The White CityKarolina Ramqvist Saskia Vogel
3 August 2017
Published by Grove Press
3 August 2017
Published by Grove Press
Karin knew what she was getting herself into when she fell for John, the high-flying criminal and love of her life. But she never imagined things would turn out like this: John is now gone and the coke-filled parties, seemingly endless flow of money and high social status she previously enjoyed have been replaced by cut telephone lines, cut heat and cut cash. All that remains of Karin’s former life is the big house he bought for her – and his daughter, the child Karin once swore she would never bring into their dangerous world.
Now Karin is alone with the baby, and the old promise of ‘the family’ has proved alarmingly empty. With the authorities zeroing in on organized crime, John’s shady legacy is catching up with her, and the house is about to be seized. Over the course of a few nerve-wracking days, Karin is forced to take drastic measures in order to claim what she considers rightfully hers.
A slow-burning psychological thriller with a sophisticated, dreamlike atmosphere, The White City is both the portrayal of one woman’s struggle to pull herself up from the paralyzing depths of despair, and an unflinching examination of what it means to lose control – over your body, your life and your fate.
A story of high tension, startling insights and lasting resonance.
A sophisticated psychological thriller about control and what it means to lose it... a small and slow-burning book that bubbles with atmospheric tension.
A short novel moving at a slow, suspenseful pace that matches Karin's post-natal sense of disconnection, and does a remarkable job of conveying the physicality of motherhood and the desperation of her circumstances.
Glasgow Sunday Herald
Though the plot of Ramqvist's English debut may make it sound like a crime thriller, the pace is lulling, the writing sensuous and patiently observed... Delicate and unsparing.
A literary tour de force. . . Ramqvist knows how the heart works. And although her book is short. . .it displays an abundance of lyrical writing.
Mystery Scene Magazine
Ramqvist crafts a story of sparse detail that moves at a rapid pace. . . This page-turner shows one young woman's struggle to face harsh realities.
Karolina Ramqvist writes with frosty precision the kind of literature that is unforgettable. Her portraits of women hit deep into bone and marrow.
Dorthe Nors, author of SO MUCH FOR WINTER and KARATE CHOP
With a vulnerability that brings to mind Cormac McCarthy's The Road . . . The White City is a seamless and controlled novel vibrating with subtext that cements Karolina Ramqvist's position as one of Sweden's most interesting writers.
A stirring portrait of human melancholy that fills a Swedish winter with fear, grace and urgency.
Rebecca Dinerstein, author of THE SUNLIT NIGHT
Ramqvist handles this small, frozen thriller masterfully in every detail.
Dagens Nyheter (Sweden)
A sharp, compelling examination of the human ideal of strength and perfection . . . The White City is as suspenseful as it is beautiful, a story told from the periphery of the criminal world, a painful portrayal of physical motherhood.
An incredible novel that you experience with all your senses . . . Ramqvist's narrative voice is unique in contemporary Swedish literature.
Borås Tidning (Sweden)
An incredibly skillfully written novel . . . It bears witness to a writer who knows her craft, who doesn't need to complicate things. That is high art.
The White City confirms with desirable clarity Karolina Ramqvist's position as one of Sweden's most interesting authors right now.
Provocative . . . these meticulously portrayed physical experiences make for invaluable literature.