The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn

University professor Nina is at a turning point. Her work seems increasingly irrelevant, her doctor husband is never home, relations with her difficult daughter are strained, and their beautiful house is scheduled for demolition.
When her daughter decides to move into another house they own, things take a very dark turn. The young woman living there disappears, leaving her son behind, the day after Nina and her daughter pay her a visit.
With few clues, the police enquiry soon grinds to a halt, but Nina has an inexplicable sense of guilt. Unable to rest, she begins her own investigation, but as she pulls on the threads of the case, it seems her discoveries may have very grave consequences for her and her family.
Exquisitely dark and immensely powerful, The Seven Doors is a sophisticated and deeply disturbing psychological thriller from one of Norway’s most distinguished voices.

My Review

A slow burning, atmospheric read, lingering with an air of menace and mystery.

They say moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do, and I should know as I have moved around a lot, I am currently in my 13th, and hopefully my last house! But this book takes the stress of moving house to the max!

With a forced move thrust upon them and Nina’s childhood home about to be destroyed to make way for a new development project, it is with a heavy heart that she begins house hunting.

The logical step would be to move into the house that her husband Mads inherited from his aunt, but along with the fact Nina has no desire to move into that house, there is another obstacle in the way. The house is currently being rented out to a young single mum, Mari Nilson and her son. That is until Nina’s daughter, Ingeborg, turns up on the doorstep informing Mari that she has to move out because she will be moving in.

Following Ingeborg’s visit, in a state of shock, Mari packs her things and returns to her parents, then within a few days Mari disappears without a trace, leaving her three-year-old son behind, much to the shock and disbelief of her parents and to Nina’s horror.

Feeling that she, or rather her daughter, is responsible in some way for Mari’s disappearance, Nina takes it upon herself to find out what happened to Mari, but as she begins her investigation she stumbles across some of her own families secrets, secrets that have been buried for decades. Secrets that somehow have a connection to Mari’s disappearance and some people seem to know more than they are letting on.

This is an extremely atmospheric, fully immersive read that has you investing in both the story and the characters as it brings you face to face with Nina’s inner turmoil as well as with the other deeply flawed characters. Not all of the likeable!

The only thing I did find was that the lack of the quotation marks made it harder to follow the flow of the book at times with what bits were thoughts and speech. But that might just be me. My lazy brain having to concentrate that little bit more than it’s used too!

Fans of Nordic Noir will be in book heaven with this one as Agnes Ravatn firmly cements herself with some of the greats.

The Seven Doors will be published in paperback on 17 Sept. 2020 or it is available now on eBook.

A massive Thank You to the author Agnes Ravatn and publishers Orenda Books for my copy of the book and spot on the blog tour in exchange for an honest and independent review.

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