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1793 by Niklas Natt och Dag
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'1793' is the debut novel by Niklas Natt Och Dag. With such a surname, you almost automatically expect to hold an exciting thriller in your hands - all the more surprising that the name actually belongs to one of Sweden's oldest noble families and is not the (somewhat too) unusual pseudoym of a debut author. Nevertheless, '1793' is an exciting story. Those who are familiar with history know that this particular year meant the death of thousands of citizens by the guillotine during the reign of terror - it is therefore not surprising that Victor Hugo wrote a brilliant novel with the same year as its title.
A similarly gloomy mood as in Paris in the years after the revolution also prevails in the present book. Sweden has suffered greatly from the war against Russia, men have returned home from battle mutilated or traumatised, women are widowed, families are ruined by epidemics and poverty. The king was brutally murdered the year before. People pass the time and cover up their worries with brandy. In the midst of this grief, war veteran Mickel Cardell finds a body in the water - hardly recognizable as the body of a being who is said to have ever been human. Together with the investigator Cecil Winge, he sets out in search of the identity of the victim and his torturer.
The book consists of four parts, with the second part taking place a few months before the first and the third part again a few months before the second. In the fourth part everything finally comes together. The story doesn't lose its tension over all the almost 500 pages. In the individual parts as well as in the book as a whole, the suspense stays upright. The author describes a mood and motives one can understand. There is quite a bit of cruelty in the novel, but thanks to the rather serious language, it never is too vulgar at any time. 'Homo hominis lupus est', man is a wolf to man, a sentence Cecil Winge is confronted with during his research, can be rightly defined as the motto of this novel.
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Reading Progress

February 13, 2019 – Started Reading
February 13, 2019 – Shelved
February 18, 2019 – Finished Reading

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