Tess McMillan ©2015
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Sudden murder and the resulting rise of psychological tension
are the hallmark of Inger Frimansson’s acclaimed thrillers.
In The Island of Naked Women, Tobias, an author of mystery novels, must return to the family farm after his father became incapacitated after a fall from the hayloft. Tobias resents his father’s judgmental attitude but also finds the allure of his father’s young wife Sabina hard to resist.
Meanwhile, the hired hand Hardy scoffs at Tobias’ city ways, while encouraging Sabina’s mentally challenged son Adam to turn into an Elvis impersonator. On top of that, Ingelize, who runs a riding school, finds Tobias irresistible.
The rural life becomes increasingly claustrophobic for Tobias, but before he can return to the city, death strikes a hard blow and chaos ensues.
"I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which is a strong candidate for my "best of" list for this year. As well as the satisfying "on the surface" mystery, there is an allegorical aspect to the story, which gives it a haunting quality.
... Laura A Wideburg has done a superb job in conveying the subtleties of the language, and I look forward to reading her interpretations of GOOD NIGHT, MY DARLING and THE SHADOW IN THE WATER, two other novels by the same author..."
— Maxine Clarke, in Euro Crime
Tobias tried to catch Sabina’s eye, but she was busy steering the boat, setting its course toward Shame Island. It was the largest island in the lake, but no one lived there, no one had even built a summer cabin there.
“Shame Island, what a hell of a name,” he burst out, mostly to change the subject and make things easier for Sabina. His own voice disgusted him at once. He heard the sound of his old man’s voice in his own, a tone he wanted nothing to do with.
A glimmer of light came into Hardy’s eye.
“Do you have any idea why they call it Shame Island?” Hardy asked.
Tobias didn’t answer.
“They used to leave the women there, the ones that were married and did the deed with other men. They rowed them out there like we bring the animals. And they left the women there as naked as the day God made them. They probably wished then that they really were animals instead, those old whores.”
“Those old whores,” repeated Adam. The nerve under his eye twitched more strongly.
“Cut it out,” said Sabina.
“Well, it’s true. They starved to death out there, that is, if they didn’t drown themselves or freeze to death first.”
—— Translated by Laura A.Wideburg
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