Silva Stökel is a prize-winning journalist and the mother of a young child. However, her life is stuck in a rut – there is no warmth in her marriage, her son suffers from autism and she is plagued by constant fatigue due to sleepless nights.
One evening Silva almost hits a woman who suddenly steps out in front of her car ; in the headlights she sees the face of her childhood friend, Helena Holm. But it is simply not possible; Helena vanished, presumed dead, almost twenty years ago. Her body was never found.
Silva finds traces of blood smears on the front of her car and takes a sample to a friend who works in a laboratory to analyze the DNA.
Silva becomes obsessed with the possibility that the woman is Helena and starts to investigate the circumstances of her disappearance.
As children Silva and Helena were very close. They lived in the little town of Omavere where Helena’s family owned a huge farmhouse. They played there together in the summer along with Helena’s brothers Jacek and Pavel and another boy named Miko. Silva was 15 when her father died and her mother took her away to settle down in Tallin. She lost all contact with her childhood friends and never returned.
Silva decides to go back to Omavere. She starts by visiting her grandmother. They have had no contact for 20 years, but Grandma Ester is delighted to see her only granddaughter and to discover the woman she has become.
Silva then goes to meet Miko, who is married to the mayor’s daughter. Miko tells her that Helena’s father and her two brothers are all dead. Their deaths were brutal and allegedly accidental, yet despite the succession of tragedies no one was interested in digging up the past. Silva’s suspicions are aroused by everyone’s apparent indifference to these violent events in the midst of the quiet town.
Troubled, she returns to the capital. Meanwhile, her friend at the lab has completed his analysis of the DNA sample that could identify Helena…
- Publisher : Helios Kirjastus – Estonia
- First published : Oct 2016
- Original language : Estonian | 280 pages
- Rights available : French and German. Other languages upon request.
Birk Rohelend (born in 1981) is an Estonian writer whose ancestors have both German and Swedish origins.
She is a genetic technologist by training but works today as a communication specialist.
Birk has written several TV series (screened in her country) and has published prose as well as poetry.
You Have to Kiss Silva is the first book in the Silva Stökel crime fiction series.