ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Camilla Sten is a Swedish writer. Sten started her career in 2021 with a thriller. With two books under her belt, both in the thriller and suspense genres, Sten has quickly made a name for herself as one of the best contemporary thriller authors. Her first book, The Lost Village, climbed the New York Times’ bestselling charts for its disturbing theme and the investigative nature of its protagonist. The Resting Place is Sten’s second work. The book was released in 2022 and its theme is quite similar to The Lost Village.
Stepping out of the shadow of her mother, Viveca Sten, Camilla has established herself as an accomplished writer. She is currently working on her next psychological thriller, which is expected to release soon.
The Resting Place is the story of a woman named Eleanor. Eleanor suffers from an extraordinary condition known as prosopagnosia. This prevents her from recognizing anyone by their face. Apart from making her life difficult, this condition poses a big problem when Eleanor walks in on her grandmother’s killer but is unable to recognize them. Things get deadlier when Eleanor, her aunt and acquaintances leave for her grandmother’s estate to round off the pending legal matters. Thus begins a suspenseful story of discovering who the killer is and, more importantly, of finding out whether the killer has actually been trying to hurt everyone or if it is all in Eleanor’s head.
WHAT WE LIKED ABOUT THE RESTING PLACE
The story begins with Eleanor telling the police about the murder and her account of it, which is hardly anything given her face blindness. This perfectly sets the reader up for what is to come, besides giving them a glimpse into the relationship Eleanor had with her grandmother, Vivianne. While theoretically her grandmother, Vivianne practically raised Eleanor as a mother. However, their relationship was rather formal. Eleanor seemed to both love and resent her, which the writer expresses without explicitly stating it.
Eleanor’s mental instability following her grandma’s sudden death also adds a layer of mystery to the story. True to her image as an unreliable narrator, she continues to hear footsteps and see shadows. Eleanor seems to have a difficult relationship with everyone, which forces the readers to wonder if anything she said is true. Her constant fear of being watched and trapped inside the estate lends an air of horror to the book.
Another fascinating aspect of the The Resting Place is its parallel narration. Anushka worked in the estate when Vivianne was younger and lived with her husband. Her narration raises several new questions. These questions keep getting more and more relevant as the plot progresses. The reveal is thrilling and somewhat unexpected.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER ABOUT THE RESTING PLACE
The book seems to be lacking in the element of horror, especially when Eleanor comes face-to-face with her adversaries.
Given Eleanor’s rare condition, her prosopagnosia could have been more central to the story instead of serving as a mere plot device on a couple of occasions. Furthermore, the author never really explores or explains why Eleanor had such difficult relationships with everyone. This is bound to leave many a reader wishing for more.
He has bright blue eyes, so even in color that they look unreal. Easy to remember. A good marker.
‘Surely you know better than to feel safe?’ I try to shake Vivianne’s voice from my head.
Overall, The Resting Place is a contemporary spine-chiller. The protagonist’s complex nature and condition make this a worthy read. However, for readers who have read more refined murder mysteries, this one may turn out to be a bit of a damp squib.
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