For the last three years, Lelle has spent his summer nights driving up and down the Silver Road, through the endless forests and the small villages of northern Sweden. His seventeen-year-old daughter Lina disappeared from a bus stop one morning three years ago and is still missing. Lelle´s life has become a misery and the only thing that keeps him going is his frantic search for his lost daughter. He drives all night, visits petrol stations, truck stops and old empty sheds beside the road. He is unable to rest and the search for Lina is tearing him apart from within.
Meanwhile, Meja, another seventeen-year-old girl and her dysfunctional mother move in with a local resident in the small village of Glimmersträsk, an almost unnoticeable stop along the Silver Road. Meja has been moving around all her life and hasn’t had the best of lives. She is really longing for something else, a longing that might be dangerous for her.
Meja and Lelle’s storylines play out in parallel to each other for most of the novel, but as the darkness of autumn approaches, their destinies become linked in a surprising and frightening way. Suddenly another girl is missing and she’s the same age as Lina – she even looks like her. Lelle is convinced that there is a connection…
The Silver Road is the title of this crime fiction novel by Stina Jackson, but it is also the name of a legendary road in northern Sweden. The name refers to the transports of silver ore from Nasa Mountain near the Norwegian border across the Swedish inland to the harbour at Skellefteå. There has been a trading route since ancient times and the Silver Road is the only Swedish highway above the treeline, reaching an altitude of 740 metres above sea level. Nowadays the Silver Road is mainly the same as Highway 95 and it is still an important west/east link between the Atlantic coast and the Bay of Bothnia. It has a crucial importance for the communities along the road and during the summer Arvidsjaur is a junction for many guests travelling on the Inland Railway, the Inland Road, or the Silver Road.
Stina Jackson grew up in Skellefteå at the Bothnian Bay. In her 20s she got married and moved to Denver in Colorado, where she still lives. She started to write during a life crisis and writing about the homeland of her childhood and youth soothed her homesickness and made her feel better. She got the idea for the story from watching a documentary about “Highway of tears”, a road in Canada where many women had gone missing. The Silver Road is her debut novel and it became an immediate critic´s favourite and received the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award for Best Swedish Crime Novel 2018.
The author has succeeded in creating a captivating and magical atmosphere, where you really see and feel the bleak landscape, the endless forests and the isolated and claustrophobic small villages. Stina Jackson tells a beautiful and sad story about love, loss and loneliness, but despite their hardships her characters have the strength to go on even in the darkest of times. It´s heartbreaking and both Lelle and Meja will stay in my mind for a long time.