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The Forbidden Place

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  1,068 ratings  ·  242 reviews
In this "bone-chillingly cool crime debut" (Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train), a young biologist studying the remote Swedish wetlands stumbles upon a body--and finds that if the marsh's secrets can't stay buried, neither can hers...

In the remote Swedish wetlands lies Mossmarken: the village on the edge of the mire where, once upon a time, people came to leave
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 30th 2019 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2017)
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Average rating 3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,068 ratings  ·  242 reviews

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Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this fantastic piece of Scandi-Noir far more than I expected to, I have grown to be a little weary of the over top blood fests that often characterise this genre and this novel made a welcome change. This is a deeply atmospheric mystery set in the village of Mossmarken, in the ancient desolate, remote wetlands of Sweden, subject to constant dripping drizzles, storms, mists and veils of fogs. It is an area rich in superstitions, legends and mythology, where people disappear, never to be s ...more
Louise Wilson
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars rounded up to 4. In the remote Swedish wetlands lies Mossmarkens: the village on the edge of the mire where, once upon a time, people came to leave offerings to the gods. Biologist Natalie came to study the peat bogs. But she has a secret: Mossmarken,was once her home, a place where terrible things happened. She has returned at last, determined to confront her childhood trauma and find out the truth.

Natalie is doing field experiments for her Doctoral thesis on Wetlands, but this is not
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'The Forbidden Place' is Susanne Jansson's debut novel, and it's an intriguing one at that! The premise is highly original and had me excited to get started reading. The setting is the most prominent character is this novel, the village of Mossmarken, in the remote Swedish wetlands is is one of the most interesting things about this deeply atmospheric mystery. Being a lover of Scandi-Noir, I was instantly drawn to this as a result. I appreciated the use of mythology to deepen the mystery and cre ...more
3.5 stars
Mike Sumner
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Oh dear. I got completely bogged down with The Forbidden Place (no pun intended). So much hype about the book and yet, for me, it's a slow burner that never really gets going until near the end.

Nathalie returns to her childhood home in Mossmarken, a village on the edge of a mire in the remote Swedish wetlands. Rents a cottage on the estate of the local manor in order to carry out studies on emissions from the mire. The same mire where 'The Lingonberry Girl' had been found, a body dating back to
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
The marshland is a desolate place with misty meadows, sloping pines, and sinking soils. Once upon a time, sacrifices to the gods were buried here, and rumors say that people still disappear without a trace...

Offermossen "The Forbidden Place" is a thrilling novel about Nathalie who are doing field experiments for her doctoral thesis on wetlands. The thesis is not the only reason Nathalie has rented a cottage to the experiments. She has returned to the place she once grew up. Where she was happy.
Tiffany PSquared
OK, so I wanted this book to be so much more than it is. It is a crime mystery/thriller that has whisperings of something sinister and creepy underneath the surface. It is not a horror story, but I'm thinking that maybe it would have been better if it was.

Although this is not a horror story in the true sense of that genre, the underlying tone of the story is dark and definitely includes paranormal phenomena from beginning to end. That's the part I liked.

I wish I could say that I enjoyed the rest
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Nathalie, a biology major, returned to her Swedish hometown where her parents died in what was believed to be a murder-suicide. She's come to study the plant life in the bog. Things change when she finds a friend seriously injured and left for dead in the bog. Soon bodies are discovered in the bog. I was disappointed in this book. The solution was pretty obvious. While the police are present in the investigation, I never got a real feel for their work on the case. The novel seemed too focused on ...more
Elaine Tomasso
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank Netgalley and Hodder and Stoughton for inviting me to read an advance copy of The Forbidden Place, a stand alone novel set in North Western Sweden.

Nathalie Ström returns to Mossmarken after 14 years to do biological research in the peat bog. It is in the bog that she finds her friend Johannes who has been badly beaten and weighed down with coins. She doesn't know what to think but the police come to believe that he may have been an intended sacrifice.

I enjoyed The Forbidden
Sep 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-arcs
3.5 stars
This was an easy read and most definitely a page-turner. I was expecting a little more fright, but needless to say, I had fun along the ride trying to solve the mystery. Who done it?!?!

The cover sets the tone for the scenery of The Forbidden Place. The peat moss, different grasses, and trees, the mist; I loved referring back to this cover whenever the story was referring to the bog.

I was not expecting the friendships and relationships this contained, but it was enjoyable as if meeting
Ken Fredette
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For her first book Susanne Jansson was fantastic to say the least. So many hidden truths and repressions to later come up and be known to solve problems. Nathalie woke up with a splitting headache with her car packed ready to head out on her attempt to write her dissertation on bog greenhouse gasses. At the time she was living in Gothenburg but went back to where she originally came from which was near Åmål and Fengerskog exits in Sweden. She was renting a small cottage from a Agneta, a woman wh ...more
Not bad, average.
May 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I read this book more or less in one sitting it's what I call a typical Nordic crime book. The whole story meandered along without any ups and downs. In the end there is an overall solution, but the author couldn't resist to add some sentences to give the impression of a question mark remaining.
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this ethereal crime mystery with a brooding sense of unease, The Forbidden Place is where past practices keep unsettling pace with the present.

Moderately eerie passages capture the devouring nature of the peat bog and the sinister ancient rites that accompany it. And although the narration can feel a little disjointed in places, this mirrors the main character’s thoughts as she processes the tragedy she has encountered.

Once I’d settled in to the flow I could appreciate the effectiveness
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
My View:
My very first impression of this book was created by the wonderful cover art; it succinctly conveys the almost gothic like chilliness that pervades the landscape, there is an almost palpable sense of mystery, unease and intrigue. Fog, mist, swamp, peat bogs, isolation… the landscape is such a huge character in this book.

Moody with finely drawn characters, spiced with a little history, sadness and spooky folk tales, these are the elements that provide the skeleton for this chilling narrat
Cathy Ryan
This is a story of two halves for me. On one hand there’s the darkness, sense of unease and mystery surrounding the crime and paranormal element, on the other a lot of wading through unnecessarily detailed accounts that brought a slow burning but intriguing plot almost to a standstill.

I don’t normally mention the formatting of an ARC (I know they’re uncorrected much of the time) and I only do so now because reading this one was a challenge as there were no page breaks to speak of, signifyin
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
I love a little bit of Scandi Noir, stories that are dark, foreboding, and just a little bit bleak, all of which can be used to describe The Forbidden Place. It starts with Nathalie returning to her childhood home, or at least close to it, determined to face her demons and - finally - move on with her life. What those demons are isn't exactly clear, though her story slowly gets told as the book progresses. That it has to do with the marsh she is staying next to, however, isn't in any doubt.
To Na
Jun 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Gently intriguing story, with the bog/marsh/mire almost acting as one of the characters.

There are 2 mysteries going on, and they tie together really nicely - the bodies emerging and Nathalie’s history and backstory. No major shocks but the truth unravels as Nathalie gains the confidence to focus on her past.

Maya’s chapters are interspersed with Nathalie’s, and I really enjoyed the interaction with other characters such as Leif and Goran.

If there’s a series following Leif’s investigations with M
Sep 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
I am a great fan of Nordic thrillers, movies and TV-series so I’m always curious after new interesting titles/authors. Nordic thrillers tend to be nicely dark with interesting characters. In my opinion, The Forbidden Place could have done with a little less description of the landscape and the atmosphere and more character development. It was at times rather slow and I thought it a bit unbalanced because only almost at the end of the book more details about Nathalie’s past become clear.
It is ve
Melanie Lewis
This is a great story that captures you right from the start. Nathalie is a particularly captivating character and even before we find out her history I was very invested in wishing her and Johannes happiness. The book is weird and creepy and I wasn't sure how it was all going to pan out. Was this some kind of paranormal fantasy thriller? Photographer Maya is also an engaging character and I was interested to see where her thread would take us. The ending, when it came, was sadly, for me, rather ...more
Nicki Southwell
This is a very creepy and frightening read. Set in Mossmarken, Sweden, the locals have been leaving offerings for the Gods.

Biologist Natalie arrives there to study the peat bogs but things don't go smoothly. She has a big secret. She grew up in Mossmarken and suffered trauma as a child.

This is a good book but only reading it will give you the ending.

I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are all my own and completely unbiased. My thanks to NetGalley for this opportunity.
Start with 100 pages of awkward, obvious infodumps. Once you've finally (and laboriously) set the scene, you start tossing out red herrings that are a little too pat and perfect. In your zeal for the twist of the mystery, you choose a totally-out-of-left-field character to be your killer, only you choose badly: you've picked the one character who basically has no actual motive...but who's left? A bit player, barely on the page?

Honestly, that would've been a better choice.

Mix in a bunch of boring
Alison Wallace Projansky
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this debut novel by Swedish writer Susanne Jansson. The atmosphere, set in Swedish bogs, is creepy but beautiful. The characters were appealing, with a scientist returning to her past town to research the bog, and face the deaths of her parents. It is a love story too, with a mystery of missing persons. I experienced a slight disconnect with the writing, but this was probably due to the translation. I'll watch for more from Jansson.
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I bought this book I knew that I would like this book and I wasn't wrong. I love that the events are being held in Sweden and how the landscape is being told. The characters are really likeable and the fibe of the book is great. It's a thriller but now very bloody. This book has some paranormal stuff in it that's interesting. Would recommend it!
Sep 23, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, no-thanks
Who would have thought a book about a cursed bog that takes human sacrifices could be so boring? From the blurb I expected it to be a horror/paranormal story, but really it was a mystery/thriller, which would have been okay if the writing was better. Maybe it was just an effect of it being translated from another language, but there was no real tension or suspense, and the culprit at the end sort of came out of nowhere with no buildup. (Or rather, the buildup that was there was written in such a ...more Mystery & Thriller
THE FORBIDDEN PLACE is a bit different from what we normally anticipate in Nordic noir offerings. Debut author Susanne Jansson is no stranger to the arts, having worked as a freelance photographer and journalist for over two decades in her native Sweden. While the book features elements of photography and science, it also uses a modern rustic setting in its description of a quest to enable justice and closure for those left behind following a tragedy.

A biologist named Nathalie is the catalyst be
Elli (Kindig Blog)
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
When a man is found unconscious in the mires of Mossmarken, a sacrificial bag of coins in his pocket a light is shone on the dark human and supernatural history of the area. It also begs the question - how many other victims are hidden in the marshes?

The Forbidden Place is a psychological thriller told from the perspective of biologist Nathalie, a returning visitor with a secret past and photographer Maya who is on a mission to uncover the truth. I felt that it was quite slow to start with a lot
Neide Gomes
3.25/5 stars!

This book contains: photographs, samples, weather changes, bags of coins, stakes, diaries, disappearances, fire shots, fog and a mysterious swamp with bad reputation.

This was… okay. This story is set in Sweden and it’s about a mysterious swamp, known for the media and locals for a lot of mysterious disappearances. The main character, Nathalie, is working for her doctorate degree in biology and she decides to live temporarily in a cabin near the swamp to take samples and continue her
Julie Smith
Oct 21, 2018 rated it liked it
In the remote Swedish wetlands lies Mossmarken: the village on the edge of the mire where, once upon a time, people came to leave offerings to the gods.

Biologist Nathalie came in order to study the peat bogs. But she has a secret: Mossmarken was once her home, a place where terrible things happened. She has returned at last, determined to confront her childhood trauma and find out the truth.

Soon after her arrival, she finds an unconscious man out on the marsh, his pockets filled with gold - just
Pamela Scott

(copy from publisher via NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed)

The Forbidden Place had me hooked from page one. I loved this book. I feel completely under its spell. The book has a great sense of place with the mire and the village, both of these are really brought to life. They were so vivid and real. The mire is a great place for sinister events to take place. The characters are great. Nathalie is a great character. I really felt for her as she struggles to
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Susanne Jansson was born in 1972 in Åmål, Sweden. She later moved to Gothenburg to work in advertising and then to New York to study photography. After returning to Sweden, she worked as a freelance photographer while studying journalism, and for the past twenty years she has been combining her work as a photographer with being a freelance journalist focusing on reportage and profile stories in ar ...more

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