John Ajvide Lindqvist
Expected publication October 11, 2011 by Thomas Dunne Books
Source: ARC from Goodreads First Reads Program
From the author of the international and New York Times bestseller Let the Right One In (Let Me In) comes this stunning and terrifying book which begins when a man's six-year-old daughter vanishes.One ordinary winter afternoon on a snowy island, Anders and Cecilia take their six-year-old daughter Maja across the ice to visit the lighthouse in the middle of the frozen channel. While the couple explore the lighthouse, Maja disappears -- either into thin air or under thin ice -- leaving not even a footprint in the snow. Two years later, alone and more or less permanently drunk, Anders returns to the island to regroup. He slowly realises that people are not telling him all they know; even his own mother, it seems, is keeping secrets. What is happening in Domaro, and what power does the sea have over the town's inhabitants? - Goodreads
Since the emergence of Stieg Larsson and his Millenium Trilogy, Swedish and Norwegian authors has seen a surge of popularity in America. John Ajvide Lindqvist is no exception. His bestseller, Let the Right One In, was turned into a movie in both Sweden and America. His forthcoming novel, Harbor, is another subtle paranormal type thriller.
For me, Harbor was really slow going in the beginning. There was one point when I had to set it aside for awhile. I was expecting it to be like other thrillers that I have read where the action is constant and consistent. The first chapter was a set up for a decent story. A child mysteriously disappears leaving her father to spiral out of control. For the next 200 pages, there was a lot of character set up and landscape descriptions. I will admit that the atmosphere is described and written very well but there wasn't anything too thrilling about it. However once the action gets going and mysterious events start happening all around the Swedish island of Domarö, it doesn't stop. There really is a lot of different tales being told and the narrative goes from past to present in an enjoyable fashion. In Anders search to find the truth of what happened to his daughter, he truly finds out more than he ever imagined about life on the island.
However, the ending was lackluster and the supernatural aspect, although unique and inspired, was weakly described and a bit too abstract for my liking. For the most part, the story was somewhat too complex and Lindqvist delivered something that is less frightful than it is an introspective on the human condition.