Drowned by Therese Bohman


13 Critic Reviews

A tale of identity and tense personal relationships, one that as a film property would have appealed to Hitchcock or de Palma.


Drowned, set in the idyllic countryside during a short-lived Swedish summer, gets under one’s skin from the first page, creating an atmosphere of foreboding in which even the perfume of freshly picked vegetables roasting in the kitchen becomes ominous.
   On the surface, the story couldn’t be simpler. A single young woman visits her older sister, who is married to a writer as charismatic as he is violent. As the young woman falls under her brother-in-law’s spell, the plot unfolds in a series of precisely rendered turns. Meanwhile the reader, anticipating the worst, hopes against hope that disaster can be averted.
   More than a mere thriller, this debut novel delves deep into the feminine soul and at the same time exposes the continuing oppression of women in Sweden’s supposedly enlightened society. Mixing hothouse sensuality with ice-cold fear on every page, Drowned heralds the emergence of a major new talent on the international scene.

About Therese Bohman

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Therese Bohman is an editor of the magazine Axess and a columnist for Expressen and Tidningen Vi, writing about literature, art, culture, and fashion. She lives in Sweden. Marlaine Delargy has translated novels by Ã…sa Larsson and Johan Theorin, as well as The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist (Other Press), and serves on the editorial board of the Swedish Book Review. She lives in England.
Published May 22, 2012 by Other Press. 225 pages
Genres: Other, Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Drowned
All: 13 | Positive: 10 | Negative: 3


Apr 15 2012

A tale of identity and tense personal relationships, one that as a film property would have appealed to Hitchcock or de Palma.

Read Full Review of Drowned | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Mar 19 2012

The seasonal and structural changes are deliberately understated and carry emotional weight into the climax, which Bohman deftly makes both foregone and suspenseful, leaving the reader wondering if everyone was doomed from the start.

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The Coffin Factory

May 18 2012

...Therese Bohman’s Drowned is a flawless story written in razor sharp prose, and is extremely hard to put down.

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Herald Sun

Reviewed by Clare Kennedy on Apr 18 2012

This is an artful psychological thriller, and utterly riveting, as it delves into the dark side of lust, sex and obsession.

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Swedish Book Review

Reviewed by Sarah Death

This concise psychological thriller is a chilling, atmospheric debut...beautifully, if self-consciously, crafted...An unsettling, open ending makes this story all the more queasily memorable.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Reviewed by Yvonne Klein

...from the outset, it took hold of me and I read it through to the end barely without a pause...supple and effective and frequently mesmerizing.

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She Treads Softly Blog

Reviewed by Lori on May 09 2012

... this translation of Drowned done by Marlaine Delargy...was very well written. It is a short novel that leaves a big impact.

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Boston Bibliophile

Reviewed by Marie on Aug 21 2012

If you're in the mood for a good, atmospheric, genuinely scary domestic mystery...Drowned is the creep-out read of the summer.

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Tzer Island

Below average
Reviewed by TChris on May 28 2012

The story seems incomplete... in the end, it isn't enough to make the novel succeed. Although there are many aspects of Drowned that I appreciated, it ultimately left me frustrated, in a state of torpor.

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Reviewed by Tara Olmsted on Jul 21 2012

There’s nothing cookie cutter or trite about the plot – and the writing is exceptional...among the best of debut novels I’ve encountered this year.

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Country Chick-City Chic

Below average
May 24 2012

The first half of this book rather languishes but the second part picks up as the mystery deepens, though it ultimately disappoints.

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The Lonely Owl

Below average
May 11 2012

A simply written, somewhat chilling novel, Drowned left me wanting more...the ending didn’t quite satisfy. I felt like it ended just when it was getting suspenseful.

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Rebecca Howden

Reviewed by Rebecca Howden on Aug 04 2012

Drowned is an almost-perfect first novel, with a compelling intensity that works perfectly with the languid beauty of its language.

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