cover image Winter Water

Winter Water

Susanne Jansson, trans. from the Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles. Grand Central, $16.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-5387-2926-7

Set on the Swedish island of Orust, this disquieting tale of loss, grief, and rekindling of hope from Jansson (The Forbidden Place) hooks the reader from the start. Martin, the owner of a failing mussel farm, lives with his family in a secluded house close to the sea. One morning, Martin allows his three-year-old son, Adam, to play in the yard while he answers a phone call. When he goes outside a few minutes later, Adam is gone. The police find one of Adam’s rubber boots in the water, but no sign of the boy. Maya, a photographer who has come to Orust to take pictures for her next exhibition and was once a police photographer, decides to investigate, and together she and Martin discover that over the years other children have disappeared from the same spot and on the same date. Is this the work of a cult, of ghostly spirits calling from the sea, or of something even more sinister? Jansson does a good job maintaining the uncertainty and the suspense. Horror fans will also want to check this out. Agent: Astri Von Arbin Ahlander, Ahlander Agency (Sweden). (Dec.)