cover image The Cat Did Not Die

The Cat Did Not Die

Inger Frimansson, trans. from the Swedish by Laura A. Wideburg. Pleasure Boat Studio/Caravel (SPD, dist.), $18 trade paper (302p) ISBN 978-1-929355-89-1

Cats, as omens of evil, proliferate in this intense psychological thriller from Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award–winner Frimansson (The Island of the Naked Women). A middle-aged couple, schoolteacher Beth Svärd and journalist Ulf Nordin, seek peace after the death of their premature twins in their rustic country home in Smaland. When Beth catches an elusive stalker on their property, she savagely murders him with an ax, and with Ulf’s help buries the body in the woods. In the horrific aftermath, Beth suffers panic attacks and feels she might be going mad. And, of course, someone eventually finds the grave. Beth and Ulf believe that his new assignment in Tanzania will bring them respite from their anxiety, but it leads to fresh nightmares and a catastrophic event. A note of impending doom never lets up. Some readers might finish this mercilessly grim book with a sigh of relief. (Feb.)