This is a very dark novel, be warned. In the present day, Eva accepts an invitation from her childhood friend Pim to return to the farming village where they grew up. Partly this is to celebrate the opening of a new automated milking station, but it’s also to remember Pim’s brother Jan, who would now be aged 30.

Eva, Pim and their friend Laurens were the only children in their school year born in 1988 – they stuck together and called themselves the Three Musketeers. One strand of The Melting takes place in 2002, when the boys are starting to discover girls and Eva has to redefine her place in the trio. The other strand unfolds as Eva goes from Brussels to her old village. Among other things, we find out why Eva took a large block of ice with her. 

Belgian author Lize Spit’s debut novel gives up its secrets gradually. It becomes an intriguing thriller with a capacity to shock and disturb. 

Published by Picador.