I have never had the compulsion to read a book after I have seen the movie adaptation but this is exactly what happened here. My days of reading Anne Rice novels have long passed so I am not a fan of the vampire genre anymore however this is not your typical horror/vampire story and DEFINITELY not for Twilight fans.
The story is set in 1981 Stockholm Blackberg, a working class neighbourhood where a young boy is mercilessly bullied at school. The only interesting thing, besides Oskar’s scrapbook of murders is the arrival of a new neighbour and his daughter. But not all is as it seems. The little girl is something different, and the old man is certainly not her father.
Its eerie, creepy and at times very sad rather than scary perhaps because a major part deals with non-paranormal horrors such as alcoholism, bullying, prostitution and paedophilia, all touched on in such a way as to deliberately make you very VERY uncomfortable.
The adults are all distant and/or alcoholic, leaving the children to fend for themselves which makes the clumsy connection between Eli and Oskar all the more striking. The book gets a 5 star rating me up until the end, then it became too weird even for me. The fact that Eli was all of a sudden defined as something else (which made me lose my connection with her), and Harken’s transformation into the living dead tainted the story for me.
It’s still a great read and I recommend this to anyone who enjoys the kind of fiction that unsettles you, that makes you look and keep on looking even when part of you very much wants to look away, but I was disappointed in the conclusion.