Black Ice

Mysterious Book Report No. 455

by John Dwaine McKenna

Black Ice, (Scarlet, $25.95, 400 pages, ISBN 978-1-61316-222-4), written by Carin Gerhardsen, and translated from the Swedish by Ian Giles, takes place on Gotland, a small island located in the Baltic Sea, off the southeast coast of Sweden.

Told in alternating points-of-view by different participants, the novel begins in January of 2014, when a man dies a terrible and agonizing death in a hit-and-run accident on one of the island’s back roads.  As one driver flees the scene, the other is left at the bottom of a deep ravine, barely alive, trapped in his crushed vehicle and needing immediate rescue.  For their own selfish and crime-related reasons, the three other observers on the scene fail to report the accident.  The car is covered in snow and goes undiscovered for four days, and the investigating the police write it off as a single car accident.

Over the next four years, all four individuals who know about the crash live their ordinary lives, until one of them attempts to blackmail the drunk driver who fled the scene . . . and sets off a wave of crimes, including kidnapping, torture and murder.  By using different perspectives from each of the various players and only revealing small plot details at a time, the author keeps ratcheting up the pressure with every chapter of this psychological thriller that will leave readers eagerly anticipating the next one from Ms. Gerhardsen, while singing her praises to their friends . . . Black Ice is nail biting suspense at its very best!


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