Hello wonderful readers! I hope you are well!
Today is the day! Books beyond the story’s first ever book blog tour! Hooray! I am so excited! The book is called “A Presence of Absence” by Sarah Surgey and Emma Vestrheim. I hope you’ve been enjoying the blog tour so far!
(Like the featured image? My review is on the front! Read on to see where it fits in 😉 )
So, what’s the story? Ex-detective Simon Weller must come out of retirement to solve a ruling case that has shook Odense to its core. So soon after the suicide of his beloved wife Vibeke, Simon must overcome his grief and step up to the mark. But something is holding Simon back; he knows something is wrong, but can he figure it out before it’s too late?
I have to say, I have never been to Denmark but when reading the book, I had no trouble imagining the cobbled streets, the charming houses or the enchanted atmosphere that surrounded Odense. After all, Hans Christian Anderson (author of some of the most beautiful fairy tales of all time, e.g. ‘The Little Mermaid’!) was from there, which I think made the setting even more magical.
I adored that the story was set between England and Denmark as you really felt the ambiance change from a mere suspicion to a full on mysterious and dark world…
The characters were probably my favourite part of the novel. Their development was well thought-out, but at the same time, each character brought a new theme to the novel. Simon is trying to cope with his grief of losing his dear wife Vibeke, Jonas is unhappily married and is trying to do something to impress his boss for once. The two are thrown together in an investigation to solve some mysterious and horrific crimes. I liked Simon and Jonas’s “odd couple” relationship which, although humorous at times, did not derive from the suspense of the plot. These characters are at the heart of the story; they are central to everything else that is going on in the plot and I have to say I enjoyed that their characters took up most of the novel. Simon is the widow of Vibeke who killed herself not long before this story begins. He feels as if he can’t move on as something is preventing him from doing so: a supernatural force, or his gut that something suspicious hangs in the air.
His daughter and her children are also prominent in the story. Sanne is in England whilst her father is in Odense but cannot escape the fact that something is up with her husband Michael. With lies closing in on the one she loves, the truth starts to appear…
I felt these characters not only added structure to the story, but also made the plot more thrilling as it had the added suspense of multiple mysteries…
Jonas is also a likable character. Although irritating at times, you realise he only wants to do the right thing and before now, has only risen to the ranks of a traffic officer. He knows this case will either make or break him so you understand the amount of pressure he is under. It is quite clear that at first Simon and Jonas don’t take a fancy to one another but perhaps this unlikely pair can find something they have in common?
The fact that this book has two authors was also intriguing. The style of writing wasn’t disjointed and flowed really well. I have to say I was surprised as I wasn’t sure how a book with two authors would come about but I am definitely impressed! The skill of writing a book together must be astronomical, nothing but praise for the authors who created this incredible story together! (More about these amazing authors in a bit!)
“The odd couple” actually represents another running theme in the novel. Brit meets Nord, crime meets fantasy, fact meets fiction- themes that don’t normally go together go hand in hand in this cleverly created novel. A unique and refreshing story that captivates you from start to finish! It has been described as “Brit crime meets Nordic noir” and I couldn’t agree more! The eerie scenery, mixed with an unusual setting really puts the events if this novel into perspective.
As for the ending (don’t worry no spoilers!) I thought it was very climactic and inventive. This nail-biting story mixes the darkness of a thriller with the essence of a whimsical tale of mystery and grief. I find that some stories ‘rush’ the ending after so much suspense which spoils the novel. Not this book though, I thought it was very fitting and well thought out.
To sum up, I would say this is an emotionally gripping and unnerving story leaving you hooked till the very end… Full of suspense, mystery and wonder, an unusual and imaginative story that I am glad to announce is the first in a series of books yet to come!
I look forward to reading what happens next!
I would just like the thank the authors for having ‘books beyond the story’ take part in their blog tour. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and hope to do more in the future!
Here are the links to get your hands on “A Presence of Absence”
Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XFS75LT
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XFS75LT
Amazon Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B06XFS75LT
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06XFS75LT
Amazon Germany: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B06XFS75LT
Amazon France: https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B06XFS75LT
Amazon Spain: https://www.amazon.es/dp/B06XFS75LT
Amazon Italy: https://www.amazon.it/dp/B06XFS75LT
Amazon Netherlands: https://www.amazon.nl/dp/B06XFS75LT
Amazon Japan: https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B06XFS75LT
Amazon Brazil: https://www.amazon.com.br/dp/B06XFS75LT
Amazon Mexico: https://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B06XFS75LT
Amazon India: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B06XFS75LT
Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1520771770
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1520771770
Amazon Germany: https://www.amazon.de/dp/1520771770
Amazon France: https://www.amazon.fr/dp/1520771770
Amazon Spain: https://www.amazon.es/dp/1520771770
Amazon Italy: https://www.amazon.it/dp/1520771770
Amazon Japan: https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/1520771770
Also available from the book’s website: http://theodenseseries.com/
About the Authors
Sarah Surgey is a 36 year old British feature writer for various magazines. She lives in the UK with her husband and 4 daughters.
She has had an interest in all things Nordic for many years and has written about many genres within this subject for publication. Although British, she has Danish family and enjoys exploring Denmark and its culture whenever the opportunity arrives.
Sarah was brought up with crime books and inevitably has always had crime story scenarios going around inside her head. After interviewing many famous authors for different magazines within the Nordic literary circle and always knowing the answer to her question of “why did you start writing?” she felt now was her time to get her stories out there, for people to read!
Emma Vestrheim is the owner and editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia, a Nordic film and television journal that analyses popular Nordic titles. Part of her work includes working with directors, actors and filmmakers, and her numerous interviews with the biggest names in Nordic film and television have given her a privileged access to what makes Nordic narratives so successful. Cinema Scandinavia publishes bimonthly and is available in major Nordic film libraries.
Here are the social media liks for tyou to follow and keep up woth the Odense series:
For more information, visit Website: www.theodenseseries.com
To see what others have thought about this book, visit https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34267516-a-presence-of-absence
Keep up to date with the blog tour too! (The response has been fantastic! Some amazing blogs are taking part!) Information below! Happy reading! Lx
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.