Chloe Forsyth puzzles over award-winning psychological thriller Mind of Winter.
It has taken me 24 hours and a lot of head scratching to decide what to think of the abrupt ending to Mind of Winter. When I first put it down I felt cheated, bereft of explanations I’d spent the whole book waiting for. But, after mulling it over, I actually think I might have fallen in love with Kasischke’s award-winning novel after all.
Holly Judge and her adopted teenage daughter Tatiana are snowed in their house on Christmas Day. With her husband and family stranded at the airport, Holly is left alone to deal with her daughter’s increasingly erratic behaviour, and the nagging thought that “something had followed them home from Russia” after the adoption all those years ago.
As Holly struggles to figure out the truth behind the adoption and the string of accidents and bad luck that has befallen them since, she becomes increasingly unsure of who and what she can trust.
The psychological thriller takes a while to fall into its genre, walking the line between thriller and horror cliché at times However, once the pace of the novel picks up you can suspend your disbelief until the snow building up over the windows adds to the uneasy effect of the writing, rather than detracting from it.
While the final twist at the end was near perfect, I felt it came too swiftly. There wasn’t enough time to fully grasp what was happening. The final realisation after 200 pages of uncertainties and clues comes in the very last paragraph of the book, leaving a lot of unanswered questions. However, this sudden shock fits perfectly with the rest of the novel, even if it left me dissatisfied. So if you are a thriller fan I definitely recommend giving it a chance when Mind of Winter comes out later this year.
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