The new novel by Josephine Greenland
“An atmospheric, finely-drawn setting; a haunting crime; and an unusual pair of detectives: Embers is a compelling debut”
Two siblings, one crime.
One long-buried secret.
17-year-old Ellen never wanted a holiday. What is there to do in a mining town in the northernmost corner of the country, with no one but her brother Simon – a boy with Asperger’s and obsessed with detective stories – for company?
Nothing, until they stumble upon a horrifying crime scene that brings them into a generations-long conflict between the townspeople and the native Sami. When the police dismiss Simon’s findings, he decides to track down the perpetrator himself. Ellen reluctantly helps, drawn in by a link between the crime and the siblings’ own past.
What started off as a tedious holiday soon escalates into a dangerous journey through hatred, lies and self-discovery that makes Ellen question not only the relationship to her parents, but also her own identity.
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Josephine Greenland, born 1995, is a Swedish author currently working as a teacher in Edinburgh.
She has a BA in English from the University of Exeter and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Birmingham. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in 14 journals online and in print.
Embers is her first novel, and was written during her MA.
It’s been another little while since my last post, the editing and re-writing of my second novel being the major reason why. Looking back through my posts to check when my latest update was, I realised I’d never mentioned that amidst the blog tours for Embers, I finished my teaching job in Scotland, moved back to Sweden, and started applying for PhD positions in literature here. All the while working on book two. Simply put – a lot!
Embers is a dark, and twisted tale that follows a brother and sister team that is desperate to find the answers to a horrific crime.
Firstly, I really appreciated the bond between brother and sister being shown in this book. When they’re sent to Svartjokk, Ellen has no option but to look after Simon.
I’m delighted to say that the audiobook version of Embers is now available on all major platforms, distributed by audio content company Findaway. This is a fantastic way of getting the book out to an even wider audience, accessible not only to avid readers, but also avid listeners.
I knew nothing about reindeer herding until I read this part fact, part fiction book. I was totally surprised at the tradition, and the hate crime/victimisation the herders receive by people in positions of power or by capitalists. For these topics alone, this book is an important read.
Tell us about your latest book
Embers is a YA Mystery and crime novel set in the fictional mining town of Svartjokk in northern Sweden. It can be described as a Scandi Noir version of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. It tells the story of 17-year-old Ellen Blind, who travels to Svartjokk with her brother Simon, a 14-year-old with Aspergers. They’re on a holiday arranged by their parents, who claim that the siblings should bond, visit the birthplace of their late grandfather, Lars-Erik, and discover their Sami roots. Ellen, though, knows that her parents also want them out of the way so they can sort out their marital problems….
“Keep it simple, keep it true”.
This is exactly what Josephine Greenland does with her YA detective novel. Make no mistake, there are heavy themes addressed in this book, from the suppression of native or (ab-)original cultures to how a family does -or doesn’t – deal with a neuro-diverse family member, depending on the individual doing the dealing.
However, this is a page-turner of a book….