This book is a Swedish translation by A.A.Prime of Eva Frantz's gothic, spine-chilling story entitled, Hallonbacken. Although the story is set in Finland, it was inspired by a visit to Hampton Court, London (one of my favourite places!). In the lead-up to Halloween, I wanted to read something a little spooky, gothic and dark yet still in the children's genre. I've been a fan of Stephen King, Ann Rice, James Herbert and Kate Mosse for years and also enjoy darker children's stories such as Neil Gaiman's Coraline, The Graveyard Book, and Frances Hardinge's The Lie Tree. This is the first book I've read by Eva Frantz, though, and after reading the blurb, I couldn't wait to get started...
Thank you Netgalley for my digital copy of The Mystery of Raspberry Hill, in exchange for an honest review.
Eva Frantz graduated in 1999 and studied journalism at Helsinki University. She worked as a radio host for The Finnish broadcasting company YLE.
In 2011 she, and her colleague, Johan, were commentators for the Eurovision Song Contest. Both have been the Swedish commentators at YLE for over ten years.
Eva's first novel, Sommarön was published in 2016. She has written three more crime novels and three horror books for children.
The Mystery of Raspberry Hill (Hallonbacken) was awarded the Runeberg Junior Prize in 2019. In 2022 Eva became a full-time author. She lives in Finland, with her family.
A CHILLING MIDDLEGRADE GHOST STORY SET IN A SPOOKY SANATORIUM DURING THE 1920S
A thrillingly spooky gothic mystery…
The grown-ups all think she’s going to die soon ? she can see it in their eyes. Still, when twelve-year-old Stina is sent to be treated at Raspberry Hill Sanatorium, she can’t believe her luck. She even gets to ride in a real motor car to the magnificent old hospital, hidden deep in the forest.
But as Stina explores the long, eerie corridors of her new home, she senses it is hiding a dark secret. Determined to solve the mystery, she edges closer to the truth and soon finds herself in terrible danger…
The Mystery at Raspberry Hill is a spooky and very dark tale about Stina, a twelve-year-old girl, suffering from tuberculosis. It's set in a sanatorium called Raspberry Hill, deep in the forests of Finland, just after WWI. From the opening sentence:
My name is Stina and I'm probably going to die soon.
I was drawn into this extraordinary tale of mystery, suspense, ghosts and spine-tingling horrors. There are parts of this story which are very dark and probably would be a little too unnerving for younger readers. However, for older readers, I think this is a story that will captivate and grip the reader, eager to turn the next page. I had originally set out to read two chapters and then more the following day. That didn't happen. Instead, I read the whole book - I couldn't put it down!
I hope you enjoyed reading my review and hope you'll join me next time.
Stay safe, and happy reading!