Cover Image: The Resting Place

The Resting Place

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

You won’t get much rest while reading Camilla Sten’s The Resting Place! Read it on a warm spring or summer day while the sun is out. Don’t read it by the light of your cell phone after a blizzard or thunderstorm has knocked out your power. 

The story opens in September as the police question Eleanor about what she witnessed a few hours earlier when arriving for her routine Sunday dinner with Vivianne, the grandmother who largely raised her.  Something was wrong. The face Eleanor saw leaving as she opened the door was not Vivianne.  Vivianne lay dead on the floor.  Eleanor can’t describe the likely murderer. Not only did Eleanor see the fleeing person only briefly, she also suffers from prosopagnosia, face blindness, meaning she needs to commit “markers” to memory, such as eye color and hair style, to later recognize anyone when seeing him or  her again.  

Time passes. It’s mid-February and a lawyer contacts Eleanor and her aunt, the deceased’s sister, to meet him at Solhöga, an estate Vivianne owned in the countryside, one Eleanor never knew existed.  It’s time to inventory the estate as part of the probate process. Eleanor, boyfriend Sebastian, Aunt Veronika, and the lawyer Rickard Snäll are soon snowbound at remote Solhöga, far from civilization.

An alternate timeline occasionally interrupts Eleanor’s plot line, gradually bringing the past and the present together to resolve this suspenseful novel. The secondary plot line focuses on Anushka, a servant working for Eleanor’s grandmother Vivianne during the mid-1960s. All changes in timeline are clearly marked with either Anushka’s or Eleanor’s name

As the blizzard intensifies, the suspense builds.  Eleanor finds Anushka’s decades-old diary, written in Polish, and begins to translate it using her cell phone and an online translation app. Why had Vivianne kept Solhöga a secret from Eleanor, the granddaughter she raised?  Is there any connection between Solhöga and the last words Vivianne had left in Eleanor’s voice mail on Friday night before their ritual Sunday dinner:  “I can hear them in the walls’ they’re whispering to me”? Where is Bengtsson, the groundskeeper, who has not been answering calls, all going directly to voicemail?

Thanks to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for this spooky thriller.  Remember to read it in daylight, preferably with people you trust nearby.
Was this review helpful?
I loved the premise for this one and I was excited to read it but in the end it just didn't work for me. The book has a great really creepy atmosphere and the tension is a constant throughout the book. I enjoyed the mystery and the twist of the main character having face blindness. I think the setting and the plot were well done but I just didn't care for the main character at all. She felt flat for me so I just never connected with her, which made connecting with the story hard as well.
Was this review helpful?
What It's About: Five months after Vivianne's brutal murder, four person arrive at Solhoga, an old manor house tucked away in the Swedish woods to do an inventory on this house - Eleanor (Vivianne's granddaughter), Sebastian (Eleanor's boyfriend), Viktoria (Eleanor's aunt), & Rickard (lawyer). As soon as they arrive, strange things begin to occur. It seems that the house is alive, harboring dark secrets and want them to stay buried. 

My thoughts: This book gives me all the creepy and eerie vibes and I loved it! I loved that it was set in an isolated place, and the descriptions of the manor reminds me of Hill House and Bly Manor - a house with a lot of character and a dark past. 

The story is told through the POVs of Eleanor in the present time and Anushka during the 1960s. I enjoyed both the POVs equally. The author did a wonderful job in building the suspense throughout the story. Is the manor really haunted or is it something that can be explained? It got me invested in the story and it was really interesting to see how the pieces of the puzzle fit together in the end. 

Eleanor's prosopagnosia (face blindness) was definitely an interesting element in the story. She has to learn to manage it in her daily life and reading how she does that is interesting. 

Overall, this was a twisty page-turner and I enjoyed it so much! Truth be told, I may enjoyed it a tad more than The Lost Village! 


Pub Date: March 29th, 2022

***Thank you St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books and NetGalley for this gifted ARC copy. All opinions expressed are my own.***
Was this review helpful?
Despite having very few likeable characters, this one grabbed me and held on. Very good tension, and an ending that was fun to read even though I saw it coming.
Was this review helpful?
For me its prosopagnosia. Individuals with this medical diagnosis cannot recognize familiar faces. The character in this novel, Eleanor, focuses on specific aspects of a person's face, like their specific hair cut. When she walks in on her grandmothers murder and the murderer walking out the door, things get less than ideal. And you can imagine how that weighs on someone. 

Sten has a way of effortlessly bringing sinister and building atmosphere to her novels. While I enjoyed The Lost Village a smidge more than this one, I still found myself eager to know the outcome. The narrative was extremely on the slow building side but there was a well done past and present timeline. The reveal brought everything together for me too. 

The audiobook from Macmillan Audio is narrated by Angela Dawe. I enjoyed being able to go back and forth between bed time reading and day time listening. I felt Dawe kept an excellent pace and brought a good bit of emotion to her voice. There are points when accents come into play and those are beautifully done! 

It took me a little longer than expected to get into overall. I also wouldn't label this as horrific or horror driven. I felt it was more a suspenseful mystery with a truly well thought out familial past. Can you tell the past was my favorite part?! Downright captivating!

Thank you Minotaur Books and Macmillan Audio for the ability to read and listen to this novel. If you're into family secrets and suspense than I have a feeling you'll enjoy this one too. True rating 3.5/5.
Was this review helpful?
"There's something about the house...Something happened here. I don't know what, but whatever it is...it has something to do with this house."

In the claustrophobic atmospheric psychological thriller The Resting Place by Camilla Sten most of the story takes place in  an old hidden manor in the cold dark Swedish woods but let's be real it's not the spooky house to fear but the people in the house...or outside it!

One of the most fascinating aspects of this thriller is that the one person, Eleanor, who comes face to face with a killer right after they murder her Grandmother is that she can't ever recognize them. Eleanor suffers from Prosopagnosia better known as "face blindness" a real disease. The murderer must know her since they don't bother to kill her too.

When a lawyer calls saying Eleanor has been left a house no one knew about she travels with her boyfriend and Great Aunt to see it and all hell breaks loose. The caretaker is missing, when the lawyer looks for him he doesn't come back and then there is the mysterious dumbwaiter. There is a storm, no cell reception and an old diary from the 1960s that messes with everyone including me.

Besides the author's ability to create spine tingling moments, narrator Angela Dawe has this very quiet voice that adds to the goosebump moments. It took awhile to figure it all out but partly because not all the players are revealed until near the end. I listened and read this story which gave me an appreciation of the flawless talent of  translator Alexandria Fleming

As in her last book, The Lost Village, the writer creates an atmosphere that makes you hold your breath, wonder if something unworldly is happening but knowing it's humans that are most scary.

I received a free copy of this book and audiobook from the publishers via #netgalley for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Eleanor witnesses her grandmother’s murder but is unable to identify the culprit due to a rare condition that leaves her unable to distinguish faces. She leaves behind a mansion Eleanor knew nothing about called Solhoga. When she is contacted by a lawyer to catalogue the estate, Eleanor and her boyfriend travel out there for the weekend. They are totally unaware of the family secrets they are about to uncover.

I read Sten’s debut and liked it a lot. This novel stalled out for me pretty quickly. While there is a nice back and forth between present day and the past, I found the characters to be flat. It was difficult to connect with anyone, especially the protagonist. The supporting characters were hardly developed and I don’t understand why Eleanor’s boyfriend stuck around. There were some plot holes as well (argh) which I just couldn’t get past. The setting was very eerie and creepy but Sten’s second novel just didn’t do it for me.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book. There’s so much to say! I loved the characters and their personalities, but I wasn’t fond of all the “V” names. It became cumbersome, especially when they were all talked about at once. It made sense for the family to have those names though. As for the story, there were lots of clues and breadcrumbs along the way. One I guessed in the beginning and then began to second guess myself, and then later when back to my guess (and ended up being right 😊). Others, I didn’t see coming-and it was great! There are some questions I still have now in terms of wanting closure with the rest of it, but I still feel as though this book ended in a good place.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you so much to Minotaur, Camilla and NetGalley for the review copy! Without a doubt, another creepy read by Camilla that I really enjoyed!

Solhöga is a house that’s seen it’s fair share of dark and twisted history. It’s a house that has many stories but, doesn’t want to divulge them all at once. Instead, the tension builds and builds and trickle by trickle, she gives up her secrets. Eleanor’s grandmother was murdered and she saw the murdered but, because of a condition where she can’t recognize faces, the grief and guilt start to consume her. She returns to her grandmothers estate and that’s when the house slowly starts talking…

The story was well thought out, it flowed nicely and ended up being a great story! I enjoyed it! 4 stars! Happy PUB Day Camilla!!!
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to St. Martin's Press for the free book. 
Camilla Sten has a way of creating a bingeable plot that starts off right at the beginning of the book and doesn't let up until the last page. I was fascinated by the beginning of the book, and I had to know where it was going. I liked the diary past timeline mixed with the current timeline. Eleanor wants to know who killed Vivianne, and she is intrigued and confused about the secret estate she inherits. Upon visiting the house, she knows that something isn't quite right. There are plenty of thrills in the book. The blizzard mixed with the seclusion adds a layer of anticipation and creepiness that kept me turning the pages way into the night. 
I did figure out one of the twists, but I did not figure out the big end reveal, which was shocking, yet not unrealistic. I can't wait to read more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
I was so excited to read this book, primarily because I loved [book:The Lost Village|53137992] so much. It was one of the first horror/thrillers that actually made me a little scared, and I think that was quite a feat. Needless to say, I had high expectations for The Resting Place, another atmospheric thriller set in a creepy Swedish place. 

The Resting Place takes place in Solhoga, a remote Swedish country estate that our main character, Eleanor, has just inherited after the death - the murder! - of her grandmother, Vivianne. In all her years of being raised by Vivianne, she had never even heard of Solhoga, and had no idea that she was set to inherit the property. A few months after Vivianne's death, Eleanor, her long-term boyfriend Sebastian, her aunt Veronika (who grew up going to Solhoga as a child), and the estate lawyer Rickard all go to the property to conduct an assessment and valuation of the manor. Immediately, something feels wrong. Although everything is in pristine condition thanks to the work of the groundskeeper, who is still employed by and lives on the property, everyone can tell there are still ghosts and secrets living in the house. Eleanor sees a ghostly, creepy figure lurking in the doorway of one of the guest houses, and when she's looking in a dumbwaiter she discovers, someone pushes her in. 

There's a parallel storyline of Solhoga's heyday told by Anushka, Vivianne's cousin and the maid of the house. She's mistreated by Vivianne over and over, but she also recounts how different things became when Vivianne got pregnant and miscarried. There's a lot of intrigue with this character. 

Yet another subplot has to do with Eleanor's condition of "face blindness," or prosopagnosia. In fact, Vivianne was murdered on a night that Eleanor was scheduled to have dinner with her. Just as Eleanor was arriving, she ran into the killer leaving through the front door. But alas, because of Eleanor's face blindness, she was unable to identify who the killer was, not even any distinguishing features. This is marked as one of the main selling points of the book, but it's hardly even addressed until the very end. 

There was a decent amount of action all the way through this book - I wouldn't describe it as slow burn necessarily, because things are going wrong left and right. But in the last 20% or so, things really start to escalate. A LOT happens with the Anushka storyline, and you start to connect the dots to what's happening in present day. But I just found that the execution of these crucial end chapters wasn't carried out very well. There are a lot of "shocking" twists, but I just ended up getting more confused than surprised. It doesn't help that certain factors end up mixing names - not to mention the fact that our main character even has two names. Then they throw the face blindness thing in there to top it all off, and it took me a few re-reads of the key chapters to get what was happening. 

Overall, this was an intriguing concept and it was successful at creating a creepy, twisty atmosphere, but the execution of the ending just felt a bit off to me. Thank you to St. Martin's Press for the ARC via Netgalley!
Was this review helpful?
Eleanor comes face-to-face with her grandma’s killer, but is unable to identifying them due to her inability to recognize faces. She later finds out that she has inherited her grandma’s house; a place full of dark secrets. I was really looking forward to this one since I loved ‘The Lost Village’. Sadly, I found this one all over the place. The switch between past and present was hard to follow and none of the characters were that interesting. I found the prosopagnosia angle gimmicky. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Sten does it again! This book was everything-suspenseful, thrilling, twisty, atmospheric, and spine tingling!

I devoured this book, and I absolutely loved the snowy, dark, chilly setting of this book. This book takes place in a small Swedish countryside at an estate that belonged to Vivianne. Eleanor, who suffers from prosopagnosia (facial blindness) , discovers the body of her evil grandmother, Vivianne. Although she had a face to face encounter with the suspect, she is unable to recognize the person. Months after the murder, Eleanor receives a call from the family lawyer stating that she has inherited an estate that belonged to Vivianne, which Eleanor had never heard of before.

Eleanor, her boyfriend, the estate lawyer, and Vivianne's sister, Veronika, travel to the estate, which is called Solhoga, to do inventory on it in order to put it up for sale. What follows is a series of anxiety filled twists, paranoia, and the feeling that someone is watching. The severe snow storm traps them in the eerie creepy house alone together, and Eleanor begins to question who she can trust. She is certain that her grandmother's killer is after her, and experiences so much anxiety and paranoia. 

Little do they know that there is more to Solhoga than meets the eye, and the quaint country estate has a dark past, and many buried secrets. Whatever secrets where laid to rest at Solhoga years ago, are being uncovered now, but the group soon wishes they had left the secrets from the past undisturbed and buried. 

This book was gripping, chilling, and a page turner. A mix of noir and locked room mystery, it definitely had me on the edge of my seat wanting to find out more and get all of the answers. I really enjoyed the cold, wintery, snowy setting-it was the perfect setting for this twisty tale, and the author did a fantastic job with making this a very atmospheric read (which I always love).

The story goes back and fourth from past to present, where the past and present eventually collide and come together effortlessly, which Sten does an amazing job at. I also really enjoyed the short chapters, it always make it so much easier for me to read a book that has shorter chapters. I will say that the ending did not leave me with that WHOA factor, but the build up and climax of the story which led to the ending was really amazing. 

Overall, I highly recommend this eerily chilling book to my thriller friends out there who enjoy noir and locked room mysteries.
Was this review helpful?
The Resting Place (thriller)
Rating: really enjoyed

Thank you to Netgalley and Minotaur for the advanced copy - all opinions are my own. Full review on bookstagram to come.

What's something that you HAVE to have in a good thriller? 
For me, it's usually short chapters. It's crazy how much faster I'll read a book! I also love an isolated setting - it just makes everything feel much more ominious. Lucky for me, this twisty thriller had both of these elements!

This author is SO good at writing a creepy story, to the point of not wanting to read it at night. I read The Lost Village from the author last year and really enjoyed the creepiness factor, and this book is almost equally as creepy, with the setting as an old, remote house full of secrets. 

While I loved turning the pages on this one, I still had some lingering thoughts - I'll keep it vague, to avoid spoilers. We know going into the book that Eleanor suffers from prosopagnosia (unable to recognize faces), but there needed to be more of how that impacted Eleanor. There also needed to be a bit more development for Vivianne, and Sebastian's character was kind of a dud. That being said, those things didn't impact how much I enjoyed this book. The setting was so creepy, that I flew through the second half, and I definitely did not see the twists coming. This author is officially on my auto-read list!

Content warning: miscarriage, infertility 

Read if you enjoyed other thrillers with an isolated setting, like The Hunting Party, The Lost Village, An Unwanted Guest, or The Safe Place
Was this review helpful?
Have you ever heard of prosopagnosia? It’s face blindness, meaning details on someone’s face are unrecognizable. I actually have read a couple of thrillers about this but I thought the author put her own spin on it. The best part of this one for me was the setting, it was claustrophobic and isolated set mainly in an old house and I thought it was a character on it’s own. There was a great sense of underlying tension and dread from the first page to the last and enjoyed both the past and present timelines. I didn’t see the big reveal ahead of time, which is always great and thought the audio narration was excellent and engaging. Overall I enjoyed this one a bit more than the authors last book and if you like creepy books that leave you unsettled try this!
Was this review helpful?
3 stars

For a mystery thriller, The Resting Place is a bit of a mixed bag. It’s in large part saved by its dual timeline (half occurring from Eleanor’s perspective in the present, half written in Anushka’s diary in the 1960s); the present-day pacing is slow and a little stilted, and so glimpse’s into the past as told by Anushka give us a more satisfactory sense of narrative progression.

What’s a little frustrating is that very little is done by our main character, Eleanor, to advance the plot or solve the mysteries of past and present; she and her companions stumble by total chance into plotlines and answers. Eleanor is also a highly unsatisfactory character, which is a real shame, because her setup has a great deal of potential: she’s a young woman with prosopagnosia, a complex grandmother who she both loved and feared, and who has ostensibly made a life for herself outside of her family only to be dragged into the mysteries of her family’s past due to her grandmother’s untimely death. Unfortunately, in the book Eleanor doesn’t live up to this potential; we never hear about any of her life or identity outside of her family and her trauma from witnessing her grandmother’s death. She has no personality outside of being Vivianne’s granddaughter and not wanting to be murdered. I understand that the author really wanted to examine a main character who is unreliable and traumatized, but the way she’s written in practice is just uncompelling.

The ending and wrap-up were also disappointing, in my opinion. The ‘twists’ can be seen coming a mile away, in part because there’s nothing interesting going on outside of those characters, but their ‘twists’ just happen without feeling very psychologically justified, and barely plot-justified. I think I might have been more excited about them if Eleanor and Anushka, our narrators, had more going on in their personalities and lives outside of their being pulled into Vivianne’s orbit, but as it stands, this book feels a little thin to me.

The book gets major points for its setting. I’m a sucker for a grand house in the isolated wilderness, and a snowstorm and blocked road and trope candy to me. If you love an isolation thriller with secrets from the past, this may be a good choice for you to pick up.
Was this review helpful?
Camilla Sten has created another riveting, creepy atmospheric thriller! She writes in such a way that the reader is drawn into the story along with her characters. You can picture the desolate winter setting of the abandoned mansion in this book. Eleanor’s character is mentally damaged and you really wonder if her observations can truly be trusted or are they a product of her mentally fragile state? The tension builds, leaving you glued to the pages because you just have to know how it all will end! An extremely well done psychological thriller!
Was this review helpful?
The Resting Place follows The Lost Village as another psychological thriller by Camilla Sten that will give you chills with its "on the edge of your seat" storyline.  As Eleanor reluctantly comes to her grandmother Vivianne's apartment for her usual Sunday dinner,  she opens the door to find her grandmother dying on the floor as the killer pushes past her and out the door.  What  may usually be an indicator that the killer will soon be found is not....as Eleanor has prosopagnosia, and cannot recognize a person's face....its a blank canvas to her.  The murder leads Eleanor into family secrets that endanger her and others: boyfriend Sebastian,  her Aunt Veronika, as well as Rickard, a lawyer who asked them all to meet at a family mansion to inventory belongings...and yet Eleanor had no idea this property existed. The secrets of the family and the old house eerily unfold through chapters dedicated to a servant/cousin diary that Eleanor finds. The winter setting and isolation of the property as well as the strange things happening have Eleanor questioning her sanity as she is drawn deeper into the secrets and dangers that await her.  Ms. Sten has a talent for writing in such a way that the reader can feel the character's fear and uncertainty, but can also make the objects surrounding them add to that "chill on the back of your neck".   In reality I would give this a 4.5 starts.  I had some confusion with following some of the "past" story. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press/Minatour Bookss for the opportunity to read and review this advance reader copy.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.  #SecretsDontDie #NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
I haven't read this author before and I'm glad I decided to take a chance. I've been wanting a good thriller for a while now and this fit the bill.

I love me some quick chapters and dual timelines so this was perfect for me. It flowed really well and I actually read this in under 24hrs 😂😂

I also really enjoyed Eleanor. I couldn't imagine not being able to recognize people's faces and having to live with that everyday.  I have never seen this in a book before and it definitely added to my love for this one. Plus the mystery and twist reveals were great and for once I didn't completely guess the entire secret.

Definitely recommend this one for Thriller fans. Now I need to go back and read The Lost Village by this author. I sincerely appreciate the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a review copy. All opinions expressed herein are mine and mine alone.
Was this review helpful?
Eleanor's Grandmother was brutally attacked in her home and Eleanor came home just in time to see the killer flee. She has a condition called Prosopagnosia, or face blindness, so although Eleanor saw the killer, she could never recognize them. Shortly after, she finds herself headed to a mysterious mansion in the woods that she and her aunt have inherited from her Grandmother. She never knew this mansion existed and many long buried dark secrets about the mansion and her family will soon be revealed.

This is the second book I've read by this author and both themes are the same - spooky abandoned locations where a group of people encounter macabre events and can't escape. Like The Lost Village, l enjoyed this one and found the storyline interesting. I kept reading because I needed to understand the connections between past and present. It didn't quite suck me in as much as I'd hoped and found myself a bit confused at times, but overall, its a satisfying domestic thriller with a creepy "snowed in with your past" vibe.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for gifting me this opportunity in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?