Alex Dahl’s The Boy at the Door is a novel of remarkable accomplishment that sets its nuanced and intriguing characters in the context of a plot that grips like a vice. And that success is in spite of the fact that the accoutrements of the narrative are very familiar: a woman with a perfect life (attractive husband, beautiful daughters and an upscale lifestyle) finds her comfortable life threatened by a secret that can bring about its painful destruction. Dahl, however, is able to ring satisfying changes on the familiar ingredients, and her heroine Cecilia, in particular, is one of the most distinctive that readers will have encountered in recent years. The author herself half-American, half-Norwegian (she was born in Oslo) and synthesises the characteristics of the two countries in her DNA in a fascinating fashion. The Boy at the Door fully merits the author encomiums adorning its jacket.

The Boy at the Door by Alex Dahl is published by Head of Zeus

 

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