The Seasonal Quartet 4: The Spring Victim – Anders de la Motte

Good morning guys!

How are you all holding up? I’ve been laid off for almost a month now and I’m starting to get seriously bored, haha. Boredom isn’t the worst though. Rumor has it that you get creative whilst bored and I’m still waiting for that stroke of miracle to happen. The synopsis is borrowed from Goodreads and translated by me:

At Valborgs Night 1986 16 year-old Elita Svart is murdered in the forrest in close proximity to a castle in northwest Skåne, Sweden. Her big brother, Leo, admits to the murder and soon after the rest of the peculiar Svart family disappears.

In the spring of 2019 a doctor by the name Thea Lind moves in to the castle. After having discovered a strange old tree on the property she starts to dig in the story of Elita Svart’s death. As she discovers more similarities between Elita’s childhood and her own difficult past she becomes more and more convinced that the truth about this old tragedy never has been revealed, and that there were more than one victim that spring night in 1986.

The Spring Victim is the second book I’ve read by Anders de la Motte, and just like the last one I could barely put it down! The storyline of The Spring Offer was a bit different than The Fall Deed because Motte has added in a third voice that doesn’t quite fit the story. Thea, our main character, speaks to this voice at the beginning of almost all of her chapters, and you begin to wonder where this voice fits into it all? There are several perspectives in this storyline as it was in The Fall Deed. When we’re reading the story placed in 2019 we’re following Thea’s perspective. When we’re reading the story placed in 1986 we follow other characters perspectives but these chapters always starts out with some words from Elita Svart. This is a clever way to make sure the readers gets to know the Spring Victim in her own words, and we soon see that there is more to Elita Svart than meets the eye! Which character’s perspective we’re viewing the story from doesn’t always become clear at the beginning of the chapter and this gives the reader great insight in how broad this story seems to be. I love that Motte is able to weave moral into the story the way he does, alongside well hidden and obvious cues, although this didn’t become clear to me until very late in the story. In addition I love that the cues the reader is given can be interpreted in more than one, two, or three ways! It really keeps you guessing and on edge whilst you are reading, and it makes the book even harder to put down!

As in Fall Deed Motte grasp his reader early on by portraying the atmosphere and the surroundings of the characters in a masterly way. You really get the feeling that you’re walking around in close proximity to a creepy old castle with a secret. Characterwise I really liked Thea, our main character, because she was just the perfect amount of complicated. She’s married to David whom I didn’t fancy and don’t even get me started on Thea’s mother-in-law! It early becomes clear to the reader that Thea has a complicated past and that those ghosts are still haunting her. As the story progress the reader gets to know Thea better and we learn that she has more than one traumatic experience in her life. I think this makes her an even more intriguing character. Motte has stayed away from tragic clichés and praise be for that! Whilst reading I noticed that I really wanted to get to know Thea better, and I was very curious about her past. This is another technique Motte uses in order to enthrall his readers in the story, and it works so well!

I read this book as a buddyread with Marte (@leseverden on Instagram) which was really fun since we got to discuss the book whilst we were reading, and we got to test our theories on who the murderer was along the way. As usual, in my case, we didn’t get it quite right but we were definitely on the right track in some aspects! This was a new experience for me, and Marte and I are already planning more buddyreads in the future!

The Spring Victim is a book that will keep you glued to the pages from early on in the story. Anders de la Motte does an amazing job with creating a story with secrets, several plots, creepy events, and clues along thoroughly created characters. If you’re reading one crime novel this Easter, it should be the Spring Victim!

Published: 2020

Genre: Crime novel

Theme: Murder, family, history

– The Book Reader

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