Outside: Terrifying and Wonderful
It seems mystery readers can’t get enough of Scandi noir, and for good reason. There’s something inherently creepy about areas that are isolated and dark—which can apply to much of the region. But it also takes a talented author to make that creepiness come alive for the reader, and Ragnar Jónasson has done it again, this time with Outside.
It’s everyone’s worst nightmare, actually. In a deadly snowstorm, four friends seek shelter in an abandoned hunting lodge. (Yeah, you already know something untoward is about to happen!) Miles from help, and knowing they will die out in the cold, they break in, hoping to wait out the storm until morning.
The friends, of course, make a macabre discovery, setting the scene for a long night where they begin to unravel—secrets emerge, tensions escalate, and panic and paranoia have free rein. Jónasson excels at creating a claustrophobic atmosphere within a disturbing narrative, and he does it again here. He stitches together an unforgiving landscape, strong elements of horror, and intricate dynamics among the gathered friends.
It all makes for a very satisfying read…. Though you might find yourself keeping the light on for it!