Children of the Cult (Sektens barn)
Sweden: Forum (previously Mörkesdottirs Förlag)
Poland: Bukowy Las
Netherlands: AW Bruna
UK: HarperCollins HQ
Canada: HarperCollins HQ
Australia: HarperCollins HQ
Prizes and Awards
Crimetime Specsaver's debutant prize
in 2016 for "The Cult on Fog Island"
This third and final installment of the ViaTerra Series begins fifteen years after Sofia Bauman has escaped from the cult a second time. Sofia and Benjamin are now married and live in a house in Bohuslän, on the west coast of Sweden with their 15-year-old daughter Julia. Sofia runs a sanctuary for young people who have left cults together with Anna, an old friend from ViaTerra.
Franz Oswald, the cult leader, has not been seen in public for nearly ten years. There are endless rumors and speculations about his whereabouts. He has two sons, Thor and Invictus (Vic) that are two years older than Julia. Vic is a mirror image of his father—handsome, charismatic and athletic. Thor is the exact opposite—slight of build, mild-mannered, but who has inherited from his father a quick mind and an eidetic memory.
While Sofia tells her story, Thor concurrently tells the story of being raised in Oswald’s children´s camp, Children of the Earth, a group of children of prominent ViaTerra adherents. These children are destined by Oswald to spearhead his movement into the future.
Sofia´s peaceful life comes to a halt when a hurricane-strength storm savagely blasts Sweden’s west coast, killing hundreds and leaving a wide swath of destruction. Sofia and Benjamin´s house miraculously survives the storm, but the sanctuary is utterly leveled. The storm has uprooted more than trees, however, and Sofia´s life is turned upside down.
In the wake of the disaster Oswald reappears in the public arena in grand style and takes advantage of the chaotic aftermath of the devastation.
Note from the Author: This manuscript was written in close coordination with the Jenna Miscavige Hill, author of the book Beyond Belief. The accounts from the Children´s School at Via Terra closely resemble the truth of how the children were raised at the headquarters of the Church of Scientology outside Los Angeles.
Crimetime Specsaver's debutant Prize, the jury's reasoning:
”Over 500 pages are completely devoured. Both the jury and the many readers who voted were unanimous – the book is impossible to put down. The language is unpretentious. The feeling of a documentary novel makes it stick out on the overcrowded crime novel shelves. The author writes about a secluded world in a way that is extremely believable and fascinating. A suspense novel about what makes people go through hell and high water because of the desire to belong. This is the first in a new fiction trilogy – we really look forward to the continuation.”
Reviews in Swedish Media:
"One of our most deeply penetrating authors psychologically."
- Magnus Utvik
"Creepy and very good. Children of the cult is extremely suspenseful with a story that never stands still. To end on top is never wrong and that is precisely what Mariette Lindstein does when she leaves ViaTerra."
- Hallandsposten/Hallands news
"This is blistering, skillful suspense literature! A breathtaking end to a trilogy that no avid thriller-reader or booklover should miss."
- Folkbladet newspaper
"The well-written story is mercilessly driven forward when the tension before a lethal confrontation keeps the reader on edge. Lindstein had succeeded very well in describing the children and the events that affect them. I thought the two earlier titles were very suspenseful, but here the author has taken the element of thriller to a whole new level. It is excellent fiction based on reality."
- DAST Magazin
"This is one of the summer´s best thrillers. A nailbiting conclusion of the trilogy about Fog Island."
- Amelia magazine
"A well written, extremely suspenseful final title where everything comes to its climax. The author ends her trilogy in her usual, excellent storytelling-style."
"Just as suspenseful as the other parts – even better written!"
-The workers magazine (Arbetaren)
"Mariette Lindstein delivers suspense at a top level. Written with picturesque, expressive language. I recommend Children of the cult as a page-turner to be read dark summer nights."
-Johannas deckar-corner, book blog
"Utter suspense in world class! Books about getting stuck in a cult and the consequences for oneself and ones nearest, written as wonderful, nerve-wracking fiction. Five stars out of five possible. Read them, buy them, borrow them! Wonderfully creepy and enthralling books."
-The pocket Witches
"Fantastic book! Have not wanted to put it down once. Five stars!"
-The book blog Books and words
"The best book I have read in a long time. Easy to read, suspenseful and impossible to put down. Five stars out of five."
"Suspenseful, gripping and strong!"
-Jennie’s book list
"A fiction page-turner with nerve. The last book ties the series together perfectly. Highest possible score, without a doubt."
-The blog: The Bookshelf
"Children of the cult is, just as the other books in the series a complete page-turner. Really, really frightening."
-Västmanländskans Book blog
"An excellent book that I definitely recommend for others to read, and preferably read the whole trilogy in the correct order."
- Book pool
"En bok som levde upp till mina höga förhoppningar och berörde. En fängslande bladvändare. Full pott. Fem stjärnor av fem."
-Bokblogg, Villivonkans books
"Everyone should read this book. Lindstein is a competent author and her own experiences shine through the pages and hit you emotionally. It´s sad to say farewell to Fog Island."
"Impossible to put down, horrifying reading. It is a really good end to this important must-read series."
"I liked it as much as the others, but this book is written with an even more beautiful language."
"This can be the most suspenseful book I have ever read. It´s so easy to fly through the pages, but impossible to forget."
-Blogg: Disappear and remain.
"Incredibly well written and suspenseful. I have listened all night, not slept one second. I just could not stop."
-Author Ewa Swedenmark
"Completely nerve wracking, fantastic thriller!"
-Author Charlotta von Zweigbergk
Interview in Swedish TV4 with Mariette Lindstein about the book and how the series came about