Oy. This book. Sure sounded like something I'd love in October: Two young folklore researchers disappear in Norway, 30 years apart to the day, and now one of the police officers involved in one of the cases has committed suicide. Or has he? Is it murder? Or is there something sinister that the folklore researchers uncovered? And if it's sinister, is it supernatural or criminal?
I'm going to go ahead and give you a spoiler and save some time. Turns out there's a centuries-long cult that celebrates the Norse god Freyr, a fertility god, around whom there was apparently quite a set of sexual rites at one time. You can't blame author Sundstol for running with that. But to build a murder mystery where three people have disappeared/been murdered because there are a handful of people that, once a year, take a big statue of Freyr with a full erection and have a woman go to town on him seems--well--ludicrous.
Add to that the plodding, episodic feel to the book (which could be the translation, although the translator is a highly regarded, award-winning translator of books from Norwegian), and the ridiculous romantic subplot, and yikes, what a hot mess. I stuck with it because it's short and I did want to see how it ended. But I'm pretty sure I'm done with this author.