Two people in exile. Two secrets. As the past tightens its grip, there may be no escape… TV presenter Allis Hagtorn leaves her partner and her job to take voluntary exile in a remote house on an isolated fjord. But her new job as housekeeper and gardener is not all that it seems, and her silent, surly employer, 44-year-old Sigurd Bagge, is not the old man she expected. As they await the return of his wife from her travels, their silent, uneasy encounters develop into a chilling, obsessive relationship, and it becomes clear that atonement for past sins may not be enough… Haunting, consuming and powerful, The Bird Tribunal is a taut, exquisitely written psychological thriller that builds to a shocking, dramatic crescendo that will leave you breathless.
I have to start with saying how much I love the cover for this book. It just shouts at you that there is going to be something dark and sinister within the pages of the novel and there certainly was.
This was a relatively short read and I read it in two sittings over two evenings.
Allis and Sigurd are basically the only characters in this story. There are only fleeting moments of any mention of any other human beings when Allis goes shopping to stock up on much needed food items. With it basically only featuring two characters, I started to slightly worry whether it would hold my interest but I didn’t need to worry as it did.
Nearly all the story is set in and around Sigurd’s house which is in a secluded spot. You certainly get the sense of how cut off these two people are. The actual setting sounded so idyllic yet I couldn’t help but have my doubts about being so cut off from the rest of civilisation.
It is very obvious from the start that these two people that seem to have drifted together have something they are hiding. Allis seems to be running away from something and even though at times she feels frightened around Sigurd, she is also very intrigued and there is something about him that she seems to be drawn to and attracted to. Sigurd, again is obviously hiding something from Allis. He has locked himself away from the world and just seems to be going through the motions of living.
There is a foreboding sense of danger through out this book. You just know that what ever secrets these two are hiding it is going to have a major impact. It felt like Christmas Eve when you are wishing for time to pass quickly for the big day to arrive. I was dying to know what they were hiding and how it was all going to end and it certainly got the adrenaline flowing.
This is without a doubt a dark and sinister read. It is shrouded with mystery and suspense and had me well and truly gripped. A highly enjoyable read.
My thanks to Karen at Orenda for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.
The Bird Tribunal is available to purchase from Amazon.