It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last—revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.
But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door—a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night….
This is a strange book. I will say that. And I absolutely enjoyed it’s strangeness. However…
The book progresses too slowly for my taste. If the book had a faster pace I would have enjoyed the book significantly more but in this case, I felt every page I read. And I often found myself having to reread pages, because I didn’t understand what happened, mainly because the slow pace had me reading-but-not-reading the passages at times. This is not to say nothing interesting happens in the book. I imagine this would make a great movie, high-energy, exciting and gory. This book contains several attacks, murders and mysteries. However all that “excitement” that “creepiness” was lost under a monotone. That is my main issue with the book.
Lindqvist is very good at allowing readers to get to know almost every character in the book on a deep level. In that way, I see why people call him the Swedish Stephen King, but a lot of that information also slowed the pace down and made the story predictable in many respects. So it’s a toss up on whether that particular presentation is good or not.
The thing I liked most about this book was that it wasn’t afraid to explore sexuality. Their were homosexual, and heterosexual characters in the book. Their is Pedophilia. One of the main characters, I won’t say which, could be identified as non-gendered. I found this exploration interesting, mainly because it is so rarely done.
I won’t be buying a copy of the book myself. But it is an interesting one to study.