I’m delighted to be supporting another Orenda tour and this time around I’m popping my Thomas Enger cherry with this review of his latest novel, Inborn!
A huge thanks to the author and to Orenda Books for the ARC to review and to Anne over at Randomthingstour for inviting me to take part.
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
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 his 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?
When you read a prologue and it instils a fear so deep that it crawls under your skin, then you know two things, one you are reading an Orenda book and two, there is no point even thinking of going to sleep tonight!
WOW! Just wow, right from the beginning my heart was racing, my mind was working overtime and I was totally hooked! The murder of a teenager in the small Norwegian town of Fredheim sets a chain of events in motion that will have long-lasting repercussions. Inborn is told over a dual time frame and takes the reader from the time of the murders in the past to the trial in the here and now. It cleverly takes you between past and present with each section neatly explaining what happens next so that although you are reading in a dual time frame it makes for a seamless reading experience..
Secrets, lies, past and present with a contemporary modern day twist of trial by social media in the middle of a small isolated town makes for a dynamite combination. It was captivating, intriguing and beguiling. It poked and prodded at me incessantly. Unsure of who was telling me the truth, every single person fell under the cloak of suspicion I found myself questioning all of the characters, looking at the potential motivation for murder and indeed exploring human capacity for doing harm to another. It made for a fascinating and engaging read!
Even was one of those characters that got right under my skin. I felt sorry for him, his neglected home life, losing his dad and the very public outpouring of blame and guilt attached to him made me want to give him a huge hug. But there was also a sense of not knowing whether or not we could trust him.
Yngve is the lead investigator and it is clear that he is distracted by his own grief following the death of his wife. There was something reassuring about Yngve, he felt like the kind of policeman who would make you feel safe and protected. We are introduced to his relationship with his colleagues Vibeke Hanstveit and Therese Kyrkjebo and I’m looking forward to reading more about this trio in future books!
It’s not a fast-paced read but rather an intense but deadly meander around the streets and lives of those who live in Fredheim. It explores the small town mentality where gossip spreads and trials are more than simply a legal process; trial by the community, the media and your peers across a variety of mediums which ensures that there is no place to hide.
Inborn is full of beautiful and intriguing narrative which draws you right into the story and indeed into the small town as Thomas Enger paints it and its inhabitants into reality right in front of your eyes. Twists and turns plenty it meant that Right up until the very last minute I was guessing and second guessing myself. This will have your brain in a whirl. Don’t miss it!
Don’t forget the check out what the other bloggers are saying:
Inborn is available to purchase from:
About the author:
Thomas Enger is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned in 2010, which became an international sensation before publication, and marked the first in the bestselling Henning Juul series. Rights to the series have been sold to 28 countries to date. In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). Killer Instinct, upon which Inborn is based, and another Young Adult suspense novel, was published in Norway in 2017 and won the same prestigious prize. Most recently, Thomas has co-written a thriller with Jørn Lier Horst. Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo. Follow him on Twitter @EngerThomas, on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/thomas.enger.77 or visit his website thomasenger.net