When the high school in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim becomes a murder scene, the finger is soon pointed at seventeen-year-old Even. As the investigation closes in, social media is ablaze with accusations, rumours and even threats, and Even finds himself the subject of an online trial as well as being in the dock … for murder?
Even pores over his memories of the months leading up to the crime, and it becomes clear that more than one villager was acting suspiciously … and secrets are simmering beneath the calm surface of this close-knit community.
As events from the past play tag with the present, he’s forced to question everything he thought he knew. Was the death of his father in a car crash a decade earlier really accidental? Has his relationship stirred up something that someone is prepared to kill to protect?
It seems that there may be no one that Even can trust.
But can we trust him?
A taut, moving and chilling thriller, Inborn examines the very nature of evil, and asks the questions: How well do we really know our families? How well do we know ourselves?.
It’s going to be so difficult to get my thoughts on Inborn across in an articulate way as I LOVED this book so much!
What is fascinating about Inborn is that fact that it is based on the author’s YA thriller, Killerinstinkt. If you are not into the YA genre, don’t let this put you off because whilst Inborn is the same story, it is told in a very different way appealing to crime readers and certainly not for young adults! I’m so pleased that Thomas Enger wanted to tell Even’s story again and that Orenda Books who enabled for his story to be shared with a different audience. For more background on the two books and the challenges Enger faced then make sure you read the acknowledgements after Inborn.
Inborn is not a book that eases its reader in gently, oh no! The prologue is to the point and kick starts the story with a murder, told from the perspective of the victim right up to his untimely death…. what’s not to love about that prologue!
Inborn is then told in dual timelines (which I love!). There is the ‘now’ where Even is being questioned during a trial although it is not clear whether Even is in the dock himself, or if not, which side he is on. Also, there is the ‘then’ which picks up from the prologue from the two students, one of whom is Even’s ex-girlfriend, are found murdered in their high school. This send shockwaves throughout the close-knit village where assumptions are quickly made – no innocent until proven guilty to some members of the community. What I really liked about this book is the way in which the two timelines link into one another. It isn’t as simple two timelines, Enger seamlessly moves from the ‘now’ to the ‘then’ with the ‘now’ not truly concluding at the end of the chapter, instead leading into the ‘then’ almost like flashbacks. During the ‘now’ I felt part of the narrative, like I was sitting in the courtroom listening to the case unfolding – pure brilliance!
This book has short chapters (which I also love) and strong characters, who all seem a bit shifty to be honest and who throw into question the integrity of not only themselves but others around them so I ended up questioning everything that was going on and everyone involved! Most definitely the perfect combination for an additive read that I couldn’t read quick enough. The way in which Enger unpeels the various layers to this book is amazing, drawing the reader further and further in.
Inborn is simply a brilliantly multi-layered, intriguing and gripping book… a five-star read! Highly recommended.
Thomas Enger (b. 1973) is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned (Skinndød) in 2010, which became an international sensation before publication. Burned is the first in a series of 5 books about
the journalist Henning Juul, which delves into the depths of Oslo’s underbelly, skewering the corridors of dirty politics and nailing the fast-moving world of 24-hour news. Rights to the series have been sold to 26 countries to date. In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.