Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Yule Island by Johana Gustawsson

Good morning, readers! Today I'm a stop on the Random Things tour for Johana Gustawsson's latest, Yule Island

Emma Lindahl is a young and ambitious art expert recently hired on at Von Dardel's, a small but prestigious auction and appraisal house. Through this new position, she's been assigned a fabulous opportunity: cataloging and assessing the Gussman collection at their remote home on Storholmen island. 

But the Gussmans are strange. Her hours are severely limited, her access is confined to specific rooms, and her interaction with the family is all but nonexistent. 

Then there's the island history itself and the fact that a girl was found murdered on the grounds less than a decade before.

Emma tries not to let all of this get to her, but when another body is found nearby, it becomes clear there's something very wrong on Storholmen.

Yule Island is so much creepy fun!

A manor house with dark secrets, a remote island with very small community, and the most fabulous dark Scandinavian lore! Plus, Gustawsson pulls off some truly amazing twists!

The story alternates POVs between Emma; Karl, a local cop; and Viktoria, an employee at the manor. 

Emma is hesitant about her job. And with good reason. The Gussmans are an off-putting family who almost seem to resent her for being there to do the job they hired her for. It's a strange environment, to say the least. 

Karl worked the still open nine-year-old murder case and it haunts him to this day. When another body is found, he's called in even though his own wife has recently gone missing. And yet, the work keeps him busy, keeps him away from their home and their memories, and maybe even gives him a chance at the personal redemption he needs in the wake of the earlier unsolved crime. 

Viktoria has always worked in high-end resort hotels, but the opportunity for a live-in position with the Gussmans offers both her and her daughter a chance to escape her overbearing and emotionally abusive husband. But that doesn't keep him from turning up asking for money occasionally. She gives us a fly-on-the-wall view of the residents of the manor, which becomes increasingly strange and fascinating for the reader!

As I mentioned, Gustawsson has some excellent twists in this book. Some are the kind a savvy reader may see coming while others are a complete surprise. Either way, they make for an intense read. 

And then there's the lore I mentioned. As a whole the book is a wonderful read, but this piece makes it such a stand out. I know next to nothing about Yule lore (the celebration that predates Christmas) and honestly just eat up things like this, begging for more!

Gustawsson hooked me with her previous release, The Bleeding, and as a result Yule Island was already in my must read list and I have to say it did not disappoint!

1 comment:

Anne said...

Thanks for the blog tour support x