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I bought this book a while ago from ASDA. There was an offer on a selection of fiction books 3 for £10. I actually picked out this book for my boyfriend, he raves on about Let The Right One In all the time and this was written by the same author. My boyfriend has still yet to read one page of it.
Synopsis They only stopped watching her for a matter of minutes. On a clear day, Anders took his wife and their feisty six year old, Maja, for a walk from his home on the island across the frozen sea to the lighthouse. There was no one for miles around, so they stayed to admire the view while Maja struck out alone. There were no holes in the ice, no place for her to fall. She simply disappeared into thin air. Two years later, a wrecked Anders begins to investigate. Out on the island, he starts to feel he's not alone, Maja is out there...and she's trying to communicate with him.
The Book The book is written in two parts. The first part of the book explains in great detail, the back story, while the second part is where things become clearer. The book begins by telling us how Anders first fell in love with his wife, Cecilia. Then flits forward to the day their daughter, Maja goes missing, without any explanation. Again the story advances farther into the furture to the present day (2 years after Maja's disappearance). anders feels he has nothing left, his marriage is over and he a borderline alcoholic. Anders returns to the islands where he grew up (and where Maja went missing) and tries to find answers. Anna-Greta, Ander's grand mother and her lover, Simon still live on the island and are very concerned about Ander's behavior, especially when more strange events begin to happen. Locals commiting arson and trying to murder each other. Yet it just so happens Simon and Anna-Greta both have interesting back stories of their own, especially Anna-Greta who knows the island better than anybody else. The second part of the book is where all the action happens and mysteries begin to unfold. Saying anymore would involve revealing spoilers and plot twists.
The book was originally written in Swedish. So far it is the author's third work to be translated to be translated to English. The other two, Let The Right One In and Handling The Undead are both horror novels. I would not describe Harbour as a horror though. Although the book contains ghosts and possession it also quite heavily features magic and myth. I would describe it as more of a fantasy thriller.
My Experience To be honest I almost gave up reading this book after the first ten pages. The author goes into so much detail describing the landscape and the characters it gets a little boring and although he sets the scene for the reader I found a lot of it to be unnecessary. But like the trooper I am, I struggled through and eventually at part two of the book, the excitement begins to happen and the book becomes harder to put down. The characters are introduced fully yet there is nobody especially likable that I was able to warm to. I suppose Anna-Greta was my favorite because even though she's now old, she has led a colourful life and has remained a strong independent woman. There is nothing really spectacular about our protagonist, Anders. Some people may find the book hard to keep up with, if flits very often between centuries ago, decades ago, recent past and present but I found this kept it interesting. The author does manage to create suspense but to be honest the ending was so far fetched that I found it to be a let down and a bit silly if I'm being honest.
Overall Fans of John Ajvide Lindqvist will probably love it. But I found it to be very average and long winded