Agnete Friis's lyrical, evocative work of psychological suspense weaves together two periods in one man's life to explore obsession, toxic masculinity, and the tricks we play on our own memory.
Jacob, a middle-aged architect living in Copenhagen, is in the alcohol-soaked throes of a bitter divorce when he receives an unexpected call from his great-uncle Anton, who is in his nineties and still lives with his brother Anders on their rural Jutland farm-a place Jacob hasn't visited since the summer of 1978. Anton asks Jacob to answer the question that has haunted them both for decades: What happened to Ellen? To find out, Jacob must revisit the farm and confront what took place that summer-one defined by his teenage obsession with Ellen, a beautiful young hippie from the local commune who came to stay with Anton and Anders, and the unsolved disappearance of Jacob's classmate's sister. In revisiting old friends and rivals, Jacob discovers that the tragedies that have haunted him for over forty years were not what they seemed.
“Praise for Agnete Friis “In this sensitive character study, Agnete Friis, who writes the Nina Borg mysteries with Lene Kaaberbøl, dares us to confront bad mothers and other outcasts.” —The New York Times Book Review “The first solo novel by Friis . . . measures up to the best-selling Nordic noir novel The Boy in the Suitcase. Ella Nygaard, 27, is a flawed, memorable character.” —The BBC, Between the Lines “Breathtaking.” —Toronto Star “A classic whodunit with a great up-to-date character and twist . . . An excellent character study of a woman in extreme crisis.” —The Globe and Mail “[A] must-read . . . Half of the duo who co-wrote the socially conscious Nina Borg series, Friis brings that same liberal political slant to this new thriller about love and violence in families.” —LitHub “The skillfully calibrated atmospheric tension and Ella’s realistically awkward struggle toward redemption will appeal to fans of literary suspense like that of Jennifer McMahon and Karin Fossum.” —Booklist, Starred Review”