Inborn, Thomas Enger: Book Review

For someone who reads so much crime fiction and thrillers, I’m honestly still baffled how a book can shock me as much as Inborn by Thomas Enger did.

The plot:

When the high school in the 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 court dock…

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.

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 a decade earlier really accidental? Has a 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?

This book deserves a place on every crime lover’s shelf

Wowza. This story. So many twists and turns. Inborn really keeps you guessing throughout – there were so many times when I’d made a guess and then doubted myself a few pages later. By about 130 pages in, I just didn’t trust anyone. HECK, I didn’t even trust myself.

The best thing about this book, from my point of view, is that it can really interest anyone who’s looking for a good crime read. Whether you’re an avid crime or Nordic Noir reader, a YA or someone just getting into the genre, Inborn is the book for you. I’m not a huge fan of the YA genre, but it didn’t feel like a YA, if you know what I mean?

In terms of the paragraphs and layout, it did take some time to get used to. The chapters jump from past to present and different points of views of the characters. I know I’m not a fan of this jumping around, so it is a very personal thing. But as soon as you got used to it and read a few sentences of a chapter, you instantly knew what is going on and it flowed really well. I just find it confusing at times when the chapters aren’t named. It would’ve been helpful in this book for me, but absolutely not necessary.

Inborn is incredibly well-written with lots of conversation, but well paired with the right amount of descriptions so you can still envision everything. There is more focus on some character’s personalities and descriptions over others, so it’s a good book to get your brain working, whilst pondering over what on earth was going on.

With the twists, confusion and shocking discoveries, I really enjoyed the tense moments and trying to play detective. I also said ‘oh my god, what’ about 10 times.

The only negative part for me is that there was a lot of focus in the synopsis about social media, and whilst this did play a big part in the book, I would’ve appreciated seeing more aspects, perhaps tweets and comments throughout, which I think would’ve placed it solidly in the YA genre.

Orenda have done it again… the story itself was amazing; very clever and a little bit sinister. Crafted with skill to keep the pages turning, this book deserves a place on every crime lover’s shelf.

Inborn, Thomas Enger, RRP £8.99 (paperback); Book Depository 

Pages: 273

Publisher: Orenda Books

Genre: Crime Fiction/ Nordic Noir/ Young Adult

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