The Lake of the DeadAndré Bjerke
horror, thriller, mystery
Published by Valancourt Books.
Deep in the darkest part of the Norwegian woods stands Dead Man's Cabin, the site of tragedy a century earlier when Tøre Gruvik, in a fit of madness, murdered his sister and her lover, beheading them and throwing their corpses in a nearby lake before drowning himself to join them in death. Ever since, it is said, anyone who stays at the cabin is possessed by Gruvik's spirit and driven to drown themselves in the lake. What's more, Gruvik's restless ghost has been seen by many of the local people, prowling the woods by moonlight.
Bjørn Werner, a young writer from Oslo, ignored the old superstitions and rented Dead Man's Cabin as a quiet spot to finish his book. Now he has disappeared, and the evidence suggests he threw himself in the lake in a fit of madness. The police write it off as a suicide, but his friends are not so sure. Kai Bugge, Bjørn's psychiatrist, believes in the suicide explanation, while private detective Harald Gran thinks it's a case of murder, and Gabriel Mørk, an expert in the occult, is certain that darker and otherworldly forces are at play. They travel to unravel the mystery of their friend's terrible fate, but not all of them will return alive from their stay at the Lake of the Dead...
André Bjerke's The Lake of the Dead (1942) was voted the all-time best Norwegian crime novel, and its atmospheric 1958 film adaptation is regarded as one of Norway's best films. This new translation is the first-ever American publication of Bjerke's classic, which features an unusual mixture of murder mystery and supernatural horror that will keep readers guessing until the thrilling conclusion.
Jarl André Bjerke (1918–1985) was a Norwegian writer and poet. He wrote a wide range of material: poems (both for children and adults), mystery novels (four of them under the pseudonym Bernhard Borge), essays, and articles. He translated works by Shakespeare, Molière, Goethe and Racine. Bjerke was known as a prominent proponent of the Riksmål language during the Norwegian language struggle, and of anthroposophy, especially in the 1950s. Several of Bjerke's poems have been set to music by Marcus Paus.