Book Review: Trollnight by Peter Tremayne


Title: Trollnight

Author: Peter Tremayne

Release date: January 1st, 1996

This book came onto my radar when Michael Patrick Hicks shared it was on Kindle deal for either $0.99 or $1.99 a few years back. The cover seemed to indicate that it was going to be a fun creature feature and with a title like ‘Trollnight’ I was excited. I didn’t really read the synopsis, nor did I before diving in recently, but having now finished the book and reading the synopsis, I’m still a bit torn over how misleading it ultimately is.

I do have Tremayne’s book ‘Snowbeast!’ as well, but I’m honestly nervous about diving into that one after reading this.

What I liked: The setup screams ‘a book Steve will love.’ After a woman dies in Norway her brother goes to try and find out more information. He’s not convinced she died the way the authorities say and when he gets there discovers that a supernatural reason might be behind her death.

Yeah? Yeah? Sounds great, right?

After finishing this one, I’m actually surprised I didn’t DNF it. I’ll get more into that in the next section, but let’s talk about what I enjoyed.

The book bristles with tension and dread. We expect something monumental to happen and we get sucked along as more and more layers are unveiled and we get the expected ‘the plot thickens’ moments. I enjoyed how Dr. Stevens kept after the truth, believing his gut feeling about his sister and how he was willing to put himself in danger time and time again to try and uncover the truth.

The setting of the book was also phenomenal and it actually works to make this book almost timeless. Set in a remote location in Norway, where often they have to walk/hike to different places, even if cellphones were prominent or this was set in the current reality, they most likely wouldn’t have reception. This allowed for the action to pick up when, if set in a modern city, would simply be over after a phone call or text message.

As for the troll aspect, well, the few chapters were we see some troll action are the best parts of the book.

What I didn’t like: I typically try and remain completely spoiler free, but this book completely lies to the reader with the synopsis, so boo on that. Look, the reality is, this book is about a brother and a police chief who uncover a black magic group and need to discover why people have been murdered. The trolls are seldom even an issue, and we get more time hearing about how the townsfolk believe a troll is seeking vengeance than any actual troll action.

We get a number of ridiculous plot points – such as the entire reason Dr. Stevens doesn’t believe his sister died skiing was because she had a fear of skiing and being outside. That’s it. Seriously. It gets brought up over and over again.

We also get characters shrugging after every single sequence of dialogue as well as they either have a moment of emotion pass over their faces or they bite their lip and look away. Every time. Doesn’t matter which character it is, someone will say something and BAM – a shrug or lip bite.

And lastly (I could actually go on but won’t) one of the most interesting characters, Inga, gets left behind every time to wait for the police simply because she’s a woman. It drove me batty. Here, Dr. Stevens doesn’t speak much/any Norwegian and has never been here before, but he frequently leaves her and runs off while chasing a hunch. It became laughable.

Why you should buy this: Look, at the end of the day, if this was called something else, say ‘A Death in the Fjord’s’ and was marketed as a thriller with nothing to do with Troll’s the book would be infinitely better and infinitely more accurate. You may very well love this ‘who-done-it’ thriller, but you won’t be getting any sort of Troll fix here and for that, I’m truly disappointed.


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