In Magnus we enter the world of heroes and villains, gods and monsters, good and evil. With a twist, of course, as one would expect from the author of The Book of Alexander.
Per, Jonas, Mette and Linnéa are university undergraduates on their final year project with Professor Erik Nordveit. Magnus is the unwelcome guest, a student of grotesque appearance with a shady past who must complete the project to be awarded a pass degree. The group will live together in a cabin on the remote island of Svindel off the west coast of Norway for one week. The pressure cooker atmosphere soon increases - who will explode first? Who can really concentrate on monitoring environmental pollution under these conditions when there is no contact with the mainland?
What starts as the capstone of their university careers slowly becomes more difficult for the Professor and the students. Events take a turn for the worse. True natures are revealed. Is there a need in all of us to escape, to maximise our freedom, to be ourselves? Do we naturally split into two sides and become either heroes or monsters? Can people truly govern themselves without laws and force of arms?
The week culminates in a bonfire party to celebrate Midsummer’s Eve. The neighbouring islands light beacons to celebrate the longest day with the sun still in the sky. In its hour of need who will answer Svindel’s call? Are heroes made or born?
‘Raymond Chandler meets Maurice Sendac. A private investigator develops his latest assignment into a more complex exploration of the exterior and interior worlds of his ‘watch’. It’s vastly more invasive, but no one gets hurt. Mark Carew’s book is mysterious yet understated, and the reader cannot but stick with him as the intrigue develops. Exquisite.’ —Alison Baverstock, author of Is there a book in you?
‘The Book of Alexander was an interesting novel, very much a thought experiment in fictional form. We’re always wondering about the detective as much as his quarry and this makes for a rather mysterious read, another very enjoyable debut from Salt.’ —Shiny New Books