Saturday, March 26, 2011

SM5 Review: Harbour by John Ajvide Lindqvist

1 book I read:                            Harbour by John Ajvide Linqvist

2 words that describe the book :   Supernatural horror

3 settings and/or characters I met:
  • The story is set in the present day on the island of Domaro in the Swedish archipelago. It is here that Anders and his wife lost their six-year-old daughter - on a day outing to the lighthouse she vanished from the winter ice, as if by magic.
  • Anders: Two years later , with a failed marriage and a serious drinking problem, he has returned to the island to confront his despair. Slowly he begins to realise that Maja's disappearance is not the first unexplained tragedy to strike the islanders. Nor is everyone telling him all they know.
  • Simon:  Anders' step grandfather , partner of grandmother Anna-Greta and permanent residents of Domaro. Once a magician he has a very strange companion living in a matchbox in his pocket.
4 things I liked/disliked about the book:
  • I liked discovering that the book was not, as I first thought, another Scandinavian crime thriller but a quietly chilling supernatural/horror/suspense.
  • I liked the format. The story is narrated by Anders and Simon with constant flashbacks to both their pasts - episodes that gradually reveal secrets hidden within the island community and Anders' own family - secrets that conceal there's something very bad happening on Domaro!
  • I liked the way the author describes the natural environment and uses it so well to create atmosphere. The isolation of the island, the cold and icy winter weather ........and the sea which plays a major role in the story.
  • I really liked the story of Simon and Anna-Greta.........a refreshing change to have the romantic interest revolve around a couple of octogenarians and it added some touching moments and humour to the more macabre happenings.
5 stars or less for my rating:

4.5  Stars for Harbour - I loved everything about it . The setting, the wonderful diversity of characters and the human relationship dynamics, the understated supernatural/horror content ....a perfect mix and I'll be looking forward to reading more from this author.


  1. I can't wait to read this - I have seen other reviews and everyone has given it almost full marks

  2. I have read two books by this author, one I LOVED and the other I didn't finish. I like the guys style of writing though so I'm willing to pick this one up as well.

  3. This sounds like one I would LOVE. I'm glad to hear about it on your blog.