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Reader Reviewed
Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback
  

Wolf Winter

Crime / Mystery   All Shortlists and Winners   Thriller / Suspense   Debuts of the Month   Historical Fiction   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   
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Winner of the HWA Goldsboro Debut Crown Award Longlist 2016.

One of our Books of the Year 2015.

November 2015 Debut of the Month.

The most impressive thing about this extraordinary book is its atmosphere. You can feel the cold and the desperation of the people trying to live through the ‘wolf winter’, a term used to describe the coldest of winters. We follow a family of new settlers. This is Swedish Lapland in 1717 where the church has a grip on the community but the Lapps still believe in the ancient spirits. When a body is found folk are quick to blame a bear for his death but the new settlers see signs of a knife wound, not a claw. This is very special, a ghostly feel of menace lies just beneath the surface in a long, complicated and gripping tale. Awesome. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

HWA Chair judge Andrew Taylor said: "The judges were unanimously impressed by Wolf Winter. Not only is it astonishingly accomplished for a first novel, but it plunges the reader into Swedish Lapland 300 years ago and plays havoc with your emotions. Dark, powerful and beautifully written, it's a worthy winner of the HWA Goldsboro Debut Crown.

If you like Cecilia Ekback you might also like to read books by Eowyn Ivey, Hannah Kent and Stef Penney.


The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. An accomplished, atmospheric debut novel set in Swedish Lapland in 1717, this is at once a murder mystery, an exploration of a remote place and distant time, and a fable-like piece of literary fiction. Joining a small group of settlers on forbidding Blackåsen Mountain is a family of Finnish incomers. When young Frederika discovers a neighbour’s mutilated body on the mountainside one day, the death is at first put down to a wolf attack, but Frederika’s mother Maija – an ‘earth-woman’ or healer – is sure it was a man’s hand at work As harsh winter approaches, Maija tries to uncover the truth about the killing, her search for answers to the many questions raised by it revealing the secrets each Blackåsen family has brought with them and tried to hide, and putting the lives of both her daughters at risk as she unwittingly exposes them to dangers both natural and unnatural.
~ The Good Book Guide

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Richard Hamlin - 'This is a tale of human spirit and endurance and it really is a super piece of storytelling.  It's unusual, original and absorbing.'Read full review >
  • Ailsa Hindhaugh - 'Truly was full of suspense, and gripping from the get go. It really reminds me of old-school murder mysteries from Agatha Christie, or from modern day authors Stieg Larsson and Karin Slaughter.' Read full review >
  • Tania - 'a dark and beautiful novel full of suspense. This well written story will keep you guessing until the end.' Read full review >
  • Alan Gee - 'a thoroughly enjoyable read.  The parts about the onset of the “Wolf Winter” and the gathering snow had me turning up the central heating, so vividly descriptive were they.' Read full review >
  • Sarah Musk - 'Wolf Winter is a sombre but compelling book.  Once read you will never forget the beautiful descriptions of the stark winter landscapes.  A memorable read.' Read full review >
  • Sue Broom - 'A highly descriptive story, full of tension and atmosphere, with a cast of characters I came to care about - a perfect choice for cold winter evenings.' Read full review >
  • Sarah Harper - 'Stories of hardship, resilience, secrets and magic are woven together into this truly memorable début. Wolf Winter will take you away to a different place and time.' Read full review >
  • Angela Rhodes - 'While reading you will feel the cold and damp enter your body, so wrap up warm, turn the lamps on and read.' Read full review >
  • Victoria Whish - 'Atmospheric, tautly-written tale of settlers battling to survive and forge a community in the harshness of 18th century Lapland. Murder and secrets evoke a chilling sense of menace.' Read full review >
  • Helen Lowry - 'A winter known a Wolf Winter descends upon a group of settlers in the shadow of a mountain with dark secrets, Blackasen...A little slow moving for my tastes but I’m glad I stuck with it to the end.' Read full review >
  • Ian Harvey-Brown - 'After reading this book, winter will never be the same again. Certainly I will not take warmth and the comfort of home for granted. Not now, not ever.' Read full review >
  • Vikki Patis - 'The harsh landscape is described beautifully. The beautiful, unforgiving mountains, the horrifying snowstorms; this atmospheric story will captivate and stun you.' Read full review >
  • Celeste McCreesh - 'a good story that is well told and the setting is evocative and atmospheric.'  Read full review >

When we passed the Reader Review panel members thoughts on the book Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback to the publisher Hodder they were so pleased they have used them in their campaign to promote the book. Click here to view them all.

 

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Synopsis

Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback

'Like a silent fall of snow; suddenly, the reader is enveloped...visually acute, skilfully written; it won't easily erase its tracks in the reader's mind.' HILARY MANTEL, author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies There are six homesteads on Blackasen Mountain. A day's journey away lies the empty town. It comes to life just once, in winter, when the Church summons her people through the snows. Then, even the oldest enemies will gather. But now it is summer, and new settlers are come. It is their two young daughters who find the dead man, not half an hour's walk from their cottage. The father is away. And whether stubborn, or stupid, or scared for her girls, the mother will not let it rest. To the wife who is not concerned when her husband does not come home for three days; to the man who laughs when he hears his brother is dead; to the priest who doesn't care; she asks and asks her questions, digging at the secrets of the mountain. They say a wolf made those wounds. But what wild animal cuts a body so clean?

Reviews

'Exquisitely suspenseful, beautifully written, and highly recommended' Lee Child, No1 bestselling author of the Jack Reacher thrillers

'Cecilia Ekback provides something fresh... haunting ... ugly secrets are soon brought to light at the cost of great danger to Maija and her family. Highly individual fare.' Financial Times

About the Author

Cecilia Ekback was born in the north of Sweden; her parents come from Lapland. During her teens, she worked as a journalist and after university specialised in marketing. Over twenty years her work for a multinational took her to Russia, Germany, France, Portugal, the Middle East and the UK. In 2010, she finished a Masters in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway. She now lives in Calgary with her husband and twin daughters, 'returning home' to the landscape and the characters of her childhood in her writing. Wolf Winter is her first novel and she is at work on her second.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th December 2015

Author

Cecilia Ekback

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Author's Website

www.ceciliaekback.com/

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Publisher

Hodder Paperback an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division

Format

Paperback
448 pages

Categories

Crime / Mystery
All Shortlists and Winners
Thriller / Suspense
Debuts of the Month
Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Crime & mystery

ISBN

9781444789553

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