After having lost their eldest daughter in an accident, Marika and Leo escape with their now only child Bisse to an idyllic cottage outside the sleepy town of Sundby with the hope of picking up the pieces of their broken family and faltering marriage. Apart from the peculiar neighbors Greta and Max, who mostly keep to themselves, the quaint area surrounded by forests and lakes is precisely what they need to start over.
Alba is a young police officer who harbors an uncontrollable anger. After several violent outbursts at work, she has been relocated from Stockholm to Sundby to sit off her days at a cold case unit led by the eccentric oddball Tore.
Marika and Leo are content with their decision to go rural. But soon unpleasant things start to happen: they are plagued by bad dreams – because they are dreams, right? – objects disappear randomly and at night the ground trembles. And their neighbors are acting weird – what are they hiding?
Alba realizes there are ulterior motives to her being placed with Tore in Sundby, and when she starts investigating a cold case disappearance in the area with connections to her own past as well as the cottage Marika and Leo are renting, Alba and Marika’s stories become eerily intertwined.
The Borrower is a dark and pacy psychological thriller about grief, the urge to recreate what has been lost, and about the cracks in reality that seek answers in the unknown. Twisty, thrilling and wholly unexpected, Camilla Grebe and Carl-David Pärson have created a story that opens the door to our darkest nightmares. Fans of international bestselling suspense writer Camilla Grebe will recognize the intense relationship dramas and shocking plot lines that never miss a beat, while the new mother- and-son writing duo now venture into unchartered territory, asking the question: Are you ready to destroy another person’s life in order to save the one you love?
“The suspense is drawn out, keeping reader on their toes. Right up to the end, with less than 100 pages to go, all the questions are kept alive before the puzzle starts to come together and things become clear. It’s a genius way to entice readers to binge-read.”
-4/5 Stars, BTJ (SE)
“The two parallel narratives move neatly towards each other, intertwine in surprising ways and develop into a seriously creepy story that takes readers well beyond what we call reality and realism. Possibly, anyway. […] Of course, one recognizes Grebe’s fine stylistic ability to capture characters, environments and moods in The Borrower, but the new collaboration has led her down completely new paths as well. […] Camilla Grebe and Carl-David Pärson have found an elegantly mutual tone in The Borrower where they lead us readers into a story that surprises, that twists and turns all perspectives and also frankly scares the hell out of us. While reading, I completely stop thinking about what genre this really is and just enjoy the fact that these supernatural elements make me feel grief, loss, love and loneliness for real. […] I would love to have more in this style from the duo Grebe & Pärson.”
-Gunilla Wedding, Sydsvenskan (SE)
“One of our best Swedish suspense authors has written [The Borrower] with her adult son – a successful collaboration. The plot is classic: a family moves into a house where mysterious things happen. There is a realistic everyday life here, but with hints of something unexplained, calling to mind John Ajvide Lindqvist.”
“There are plenty of creative and surprising turns in this intelligent plot: three major twists and a number of minor ones. /…/ The authors succeed in skillfully deceiving me and I applaud them. Well-written to say the least…. An entertaining and thrilling summer read that can safely be recommended to almost everyone.”