Two silhouettes against a black ocean. One gun shot. And a vow of silence.
Jari Kekkonen loves to win and has his brand-new Mercedes, a beautiful family, and an elegant villa on the nice side of town to show for it. Sasho Palevski on the other hand, with his humble working-class roots and immigrant parents, was an infamous troublemaker when he was young. As an adult it has proven difficult to shake the reputation. Trelleborg is a small town where everyone knows everything, and the past is never forgotten. When Jari’s daughter and Sasho’s son become a couple, the two worlds collide.
Amanda is a beautiful social butterfly, and the beloved youngest daughter in the Kekkonen family. But she hides a great insecurity. Amanda lives in the shadow of her older sister Isabella, a soccer star and straight A-student who has dated the town’s golden boy, Sixten Ledin, since middle school. Then she meets Niko Palevski, the ambitious only child of demanding parents. He plays the piano and excels at school. While the Kekkonens are worried that Niko will walk in his violent father’s footsteps, the Palevski’s fret that party-girl Amanda is dragging Niko from his diligent path.
When Amanda is found dead, shot in the middle of the night on a pier in the dark Baltic Sea, Niko becomes the prime suspect. But are things really as they seem? Has Niko inherited his father’s violent tendencies, or is the young man innocently accused? And why does he refuse to say anything to the police? Niko claims to have made a vow of silence – but to whom? As the story unfolds, we learn there are sinister forces lurking in plain sight…
Vow of Silence is a smart, unexpected page turner that shows us how little we truly know about the inner lives of those closest to us. International bestselling master of the domestic thriller Mattias Edvardsson returns with this elegant story of young love – and what it can make you do.
“No one writes suspense the way Mattias Edvardsson does. In his books, you always know early on that something terrible has happened, right in the middle of everyday life. With the help of different characters, he unravels the plot by alternating between the past and the present in a brilliant way that makes it impossible to stop reading. In Vow of Silence – perhaps is best book ever – two families from small-town Trelleborg take center stage, linked by the relationship of their teenage children. Something terrible has happened, and both families are involved. The questions is how, who is the culprit and why? Who is telling the truth? And can darkness exist even in the finest of families?
“Mattias Edvardsson continues to successfully explore the family as a construction in the suspense novel Vow of Silence, the fourth book in the Lund suite. […] As in his previous books, Mattias Edvardsson dwells on the secrets of the nuclear family, the nooks and crannies, how far you really will go for the sake of your loved ones. The family is supposed to be a safe space where we can be ourselves, love and take care of each other. And he does it so well. Mattias Edvardsson has really found his niche in the genre. It is creepingly scary, psychologically bulletproof, and emotionally true. The plot is simpel and conventional, but effectively divided into a before and after the murder, which keeps the readers on constant tenterhooks wanting to find out more.”
Skånska Dagbladet (SE)
“There is no Swedish writer that better portrays how life turns from the ordinary grey everyday life into something unbearable than Mattias Edvardsson. Mattias Edvardsson is one of my personal favorites among Swedish suspense writers. What is special with him is his ability to draw out the suspense in the ordinary, how life goes from the amble of the everyday to the completely horrifying catastrophe. Without anyone actuelly understanding why. Edvardsson is masterful.”
Norra Skåne (SE)
“New masterful suspense by Mattias Edvardsson!”
“It is thus a Romeo-and-Julia drama that Mattias Edvardsson has constructed, but with more components: there is a discussion about class, family relationships, anticipations, and social relationships in a relatively small town. It is Mattias Edvardsson’s fifth suspense novel, and he gets more and more skilled at describing the difficult sides of ordinary family life, where new events put cracks in a safe foundation, making everything change.”
Dagens Nyheter (SE)
“It is not only what is being told, but also how it is told. Mattias Edvardsson is out now with the fateful Vow of Silence, in which he breaks up the chronology and switches between before and after the disaster. This creates a central motor for the story. […] Mattias Edvardsson puts his characters under the harshest pressure imaginable to see how they react and what decisions they make. In addition to the pacing, Edvardsson also hits the tone perfectly, not least because he pinpoints the difficult teenage life with all of its abrupt changes. I am also fond of his concentrated descriptions of the environment, how he manages to paint a large and clear picture with few words and few details.”
Kalmar Läns Tidning (SE)
“Mattias Edvardsson had his breakthrough as an author with the crime novel A Nearly Normal Family (2018), the first part of the Lund Suite, whose independent novels depict families affected by various severe tragedies. In the fourth book, Vow of Silence, we follow two families whose secure existence is shattered. […] The novel begins with the crime itself, and through jumps in time the reader is navigated towards a thrilling resolution. The narrator’s perspective shifts between the parents and the teenagers. The parents’ awkwardness is sometimes embarrassingly accurate. Edvardsson also succeeds in portraying the teenager’s emotions and language in a credible way. The author masters his entire approach excellently and writes with a nerve that holds the reader in its grip.”
BTJ, 4/5 (SE)
“This is a writer who knows how to portray relationships – it is perhaps his very best skill – and when the story is anchored in an environment that is obviously second nature, it becomes even better. […] Starting with the catastrophe is one of Edvardsson’s trademarks and a technique he masters well. In previous books, he has had an affinity for changing perspective and voice through chapter headings, but now he slides neatly between his main characters’ thoughts without having to advertise it. Vow of Silence is a painful family tragedy and a small-town story packed with spot on references to our time.”
“Edvardsson has become a master at depicting what happens to ordinary people when a tragedy strikes in everyday life. This novel is part of the Lund Suite, but it is also perfect as a stand-alone. At the center are two very different families that are connected in a nasty way: The son of one family is suspected of the murder of the daughter of the other family. An extra plus for unexpected twists and turns.”