"pleasant, unassuming place, with dainty houses in even rows, a river meandering through the center and a white stuccco church spire that soared up over the rooftops, gleaming in the August sunshine,"
"everything from a gas leak that supposedly caused mass hysteria and delirium, to an ancient Sami curse."
Arriving in the village, Alice and colleagues set up a base camp in the main square, and it isn't long (as the dustjacket cover blurb reveals) until strange things begin happening. One of the group sees a figure in the darkness. Another is badly injured. Alice starts hearing things that shouldn't be there, someone sabotages the equipment, the crew start to disappear. As all of this is going on, Silvertjärn's past is slowly being revealed in chapters labeled "Then."
All of this should have been right up my mystery/supernatural fiction-loving brain, but sadly, for me it wasn't. It wasn't too long in before I decided that what's going on in the present has been the stuff of any number of movies I've seen, so I had more than an inkling of where this all was headed. Honestly, what stopped me from throwing in the towel here was that I needed to know what had happened in 1959. There was no Blair Witch stuff going on here -- the little bit of film Alice had managed to shoot didn't amount to a hill of beans. And the Midsommar connection is absolutely tenuous at best but you have to squint through the 1959 story to find it; as she writes it, it had more of a NXIVM sort of feel. Even there though, my interest started waning, and I was neither thrilled nor disturbed. When the ending arrived, well, let's just say the eyerolls came out in full. I really wish I would give into my instincts and tell you why, but I won't. Let's also just say that it was so over the top as to be completely unbelievable.