The Bookvent Calendar 2019: Day 17

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#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2019

My seventeenth #bookvent selection is one of the earliest books I read in the year. In fact it was way back in January, making it one of the very first Red Hot Read awards of the year. I knew when I was reading the first few pages that is was something special, from an author who has never once disappointed. I loved his Henning Juul series and hearing that we were to be treated to a standalone thriller I was excited. My excitement and anticipation was rewarded and then some. With a narrative that moves between the past and the present day court case, my day seventeen bookvent choice is:

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Inborn by Thomas Enger

What turns a boy into a killer?

When the high school in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim becomes a murder scene, the finger is soon pointed at seventeen-year-old Even. As the investigation closes in, social media is ablaze with accusations, rumours and even threats, and Even finds himself the subject of an online trial as well as being in the dock … for murder?

Even pores over his memories of the months leading up to the crime, and it becomes clear that more than one villager was acting suspiciously … and secrets are simmering beneath the calm surface of this close-knit community.  As events from the past play tag with the present, he’s forced to question everything he thought he knew. Was the death of his father in a car crash a decade earlier really accidental? Has a relationship stirred up something that someone is prepared to kill to protect?

It seems that there may be no one that Even can trust. But can we trust him?

A taut, moving and chilling thriller, Inborn examines the very nature of evil, and asks the questions: How well do we really know our families? How well do we know ourselves?

Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books
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This book is clever. Very clever. I can’t really tell you why – you need to read the book to work that out for yourself – but believe me, Thomas Enger is good. Inborn follows the fate of Even, a teenager who finds himself at the centre of suspicion when a former school friend is found murdered in the heart of their high school. Faced with suspicion all around, and a trial which takes place as much on line as it does in the courtroom, Thomas Enger takes us deep into the complicated world of teenage life – lies, secrets and intrigue which ultimately proves very deadly. I loved it from the moment I read the first chapter, and I was completely hooked to the end. It was definitely one of those ‘how the heck do I review the book’ kind of reads as to say too much could pose a spoiler risk, to say too little would do the book, and the author, a complete disservice. What I will say is that the book captures the atmosphere, the tension and the growing suspicion perfectly, with a story which is a beautifully descriptive and evocative as any book the author has written. You cannot help but root for Even, even when the matter of his guilt or innocence has yet to be proven. He has been created perfectly and going on the journey with him, sitting with him in the dock as he gives evidence, creates quite a powerful reaction. Not only do we have a great character in Even, but there is also Monk, the Detective responsible for the investigation. He has his own demons to battle, emotional and poignant at times, that inform all that he does. With perfect pacing, tension and scene setting that puts you right at the heard of the community, the author captures every emotion with great skill, never going too far, always just enough to convey everything that needs to be said. An absolutely brilliant thriller from a very talented author.

If you’d like to read my full review of Inborn, you can find it here.

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Happy #bookvent reading all

Jen