Anna Verhulst leaves the bustling city to live in the picturesque rural village of Noaber. She hopes living in her grandmother’s old home will help her escape the past.
The villagers’ initial kindness turns sour when Anna refuses to sell her neighbour a parcel of land, and the community does its best to drive her out. When the atmosphere turns grim and Anna is threatened, she finds herself with her back to the wall. Patricia Snel’s second thriller is a sophisticated psychological story about love, culture-clash and corruption in the countryside.
‘The new star on the Dutch literary thriller horizon.’ ECI
‘...her novel is so gripping...’ Trendystyle.net
‘A nerve-wracking Dutch thriller. A claustrophobic story that could happen to anyone.’ Goudse Post
‘Patricia Snel once again proves she’s one of the top of Dutch thriller writers.’ Wassenaarder
‘Patricia Snel deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as famous authors like Simone van der Vlugt and Saskia Noort.’ Steenwijkerland Expres
‘...The latest work from the lady from Dwingeloo is a nerve-wracking Dutch thriller based on a true story. Patricia once again proves she’s one of the finest literary crime writers...’ Meppeler Courant
It was getting chillier as the sun set and hid behind Noaber’s onion-shaped steeple. The surrounding buildings remained invisible behind the lush greenery. Crickets chirped and cows grazed, their tails gently swatting at persistently buzzing flies. The heat of summer shimmered over the meadows.
My hands caressed the leaves of grass, my arms outstretched as if I was flying. It caused a pleasant, tickling sensation, as did the leaves that touched my calves. In this part of the country, two and a half acres of land around a house wasn’t much, but for someone from the city, one hundred thousand square feet felt like an estate. And I had inherited this estate, with a nineteenth-century farm, which, with its rows of Tilia and high sash windows, looked very distinguished but like my grandmother hadn’t been maintained the garden in years. No wonder, since as she had passed away a year and a half before. That was a long time, long enough for the ivy to grow even deeper behind the shutters of the great room and under the thatched roof, and for the bramble bushes to overgrow the little bakery building in the garden. But that was all about to change. As I gazed upon the house and garden, ideas for kitchens, bathrooms, floors and pergolas were instantly transformed into renovation drawings. It was going to be amazing, also for my cocker spaniel Kwibus. He came running towards me, tail wagging and nose to the ground. There were thousands of scents to discover. How he would enjoy the long walks through the forest and over the heath. And he loved chasing rabbits. From the back of our long garden we walked straight into the national park. If it wasn’t so hot I would have skipped with joy. Lengthwise, the yard was demarcated by mouldy and crooked oak beams, most of which ran along the grassland and a third bordered the forest. I followed the skirting through the meadow and out into the cool evening air. I briefly glanced back. The farm, right near the deserted road on which the occasional tractor thundered past, looked like a doll’s house.