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Publisher's Summary

A brilliantly written and gripping historical Nordic noir thriller with all the intrigue and atmosphere of Burial Rites, the pent-up passion of The Piano, and the suspense of The Tenderness of Wolves.

There are six homesteads on Blackåsen Mountain. A day's journey away lies the empty town. It comes to life just once, in winter, when the church summons her people through the snows. Then even the oldest enemies will gather.

But now it is summer, and new settlers are come. It is their two young daughters who find the dead man not half an hour's walk from their cottage. The father is away. And whether stubborn or stupid or scared for her girls, the mother will not let it rest.

To the wife who is not concerned when her husband does not come home for three days to the man who laughs when he hears his brother is dead to the priest who doesn't care, she asks and asks her questions, digging at the secrets of the mountain. They say a wolf made those wounds. But what wild animal cuts a body so clean?

©2015 Cecilia Ekbäck (P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton

Critic Reviews

"Like a silent fall of snow; suddenly, the reader is enveloped...visually acute, skilfully written; it won't easily erase its tracks in the reader's mind." (Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies)
"Exquisitely suspenseful, beautifully written, and highly recommended" (Lee Child, number-one best-selling author of the Jack Reacher thrillers)
"The most brilliantly, dark, eerie, intriguing tale I've ever read. Think The Killing and then square it." (Ruby Wax)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lydia
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • 03-25-15

Excellent Scandinavian Gothic novel

What made the experience of listening to Wolf Winter the most enjoyable?

I loved this novel. The theme is refreshing different to most of the novels that I’ve read. The prose is sleek and elegant. It was a fascinating view od peasant life in Sweden in the 1700s.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Maila. She was brave in the face of great adversity.

What does Jenny Funnell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narration is clear with an even pitch and pace. The accurate pronunciation of names was invaluable.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The most memorable part was when Maija was about to perform amputation of her daughter’s gangrenous toes.

Any additional comments?

Great book. I would love to read another novel from this author.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • keziah
  • 07-06-15

Atmospheric novel with beautiful imagery

An interesting story with strong female characters in a very male dominated society. Explores the relationship between the church and the more pagan beliefs of the people. I enjoyed it greatly.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • holly bird
  • 03-28-15

Interesting and Unusual

What did you like most about Wolf Winter?

The time and the setting, Swedish Lapland, 1717.Mostly I enjoyed the writing style. Never saying too much, but always enough.Also the gritty unsentimentality of the characters.

What did you like best about this story?

A murder is at the centre of this novel, but far more interesting is reading about the survival techniques of rural settlers through the winter in very rural Sweden.The magic and mystery that isolation brings, and the relationships of these people to the church.

Did Jenny Funnell do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

No. I thought her reading was one dimensional, flat and dull. The baby voices she gave to the children, and even an adult was irritating. All the men sounded the same, imperious and hard, and the women were much the same. Fortunately the strength of the story takes over and does the work for you.

Any additional comments?

A good and satisfying read.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marissa Freeman
  • 01-20-18

Breathtaking

Best book I have read in years. It makes other thrillers and crime novels feel childish. I loved everything about this book- the characters, the way nature is personified and the plot

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Fran Pearce
  • 01-04-18

Twists and turns

A great story interconnecting many crimes from the start. It's leads the reader/listener in many different directions. It also describes the effects the long Scandinavian winters can have on a person.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicky
  • 12-28-17

Beautiful imagery, didn’t fully understand the story

This book was like listening to a painting. The imagery was wonderful but somehow I came away feeling confused as to the story. This might not be a bad thing, perhaps it will encourage me to listen again. Well narrated.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Buysalot
  • 12-11-17

Quite Mesmerising

A part of the world at a time in history I know nothing about, but I was pulled deeply into this novel. Fascinating, more than a little scary at times. Mostly because I really felt I was there. Excellent writing and narration.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-20-16

Dire

What would have made Wolf Winter better?

Better plot

What will your next listen be?

North and South

What about Jenny Funnell’s performance did you like?

All of it

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not really

Any additional comments?

It just droned on and on. Badly drawn characters made them un-memorable so thread of book was hard to follow

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • 07-17-17

Excellent story full of atmosphere and mystery

A great read if you enjoy Nordic Noir. I recommend the story and expressive writing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-22-17

Dreary miserable depressing

I found this book entirely in enjoyable. Although I have loved northern Scandinavia at first hand, I found the whole concept of this Piece of writing Distressing. Full marks for literary accomplishment that far from And enjoyable experience.