I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.
University professor Nina is at a turning point. Her work seems increasingly irrelevant, her doctor husband is never home, relations with her difficult daughter are strained, and their beautiful house is scheduled for demolition.
When her daughter decides to move into another house they own, things take a very dark turn. The young woman living there disappears, leaving her son behind, the day after Nina and her daughter pay her a visit.
With few clues, the police enquiry soon grinds to a halt, but Nina has an inexplicable sense of guilt. Unable to rest, she begins her own investigation, but as she pulls on the threads of the case, it seems her discoveries may have very grave consequences for her and her family.
Exquisitely dark and immensely powerful, The Seven Doors is a sophisticated and deeply disturbing psychological thriller from one of Norway’s most distinguished voices.
I can’t believe I still haven’t read the first novel by Agnes Ravatn, The Bird Tribunal, but after reading The Seven Doors, I will definitely be rectifying that soon.
Nina and her husband Mads are moving out of Nina’s childhood home, which is due to be demolished, much to Nina’s dismay. They are being forced into a compulsory purchase scheme, and if that isn’t upsetting enough for them, their daughter is pushing for an advance on her inheritance. But she ends up moving in with Nina and her husband again after a bad case of silverfish at her home. But things don’t go quite as smoothly as they would have liked when they arrive at their new residence. The current tenant, Mari, is unsettled by their sudden appearance and she soon disappears. As the police become involved in the search for Mari, Nina is desperate to solve the mystery of her disappearance.
An unusual aspect I found about this story was that the author doesn’t use speech marks when her characters are talking. At first, I did find this slightly off-putting, but I eventually got used to it. It’s a style of writing that I haven’t come across before. It did mean, though, that I did have to pay a lot more attention to the writing, but I found that it actually drew me into the story more and I became more immersed.
I became more intrigued by Mari’s disappearance as Nina tried her best to investigate. She begins to speak to people who were close to her. This made me think that Nina was putting herself closer to danger. I could never be sure if there was a sinister reason behind Mari’s disappearance. I wanted to find out more about her, like Nina. I also wondered if there was a more innocent explanation. Agnes Ravatn creates an air of mystery about Mari’s character, and it kept me invested in the book.
I love reading novels set in the part of the world that The Seven Doors is set in, making Nordic Noir one of my favourite genres. I think the Norwegian landscape creates a very atmospheric setting that draws you in and Agnes Ravatn definitely succeeds with that here.
I was completely shocked by the ending of this book, and you can see just how devastating the ending is for the characters. I won’t say any more here than that. It does make you wonder how they are all going to move on from this after the final pages.
The Seven Doors is a novel that really makes you think about the characters as you are reading, and it will keep you thinking about what happened to Mari and what Nina will discover. It is an utterly immersive read. The book has also been very well translated by the translator, Rosie Hedger. If you’re looking for a beautifully written thriller that will draw you in, then look no further.
Publisher: Orenda Books
Publication date: 17th September 2020
Print length: 276 pages
The Seven Doors is available to buy:
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