Review: The Resting Place by Camilla Sten

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Synopsis:

A spine-chilling, propulsive psychological suspense from international sensation Camilla Sten.

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.

A heart-thumping, relentless thriller that will shake you to your core, The Resting Place is an unforgettable novel of horror and suspense. 

Review:

Camilla Sten’s last novel The Lost Village was the worst book I had read in a long time, so when I saw that she had a new novel coming out, I knew she deserved another chance. The good new is that The Resting Place is markedly better than The Lost Village. The bad news is that this does not really mean much.

Eleanor has prosopagnosia, a condition where she cannot recognize faces. When her grandmother is killed, she bumps into the killer but she cannot recognize them. A few months later, she learns that she has inherited an estate in the Swedish woods. Eleanor goes with her boyfriend Sebastian, her aunt Veronika, and the lawyer to straighten out the state affairs. The family mysteries start to come into the open and the killer is revealed.

This is better than her last novel but it is still not great. The characters are uninteresting, the tension is not high, the reveals are not surprising, and the only thing that really carries this novel is the setting. They are in a house in the middle of a blizzard, and I am a fan of books where the natural elements are just as dangerous as the people sheltering themselves from them. Even still this setting does not do enough to carry The Resting Place past the point of being a mediocre, pretty generic thriller. The plot is pretty bland but it does not help that the writing is just boring. I do not know if it is the fault of the writer or the translator, but so much of the writing is cliché and poor that it is difficult to stay focused. The most interesting aspect, Elanor having prosopagnosia, is used more as a plot device than something that seriously affects the plot. Eleanor is staying in a house where her boyfriend is really the only person she is close to. She seems very aware of who is who all of time, except for when it is good for the story. I would like someone with prosopagnosia to read this and tell whether or not this is a good representation. My guess would be no. 

I do not plan to read any more of Camilla Sten’s novels for a while. These two have done nothing for me, and there is nothing in her writing that has held my interest to continue to read her works. 

I received this as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange  for an honest review.

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