One of Norway’s most distinguished voices, Agnes Ravatn’s first novel to be published in the UK was The Bird Tribunal. It won an English PEN Translation Award, was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award and the Petrona Award, and was adapted for a BBC Book at Bedtime. She returns now with a dark, powerful and deeply disturbing psychological thriller about family, secrets and dangerous curiosity…
University professor Nina is at a turning point. Her work seems increasingly irrelevant, her doctor husband is never home, relations with her adult daughter Ingeborg are strained, and their beautiful house is scheduled for demolition.
When Ingeborg decides to move into another house they own, things take a very dark turn. The young woman who rents it disappears, leaving behind her son, the day after Nina and Ingeborg pay her a visit.
With few clues, the police enquiry soon grinds to a halt, but Nina has an inexplicable sense of guilt. Unable to rest, she begins her own investigation, but as she pulls on the threads of the case, it seems her discoveries may have very grave consequences for her and her family.
Nina and her husband, Mads, are having to move home as their house is in the way of a new construction and is under a compulsory purchase order.
Their daughter, Ingeborg, has an infestation of silverfish in her and wants to move out and into Mads aunt’s old house that he rents out. But there is a tenant living there….
So Nina and Ingeborg drive just to have a look at the house, but Ingeborg, who is oblivious to anyone else’s feelings, practically forces her way into the home and makes Mari feel very uncomfortable. As a result, Mads gets a message that Mari is moving out……but then she disappears, leaving her young son behind.
Nina wonders if Ingeborg is responsible and begins her own investigation….but this brings to light family secrets..
This is not a police investigation but just Nina’s, her life is in upheaval and she tries to find out what happened to Mari.
The Seven Doors has a steady pace, with lots of detail about Nina’s life and marriage, but it also has an underlying, creeping tension that slowly builds and makes it a gripping read throughout. Fans of Nordic Noir are going to love this…
Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Seven Doors. This is my honest and unbiased review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Agnes Ravatn (b. 1983) is a Norwegian author and columnist. She made her literary début with the novel Week 53 (Veke 53) in 2007. Since then she has written three critically acclaimed and award-winning essay collections: Standing still (Stillstand), 2011, Popular Reading (Folkelesnad), 2011, and Operation self-discipline (Operasjon sjøldisiplin), 2014. In these works, Ravatn revealed a unique, witty voice and sharp eye for human fallibility. Her second novel, The Bird Tribunal (Fugletribuanlet), was an international bestseller translated into fifteen languages, winning an English PEN Award, shortlisting for the Dublin Literary Award, a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick and a BBC Book at Bedtime. It was also made into a successful play, which premiered in Oslo in 2015. Agnes lives with her family in the Norwegian countryside.