfall takes place in a fantastical universe, albeit it does not differ much from what we know. It is a story about a small apartment building with four residents and a caretaker in a world where it rains constantly. The streets are flooded and as the story moves forward, the rain gets worse. Food supplies are cut off and people move away. Businesses shut down and basements are flooded. Yet people carry on, because the rain has been there for so long, it seems normal.

The four residents are four very different people, who do not wish to be involved in the lives of the other residents – or to some extent other people at all. They even prefer to not talk to the caretaker, even when they do have an issue that needs fixing. The caretaker on the other hand is a very talkative man, who smiles to people as he passes them. One day, the caretaker turns up dead, and the four residents come together to solve the mystery of his death, only to discover an even darker side to the whole ordeal.

my thoughts

This book was beyond weird, but so well-written. The fact that the fantstical universe was so close to our world, yet still very different made the reading experience a little odd. Everything seemed so normal, yet everything seemed a little off. This gives the book a somewhat eerie setting and adds a darkness to the story. The characters were really interesting, and for the better part of the story, those were the reason I continues reading. They are all, each in their own way, very peculiar people, and I kept trying to guess what would happen next.

Gudrun Østergaard writes exceedingly well, and the characters were very believable. When we have gotten to know the characters the plot twists and the caretaker turns up dead. The residents come together, and knowing from the first part of the book how they feel about each other and how different they are, I expected an almost comical meeting.

Should you read it?

The story itself was so strange, and at times I am not even sure I understood it, but the writing was excellent, and the characters were so peculiar! This book should definitely be read by someone who enjoys a great universe and cast, but does not need the book to give the reader all the answers.