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Blackwater by Kerstin Ekman
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Blackwater (1993)

by Kerstin Ekman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8501816,063 (3.62)41
  1. 00
    Det første jeg tænker på by Ida Jessen (Henrik_Madsen)
    Henrik_Madsen: Mørke hemmeligheder i provinsen er en fælles tematik.
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» See also 41 mentions

English (9)  Swedish (4)  Danish (2)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (18)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I had two copies of this book and decided to read the Dutch version.
I am having difficulties making up my mind about this book, it certainly wasn't an easy read as many other (Nordic) thrillers are.
It also wasn't a book where the police (or one main police officer) tried to solve the case.
It was a book with beautiful descriptions of nature and very lively descritions of the different characters.
That's what I loved about the book.
What most annoyed me was the bits and pieces of information given randomly that eventually lead to a conclusion.
And the end was very strange: what the ... does it mean "But he had the feeling someone should touch him." For an ending? I have the idea that I miss the real ending and/or that I missed something major in the book that justifies this ending. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | May 27, 2018 |
Annie Raft, is woken at 4 am by a car pulling up outside her home. She looks out of the window to see her 23-year-old daughter Mia getting out of the car and embracing a man who she doesn't know but whom she believes brutally murdered two campers some 18 years previously. She telephones her friend and lover, local doctor Birger Torbjornsson to tell him what she has seen and later discovers that the man she saw is Johan Brandberg, the youngest son of a local family.

Through Annie Raft, Birger Torbjornsson and Johan Brandberg the reader is transported back to Midsummer's Eve 1974, when Annie and her daughter, then 6 years old, arrived by bus in remote Blackwater where they are to move into a commune with Annie's lover, Dan Ulander. When Dan fails to meet the bus, Annie and Mia set off on foot to walk the four kilometres to the commune. En route they spot a young man coming in the opposite direction but he does not see them. Dan has given them a rudimentary map of the area but they are soon lost . When Annie spots a tent she decides to go and ask for assistance only to find the bodies of a young man and woman brutally stabbed to death. The identity of the young woman is soon established, but nobody can figure out why she was killed, who did it or who her murdered companion was. The mystery lasts for almost 18 years.

The unsolved murders makes the small community of Blackwater infamous, bringing it a lot of outside interest but has negative affects on its residents. So when Annie and Mia later decide to settle in Blackwater all their lives are haunted by the incident.

This book is portrayed as a thriller but it is told at a somewhat sedate, methodical pace with the author resisting the temptation to add to the body count. Instead Ekman concentrates on the effect the murders have on the community and the rich eerily bleak countryside thereabouts. In fact she creates a landscape that as equally as important to the plot as its human cast. Clear-cutting of the forests is a fairly central issue but this not a political bandwagon. Rather the plot purrs along at a slow steady pace threading its way through the seasons and the complicated lives of the people present.

When Dan fails to meet the bus Annie and Mia are forced to take a path that leads not only to the dead bodies but one that will also have unforeseen consequences, mirroring the way that decisions that we all make when we are young can shape our futures. This is no doubt particularly true for people live in small villages where everyone knows and are likely to be in some way related to each other. In fact it is Mia who eventually reveals the identity of the murdered young man despite only being a child at the time of his death.

The novel is not without some imperfections. In particular Johan is never properly investigated by the police despite the fact that he left home on the night of the murders and never returned to the village. Come to think of it, the whole police investigation seems to have been pretty haphazard. Similarly Johan's sex sessions with the woman who helped him to get away seem to be a little out of keeping with the rest of the novel. However, that all said and done, the author has created a gloriously rich and thoughtful page-turner that deserves to be read. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Apr 13, 2018 |
Blackwater is an isolated village in Sweden and this novel follows three people with a connection to the village - Annie Raft comes to the village in the 1970's to join her boyfriend and to teach at a commune; Johan Brandberg is the youngest son in a family of five boys and Birger Torbjornsson is the local doctor. But on the night that Annie arrives in the village she discovers the bodies of two people, Johan runs away from home and Birger's wife leaves him. This book is not so much about the murder but about the lives of the characters. In fact it takes eighteen years and Annie seeing Johan again before the events of that night are finally resolved.

There is a very distant quality to this story. I never really felt connected to the characters or the story but something kept me turning the page and needing to know where Kerstin Ekman was taking us. But it is a very atmospheric novel I got a real sense of place and the isolation of the life these people lived. I did like it and will be reading more of Ekman's work. ( )
1 vote calm | Apr 14, 2012 |
Et dobbeltmord på selve midsommernatten i et lille samfund i Nordsverige knytter mennesker og natur sammen i konsekvenser, der først bliver synlige, da forbrydelsen opklares efter 18 år.

Egentlig forkert at rubricere den som "krimi" - det er simpelthen en god bog som også er spændende. ( )
  kirstenlarsen | Feb 14, 2010 |
Blackwater by Kerstin Ekman is a crime novel by a Swedish author, but it's much more than just another dark Scandinavian mystery. The novel centers around a double murder, following the lives of three people affected by the event; the young woman who stumbles across the bodies, a doctor whose wife is in the area at the time, and a teenage boy who runs away the night of the killings. For much of the novel, as the characters go about living their lives, the murders are almost forgotten. Ekman explores the themes of solitude and loneliness, how you can live with someone and still be a stranger to them, environmental destruction and the uncomfortable tension between a nostalgia for days gone by and the harsh reality of life in the middle of Sweden in the past.

The writing is beautiful with lovely descriptions of a part of Sweden between Ostersund and Norway, where nature is lush and fragile, the people hardy but closed to outsiders. The mystery is solved in the end, in a satisfying way. A book well worth reading. ( )
1 vote RidgewayGirl | Jan 12, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kerstin Ekmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Binder, Hedwig M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bjerg, Anne MarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Karlsson, Lena S.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malmström, GunnelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Senders, MariyetTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tate, JoanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312152477, Paperback)

On Midsummer's Eve, 1974, Annie Raft arrives with her daughter Mia in the remote Swedish village of Blackwater to join her lover Dan on a nearby commune. On her journey through the deep forest, she sumbles upon the site of a grisly double murder--a crime that will remain unsolved for nearly twenty years, until the day Annie sees her grown daughter in the arms of one man she glimpsed in the forest that eerie midsummer night.

Like Gorky Park and Smilla's Sense of Snow, Blackwater is a unique trhiller in which the hearts and minds of the characters are as strikingly compelling as the exotic northern landscape that envelops them.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:40 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

After moving to the remote town of Blackwater in northern Sweden to join her lover, Annie Raft stumbles upon a brutal double murder that remains unsolved for twenty years, until the day she sees her grown daughter in the arms of the man Annie saw leavingthe scene of the crime.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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