ONLY THE DEAD by Vidar Sundstol

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Minnesota Trilogy (Book 2)

Translated by Tiina Nunnally

U.S. Forest Service officer Lance Hansen returns in book two of the Minnesota Trilogy. Don’t even attempt this unless you’ve read The Land of Dreams, which made my best books of the year list in 2013. This one will not.

Hansen was investigating the murder of a young Norwegian tourist in The Land of Dreams. A suspect is in custody, but Lance believes in his heart that the murderer is really Andy, his brother, but he can’t bring himself to pursue that avenue. Instead, he and Andy go on their annual November hunting trip along Lake Superior, exchanging few words but a lot of suspicion between them.

Hansen’s ancestor, missionary Thormod Olson, journaled his travails in trying to get to America a hundred years earlier, and excerpts of his journal – and his hallucinations – are interwoven throughout.

This is a very short book, more novella than novel, and unfortunately, there just isn’t a whole lot of plot but it still flows nonetheless. It is dark and beautifully written with spectacular descriptions of the Minnesota forest and the weather, particularly an ice storm, and despite all the description the story moves because the writing is also quite suspenseful.

Readers who enjoy their suspense on the literary side should appreciate this sequel.

Copyright ©2014 Booklist, a division of the American Library Association.

9/14 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

ONLY THE DEAD by Vidar Sundstol. Univ Of Minnesota Press (September 1, 2014). ISBN 978-0816689422.  256p.

One Response to ONLY THE DEAD by Vidar Sundstol

  1. […] Staci Alesi (“the Book Bitch”) also reviews that book for Booklist and says though it is short – almost a novella – it’s dark, beautifully written, and suspenseful. […]

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