(“Let the right one in”)
A friend of ours works in the Science Fiction Bookshop in Stockholm, and occasionally gives us surprising books that we would probably never have found ourselves. This one is one of them. Her description, as far as I remember it, was that the book is “about vampires in the suburbs of Stockholm – not as silly as it sounds”. Having read the book, I can’t think of a better way to describe it myself.

There is a boy, about 12 or 13 years of age, in the western suburbs of Stockholm. Not the kind of suburbs with gardens and villas, but the kind with concrete blocks. There is a girl of about the same age who moves in to the flat next to where he lives, and they sort of tentatively become friends. All very ordinary… But then there is also a man who kills a young boy in the woods. And the girl smells like something dead. And things take off from there.

The premise may sound absurd, but it is treated so calmly and matter-of-factly that as pages go by, it becomes more and more believable. The characters live their ordinary lives in an ordinary part of Stockholm, and under the cover of this ordinariness, stranger things are presented to us as well, almost sneaking in unnoticed. Really, when you think about it, wouldn’t a dull suburb be a great place for vampires? And wouldn’t ordinariness be the best way to survive, instead of black cloacks and striking hairdos?

The book is beautifully written, with an easy yet sparse flow of words, and a great feeling of realism. Grips you and won’t let go – sucks you right in.