Hi everyone! Today I’m sharing my review for the ARC of The Resting Place, a mystery/thriller by Swedish author Camilla Sten! I enjoyed this book, although there were a few things that I didn’t like. If you think this book sounds interesting, it releases on March 29th!
The Resting Place
by Camilla Sten
Release date: March 29th 2021
Genre: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
The medical term is prosopagnosia. The average person calls it face blindness—the inability to recognize a familiar person’s face, even the faces of those closest to you.
When Eleanor walked in on the scene of her capriciously cruel grandmother, Vivianne’s, murder, she came face to face with the killer—a maddening expression that means nothing to someone like her. With each passing day, her anxiety mounts. The dark feelings of having brushed by a killer, yet not know who could do this—or if they’d be back—overtakes both her dreams and her waking moments, thwarting her perception of reality.
Then a lawyer calls. Vivianne has left her a house—a looming estate tucked away in the Swedish woods. The place her grandfather died, suddenly. A place that has housed a dark past for over fifty years.
Eleanor. Her steadfast boyfriend, Sebastian. Her reckless aunt, Veronika. The lawyer. All will go to this house of secrets, looking for answers. But as they get closer to bringing the truth to light, they’ll wish they had never come to disturb what rests there.
I liked this book, but for some reason the entire time I was reading it I felt like I had already read this exact story before but I can’t quite put my finger on what other book follows this plot line so well that I saw all the twists coming.
I did like that Eleanor suffered from prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness so she is unable to recognize people’s faces, and instead needs to remember other characteristics about them. This did add an interesting twist to the story, but it also meant that the idea of an unknown killer felt almost like a cop out. The entire story revolves around Eleanor not being able to recognize anyone, because if she could, she would’ve known who her grandmother’s killer was as well as recognizing people when they were isolated at the estate. I think the face blindness aspect could’ve added such an interesting twist on this story, but instead, it just made things more convenient for the plot to even happen.
The pacing for this was very slow for a thriller, almost to the point where it wasn’t thrilling at all. In fact, I think that this could’ve ended up being a much shorter book because there really isn’t much that happens, and what does happen was pretty underwhelming.
This story is also split between the past and the present, which normally I enjoy in a thriller but for some reason this just felt a little bland. The portions of the book that are in the past are more of a family drama kind of story, while the present is a typical isolated house with a possible killer outside kind of thriller. Essentially, it wasn’t anything new or especially gripping as a thriller. It’s by no means written badly, in fact, I did very much enjoy the writing style! I’ve heard that he first book The Lost Village is very good, so I may give that a try and see if maybe my issue was just with this particular book.
I did like the atmosphere present when the plot was happening at the manor house, but while it took place in Sweden, I would not have been able to tell the difference if it had been set anywhere else in Europe. There were also a lot of elements to the characters and the setting that didn’t seem to really mean anything to the overall story, and I was left wondering why it was included, such a particular character being from another country but keeping in concealed.
Overall, this was an okay read, but I think if you’ve read a lot of thrillers, this one does a lot that other thrillers have already done and in some cases, have done better. I will definitely be trying the author’s other book, because I’ve seen a lot of people mention how great it is!
Have you read The Resting Place? Do you plan to? I’d love to chat!