Today it is TWG’s turn to host a stop on Emelie Schepp’s blog tour for her new book, Marked For Life, which was published in paperback this year. Here is my review, enjoy!
WINNER OF THE SPECSAVERS READERS CHOICE AWARD 2016
In Lindö, on the Swedish coast, a man has been found brutally murdered in his own home.
The victim, Hans Juhlén, had no shortage of enemies. But the case stalls when a child’s handprint is found inches from where the dead man fell.
Hans Juhlén had no children.
Public prosecutor Jana Berzelius has perfected the art of maintaining a professional distance from her cases. But when the body of a small boy is found – and with him, the weapon that killed Juhlén – Jana’s impenetrability is tested to its limits.
The small body is a bleak reminder that Jana has her own secrets to hide. And if she is to keep them safe, she must find the perpetrator behind these crimes…before the police do.
What does TWG think?
I have always wondered what a Nordic crime novel would be like to read, after all, I have seen a lot of people raving about the particular genre for a while. Saying that, you would have thought it would have made me pick up a novel before now, wouldn’t you? In an ideal world, yes. But as bookworms know, seeing a range of books that you want to read and actually read them, are two completely different things. My TBR is currently taller than me (not hard)! I was uber glad when Midas PR contacted me about reading Emelie Schepp’s ‘Marked For Life’, as it gave me the well needed kick up the youknowwhat to commit to reading it.
I really didn’t know what to expect before I started reading this novel, all I knew was that I was extremely intrigued; I mean, have you actually seen that cover? Despite my original intrigue, I have to admit that I was a little bit apprehensive. I started ‘Marked For Life’ with literally no idea what I was letting myself in for, and seeing as others had raved about Nordic crime, I was hoping not to end up disappointment. Big ask I suppose, but sometimes it can’t be helped with certain novels and certain genres.
Emelie Schepp doesn’t ease us into the storyline slowly, instead she puts a high-profile, chilling murder, right near the start of the book. Nothing like keeping your reader’s attention eh! Fingers are pointing everywhere yet no-one seems to know anything. Well, until an important piece of information comes to light; a child sized handprint was found next to the dead body in the house. As far as the public prosecutor, Jane Berzelius, is aware, the people involved didn’t have any children. Who’s child’s handprint was it? What was it doing there?
Already I was glued to the storyline, I was waiting with bated breath to see how the plot was going to unfold. In such a short space of time I had already compiled a short list of questions in my mind, and I was so eager to find out the answers.
But all of a sudden the storyline turned even darker; the pint-sized owner of the hand print, a little boy, was found dead in a different location with the murder weapon next to him. As soon as I read that, a wave of nausea came over my body. I wasn’t expecting that piece of information to affect me as much as it did, I’ll be honest. It also turned the chill factor of the storyline up several notches.
‘Marked For Life’ continued to shock me due to the severely dark topics of child trafficking and rape. I’ll give the author her due, Emelie Schepp certainly knows how to get a reaction out of her readers! Whilst I found the plot quite uncomfortable to read, my eyes didn’t want to move from the page. Every page that I turned, the more uncomfortable I became. This book really is dark. So dark in fact, it’s almost pitch black.
Whilst the storyline managed to make me react in multiple ways, as well as keeping me glued to every single page, I didn’t quite find the characters memorable or likeable. I don’t know if it was due to the overall chill of the novel itself, but I couldn’t warm to any of the characters no matter how hard I tried.
‘Marked For Life’ kept my attention big time as the author certainly knows her stuff. But in all honesty, the more of the book I read, the more uncomfortable I felt. Unfortunately that feeling seemed to stay with me long after I had finished the novel. The plot, I’m sorry to say, was a bit too pitch black for my capabilities, although hats off to the author for managing to keep me engaged until the end.
Thanks Midas PR.