Date Started: 9th May 2018
Date Finished: 13th May 2018
Where I got it from: NetGalley (via Publishers HQ)
Cost: £0.00 in return for an honest review
Published: NG lists as 17 May 2018 but Amazon lists as 24 Jan 2019.
Blurb: The most deadly trap is the one you don’t see…
Sofia has just finished university and ended a troubled relationship when she attends a lecture about a New Age movement, Via Terra. Its leader is Franz Oswald, young, good-looking, urbane and mesmerizing.
When Franz invites Sofia to visit Fog Island, the organization’s headquarters, Sofia is dazzled by the beautiful mansion overlooking the sea, the well-tended gardens, the peaceful atmosphere and the purposefulness of the people who live there. And she can’t ignore the attraction she feels for Oswald, and clearly he is fascinated by her also. So she decides to stay.
But when summer gives way to winter, and the dense fog from which the island derives its name sets in for months, it becomes clear that Franz rules the island with an iron fist. No phones or computers are allowed. All contact with the mainland is severed. Sofia begins to realize how very alone she is. And it becomes clear that no one leaves Fog Island…
About the Author: Mariette Lindstein was born and raised in Halmstad on the west coast of Sweden. At the age of 20, she joined the Church of Scientology and worked for the next 25 years at all levels of the organisation, including at its International HQ outside Los Angeles.
Mariette left the church in 2004 and is now married to Dan Soon, an author and artist. They live in the forest outside Halmstad with their three dogs. The Cult on Fog Island is her debut novel and was first published in Sweden where it won the Best Crime Debut at the Specsavers CrimeTime Awards.
Mariette now dedicates her life to writing and lecturing to warn others about the dangers of cults and cult mentality.
My Review: I want to point out here that this is the first book in a trilogy and is also translated from the original Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles. I am not sure when the 2nd and 3rd books are going to be translated and published in English.
The book started a little slow – there were times when I felt that the translation faltered and slightly bought me out of the zone but not to the point that it made me think of putting it down .. because I was gripped from the start. Put the word ‘cult’ int he title of a book, film or TV Show and I’m in! Not sure why it fascinated me so much but it does and this didn’t disappoint me!
I think one of the things I liked about it so much is that you can see it happening – looking at it from the outside it’s easy to see where things are going wrong and where Oswald is exerting his influence over Sofia and you almost want to shout at the pages “Can’t you see what’s happening here?!” or “Have a mind of your own for goodness sakes” but then that is the whole issue with cults and cult mentality.
There were a couple of occasions where information seemed ‘tagged’ on as if the writer realised, in editing, that she hadn’t introduced a theme, idea or person but again it didn’t really detract from the story or feeling and the final one (that I noticed) I even found myself thinking “we must need to know he was here for a future plot line” .. and we did!
I toyed with my star rating and I erred on the side of lower only because there were some things that poked at me … but in total honesty, I am not sure if it was plot holes / inaccuracies or very clever writing making me totally ensconced in the story.
Either way, I really enjoyed it and I will absolutely most definitely pick up the next in the series – having read the synopsis for it I am very much hoping that it is on it’s way soon!
Book 2: The Cult that Resurrected (Swedish Title)
Book 3: Children of the Cult (Swedish Title)
**I was sent this book by the publisher in return for an honest review and some of the links are affiliate**