My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Many thanks to Net Galley, Penguin Michael Joseph UK, and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
Ragnar Jónasson has this amazing capability to use the setting of the story to extremely good use. This is my 2nd book by the author and in both the books, I am left with a feeling of awe with the kind of atmosphere he creates in delivering the stories. The Girl Who Died is set in one of the remotest places on the earth that one would always want to run away screaming at the top of their lungs. The winters are so bleak and with only 10, just 10 people living in this village, there seems to be no life in one of the harshest and bleakest places on earth. However, for the residents of Skalar, this is not a hardship, their motto in life being, “One can get used to anything”. So why would anyone choose to spend a winter in this place but as the saying goes, choices are easy when you have nothing to lose, and thus Una decides to offer her services as a teacher to 2 girls in the village answering the newspaper advertisement.
Una expects a warm and cozy welcome but the villagers are tightly knit and their general suspicion of an outsider makes Una uneasy and disturbed. The haunting stories and the ghostly visits begin to play havoc with Una’s peace of mind. Very soon, Una realizes that there are some deadly secrets hidden in the village and it is not her drunken traumatized mind playing tricks with her sanity.
The claustrophobic effect of the place and the ghost of the girl visiting Una in her dreams adds a layer of intrigue to this chilling tale. The mystery unveils slowly and as the end comes cascading down with the speed of an avalanche, the reader is left reeling with the reveals of the mystery of both past and present.
A fantastic page-turner that is guaranteed to leave you astonished! Awesome thriller!
‘Teacher wanted on the edge of the world…’
Una is struggling to deal with her father’s sudden, tragic suicide. She spends her nights drinking alone in Reykjavik, stricken with thoughts that she might one day follow in his footsteps.
So when she sees an advert seeking a teacher for two girls in the tiny village of Skálar – population of ten – on the storm-battered north coast of the island, she sees it as a chance to escape.
But once she arrives, Una quickly realises nothing in city life has prepared her for this. The villagers are unfriendly. The weather is bleak. And, from the creaky attic bedroom of the old house where she’s living, she’s convinced she hears the ghostly sound of singing.
Una worries that she’s losing her mind. And then, just before Christmas, there’s a murder…
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