In a small backwater town in Sweden, a young boy with a dark secret comes across a diary. As a cold case investigation suddenly becomes eerily current, a police investigator mysteriously disappears. What links these seemingly random events?
As atrocious acts from the past haunt the present and lives are changed forever, some will struggle to remember - while others struggle to forget . . .
The new thriller from the acclaimed author of THE ICE BENEATH HER, described as 'Scandi-noir at its powerful bleakest' by the Daily Mail and 'unsettling, menacing and compulsively written' by Heat, this is another slice of tense and twisted drama that will chill you to the bone.
Malin is a young police woman that has done everything she can to escape her back water town of Ormberg but when they reopen a cold case of a murdered little girl (a body she discovered as a teenager) she is called back to assist in the investigation due to her familiarity with the forest and terrain.
Peter and Hanne, he an investigator and she a psychological profiler, are also called into assist. After just a week into the investigation Peter goes missing and Hanne is found wandering the woods barefoot and bleeding with no idea of where she is or what has happened.
The cold case just got more complicated.
Jake is a teenager and local resident of Ormberg who just so happens to stumble upon a diary that holds the secrets that could solve the case. However, due to the circumstances that surround his coming to find the diary he is unable to go to the police in fear his secret will also be exposed.
Then another woman turns up dead in the forest where the murdered girl of years before was found. Coincidence? I think not.
The chapters alternate between Malin, Hanne, and Jake. While we're in Jake's chapters we also read chapters of the mysterious diary. I found all three characters interesting but Jake truly stole my heart. I adored him. Camilla Grebe has written an excellent police procedural with enough slow burning suspense to keep those pages turning. This is the 2nd book in the series though I have not read the first book and I felt this read just fine as a standalone. 3.5 stars rounding up!
Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
SHE HOLDS THE KEY TO A MURDER - SHE JUST DOESN'T REMEMBER . . . "After She's Gone" is the second novel by Camilla Grebe following on from the success of "The Ice Beneath Her". Although part of a series, it can easily be read as a standalone, like I did and still be thoroughly enjoyed. I've read quite a few 'Scandi Noir' thriller books recently and although excellently written, found them to be over detailed and too atmospheric. Thankfully "After She's Gone" is a refreshing change as the author hasn't dwelled too much on the negativity's of the cold, harsh Swedish winters and icy conditions but instead focused on the well plotted storyline. I was engrossed from the very first page and the excellent character development allowed for me to engage with all the characters immediately. I particularly loved young Jake and Saga's friendship. The story is told from the point of view of three of the main characters, teenager Jake, police officer Malin and criminal profiler Hanne and interspersed with the recounting of Hanne's diary that relates the details of what actually happened leading up to Hanne's memory loss. The plight of asylum seekers living in refuges in Sweden and Jake's secret that he calls 'The Sickness' was handled with compassion and the author captured the feelings of the residents of Ormberg towards the refugees perfectly. With the right amount of atmospheric detail and a truly intriguing and entertaining plot line, I really did enjoy reading this book cover to cover and although I own but have not read "The Ice Beneath Her" I do intend to read very soon. I highly recommend "After She's Gone" and the author Camille Grebe and hope that she continues with the 'Flickorna och mörkret' series in the future.
This book’s atmospheric telling of some odd, nefarious behavior in Sweden, leaves the reader feeling confused, cold, dark, and tired.
A very small town in Omberg, Sweden, is in despair. Its occupants are also in despair. Loss of jobs, loss of income, depressing environment. One of these places where if you don’t get out early in, you probably never will, and will die there. Everyone pretty much knows everyone’s business, though there still are secrets.
One of Omberg’s own, returns to work on a police case and ends up becoming involved in so much more. She questions the town, her childhood, why did she come back? Because, it was felt that she might be able to provide an inside perspective after being born and raised there.
Not revealing any other hot topics of the story, the story picks up in speed near the mid to end. The ending was a bit bizarre and outlandish for me. Not sure what else I felt about the reveal except that yes, it could happen; we all know that anything can happen. Life is full of surprises.
It was just an okay read. Not a lot to be memorable on and to write home about.
3.5/5 Stars Winner of the 2018 Glass Key Award, Swedish crime novel After She’s Gone is the follow-up to Camilla Grebe’s 2016 release, The Ice Beneath Her, which was one of my favorite books the year that I read it! While Ms. Grebe has some powerful messages to impart in her latest work, After She’s Gone is not as strong in its execution as the first in the series.
One of the common characteristics of Scandinavian and Nordic crime fiction is that it often includes social commentary, exploring issues of civic and humanitarian importance. After She’s Gone exemplifies this in spades! The novel takes place in the fictional town of Ormberg, Sweden. A small, isolated, forest town in the shadow of Mount Ormberg, it is depressed, and depopulated, in large part, due to the shuttering of factories that once sustained the community, economically. Long after closing, the factories are now housing political refugees. Reading about Ormberg, you might imagine that you are reading about a formerly-thriving, mid-western, manufacturing town in the United States. In this US analogy, not only are the workers that were once able to earn an honest, middle-class living, now struggling to adapt to the changing technological and economic landscape of contemporary, international commerce, with all of the potential dejection and disaffection that layoffs and closures may bring, now imagine that the government is housing asylum seekers in the old, shut down, GM plants, for example, where your parents, and Grandfather before them worked, and were able to earn good salaries with full benefits, to support their families. In Ormberg, Sweden of the story, the old, brick, textile factory, and the no longer operational iron works have been housing predominantly Muslim refugees in this traditionally Christian, Scandinavian town, and many of the local people feel a fear about all of the changes, about these “others”, as well as a strong resentment of the aid that the asylum seekers receive.
Within After She’s Gone, Camilla Grebe tackles, head-on, some of the potential, root causes of nationalism, extremism, and anti-immigrant sentiment. She also addresses a host of other issues such as gender identity (kudos to Ms. Grebe for addressing the frequent conflation of gender identity and sexual orientation), bullying and self-loathing, self-actualization, dementia and its effects, mortality, and more. While Ms. Grebe should absolutely be recognized and commended for writing about all of these issues, I find myself wishing that she had focused on just the anti-immigrant sentiment, or only the demonization of trans and gender-fluid people, and saved the other topic for her next book. I understand that all of the various topics addressed are timely, relevant, and important, but I do wonder if the novel would have been more effective if its focus had been narrowed. Despite having the utmost respect for the urgency of the content of her story, I found the actual narrative to be bogged down with too many non-essential details, and too much exposition. I would have preferred for the pacing to have been faster, as I found my attention frequently drifting, and for the symbolism to have been much more nuanced.
Perhaps many people need a non-subtle warning to be reminded of how the evils of history gain footholds, and have the potential to repeat themselves, and how we must be vigilant, and never forget.
One of the qualities that I admire so much about Camilla Grebe’s previous novel, which I highly recommend, The Ice Beneath Her, is that it is a terrific example of “show, not tell”. In this regard, After She’s Gone fell short.
After a horrifying experience in her teens Malin has become a police officer, determined to help people and use it as a way to leave her small town behind for good. When a task force is set up to clear old cases she is called back to Ormberg and the case that changed her life forever. Just a few days into revisiting the case of the dead child never claimed, Peter, an investigator, goes missing, and Hanne, a psychological profile and his partner, is found wandering, her diary missing and her memory gone. Malin must pair up with the lead detective and the obnoxious local to find find Peter and solve an old crime that never should have gone cold. The only clue they have is a young woman in a sparkling dress, but Ormberg is a classic small town and the person in that dress is terrified to come forward and admit who they really are. As they read Hanne's diary though, the one left on the ground when she was picked up, they find they must help even if they must risk everything.
Told from the perspective of three protagonists, After She's Gone follows Malin, Hanne, and young Jake as a cold case comes roaring back to life. While the old murder and active crimes make up the majority of the novel, I truly believe this is a story about identity. I ached for Jake as he fought for what he believed to be normalcy among his broken family and against a town filled with hate. He holds the key to the answers, but in his youth fails to see the importance of the diary he found. Risking the truth is too much for him and I think it was a powerful exploration into self worth and how the things we are taught can influence someone even when they know what is right. Malin is desperate to leave her hometown behind once again, regardless of her mothers deteriorating condition and the knowledge of the area only she can offer to the others on the task force. The novel explores the past that has shaped her, the future she imagines, and her innermost thoughts as she faces the difficult task of finding her missing teammates and recognizing the biases she still holds about the town. Finally, we have Hanne, an incredibly famous psychological profile with a well-kept secret, dementia is taking her memory away one day at a time. Her diary holds all the answers and it was so incredible that Hanne's chapters were really the diary and that as readers, we, along with Jake, knew the answers but were unable to help Malin with them.
The three are faced with a horrifying crime, one they thought was long forgotten, but is now seeping into the town and their lives once again. After She's Gone is the kind of book you read with a notebook beside you, ready to write down any hint or thread of truth. There's so much going on in the novel, but Camilla Grebe ties it all together quite nicely. Not only is there traditional crime, murder and kidnapping, the novel also touches on crimes of life, such as prejudices, refugees, and the hate one experiences for their sexuality, their beliefs, for their mental state. I found the chilling tale, set in the dark woods of fictional Ormberg, Sweden, fascinating and I could not put it down.
While I did not read the first novel in the Flickorna och mörkret #2 series, I do think After She's Gone read perfectly well as a standalone. Camilla Grebe provides plenty of information for you to know the characters and I never felt as though a story from the previous novels carried over. The novel, while fictional, reads quite like a true crime novel and the town is very much like any small town today. I could picture the characters and the setting and I could feel the emotions that rolled from the characters like waves. Camilla Grebe has given us a novel with a strong narrative that is relatable and terrifying all at once.
Μου άρεσε πολύ η υπόθεση και οι κεντρικοί χαρακτήρες ήταν πολύ ενδιαφέροντες, με την ιδιαιτερότητά του ο καθένας. Η κοινωνική χροιά είναι έντονη και εδώ, με σημεία που σίγουρα θα βάλουν τον αναγνώστη σε σκέψεις.
Πρέπει επιτέλους να βάλουν την επιλογή των μισών αστεριών! Δεν είναι για τρία αστεράκια αλλά για 2,5. Το βρήκα αρκετά αργό σε πολλά σημεία. Νομίζω πως ήθελε αρκετή δουλίτσα το μυθιστόρημα για να βρει η συγγραφέας το σωστό pacing. Οι χαρακτήρες, με εξαίρεση το Τζέικ, ήταν , μονοδιάστατοι.
Quickly I realized this book is not for me.I had a really tough time following this story. I did not connect with the characters or the story line for that matter. DNF at 25%. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for this complimentary book. All opinions expressed are my own.
✒️ Το "ΚΕΝΟ ΜΝΗΜΗΣ" περίμενε καιρό τώρα στο ράφι με τα αδιάβαστα. Κοντά ένα χρόνο περίπου, ίσως και παραπάνω. Σήμερα, όμως, ολοκλήρωσα την ανάγνωσή του και οφείλω να ομολογήσω πως κράτησε αμείωτο το ενδιαφέρον μου, μέχρι και το ΦΙΝΑΛΕ.
Η ιστορία διαδραματίζεται μέσα από τα μάτια τριών χαρακτήρων, της Χάνε, της Μάλιν και του νεαρού έφηβου Τζέικ. Η Μάλιν είναι αστυνομικός, ζει στο Όρμπεργ προσωρινά με τη μητέρα της, και η Χάνε είναι το πρόσωπο κλειδί της όλης υπόθεσης. Δεν μπορώ όμως να πω κάτι περισσότερο, διότι κινδυνεύω άθελά μου να δώσω στοιχεία που με τον ένα ή τον άλλο τρόπο, συνδέουν μερικ�� από τα πρωταγωνιστικά πρόσωπα (και όχι μόνο!), αλλά και το δράμα που βιώνει το καθένα ξεχωριστά.
Η υπόθεση γύρω από τα θύματα των εγκλημάτων που λαμβάνουν χώρα στο Όρμπεργ, έχει ζουμί. Η πλοκή του βιβλίου είναι δυνατή και σφιχτοδεμένη. Η αφήγηση είναι σε πρώτο πρόσωπο, και μερικά από τα κεφάλαια είναι μικρά, κι αυτό βοήθησε κάπως στη ροή της ιστορίας. Από τη μέση και μετά, οι εκπλήξεις και οι ανατροπές ανεβάζουν τον πήχη και την αδρεναλίνη των ηρώων.
Σε γενικές γραμμές, το βιβλίο είναι καλογραμμένο, ευκολοδιάβαστο, δεν παρουσιάζει κοιλιά, περιέχει αγωνία, δράση, και μυστήριο. Επίσης, πραγματεύεται με ευαίσθητα κοινωνικά θέματα γύρω από το μίσος, την αγάπη, την ζωή και τον θάνατο, τον ρατσισμό και το προσφυγικό, και λίγο βαθύτερα με τις οικογενειακές σχέσεις. Τώρα, όσο για το φινάλε; Με κάλυψε από πολλές πλευρές, και μάλιστα δίχως ν' αφήνει αναπάντητα ερωτήματα ή κενά. 😉📚
Dievinu Nesbo, visus detetyvus lyginu su juo ir net nebijau garsiai to pripažinti. Deja deja, retai kam pavyksta prilygti Nesbo. Ir štai Camilla Grebe, kurios jau antrą detektyvą su malonumu perskaičiau. Galiu pasakyti tiek, tai yra arčiausiai Nesbo stiliaus detektyvo ir lygio priartėjusi rašytoja ir tikrai rekomenduoju ją paskaityti detektyvų mylėtojams.
Mažame Švedijos miestelyje atnaujinama prieš daug metų neištirta byla, kuomet buvo rastas penkiametės lavonas. Komandos nariai imasi darbo. Naktį miške netikėtai atsiranda basa ir atminties netekusi policijos psichologė Hanė. Moteris neatsimena nieko. Net ir to, kur dingo jos partneris ir gyvenimo draugas Pėteris. Kitą dieną randamas nepažįstamos moters lavonas, o ant Hanės bato aptinkama nužudytosios kraujo pėdsakų. Kas gi nutiko tą naktį? Ir ar pavyks išsiaiškinti tiek vaiko tiek naujai nužudytos moters bylas?
Pasakojimo atmosfera tipiška skandinaviška: kraupiai šalta, baisu ir labai norisi skaityti kiek įmanoma ilgiau. Knyga tiek įtraukia, kad tiesiog nešiojiesi ją ir skaitai kaskart turint bent kelias laisvas minutes. Mane taip įtraukė, kad jau seniai pamenu, kad bučiau taip surijusi knygą. Norisi dar dar ir dar.
Tiesa, atomazga šiek tik nuvylė. Trūko logikos, bet bendrai vertinu gerai ir tikrai skaitysi visus Grebe kūrinius, kurie tik bus išversti, nes detektyvus rašyti ji moka.
Starting the month of reading in style with a Scandinavian thriller. It’s been a while since I’ve read them, in itself an accomplishment considering their prevalence in the world. And this was really great too, even for a subgenre that’s reliably good. Which is to say it had all the right Scandinavian elements (dark atmosphere, forbidding weather, gorgeous but isolated scenery) and genre prerequisites (suspense, murder mysteries, plot twists) and on top of that was also very well written. In fact it was notably more emotionally developed than these things usually are, which is to say sometimes Scandinavian fiction has a certain reserve and this didn’t really and it allowed for a more immersive reading experience. The plot has (predominantly) the basic dual narrative structure so often utilized in thrillers, one from a young female cop who, for an investigation, returns to a small town she was so desperate to flee and the other is from a fourteen year old local boy. Both get inextricably entangled with the events, the former through police work, the latter through a journal he finds. The novel is very well structured and information is doled out in just the right portions (through police findings and journal entries) to maintain the optimal suspense. And because the setting is so insular and the cast of characters is so limited, the final reveal is that much more of a stunner. I kind of sort of had my suspicions, but was enjoying the ride too much and nothing was made obvious until very close to the end, so kudos to the author. Even though when it comes to thrillers standard police procedurals are lower on my list, this had more than enough psychological suspense and drama and character development to make up for it. Not sure if this is part of a series, one listing had it as such, but it read very well as a standalone, which is my preference anyway. Interestingly enough, the author didn’t settle for just writing a top shelf thriller, she went for a message. A message that is as important as it is timely, albeit somewhat heavyhanded in the delivery. Just as the plot centers around a refugee center, the novel centers around a refugee crisis. Malin, the cop, one of the main protagonists, spends the entire novel contemplating the center and the way refugees in it are given government assistance ahead of the locals in the economically depressed small town, her way of thinking (a certainly popular one) is that the country should take care of its own citizens first and foremost. When a coworker confronts her by saying…well, what if that was you? doesn’t really register until some genuinely horrific (yes, such is the denouement of this novel, psychologically horrific) events change her perspective. At first honestly I was slightly annoyed with the moralistic and lesson like stand of the novel (seemed out of place), but it made me think and I actually ended up enjoying it all the more for it. So that’s Malin’s arc. Jake, the teenage boy, the other protagonist, is more uniformly likeable and his arc is a thing of beauty. The kid spends so much time questioning his masculinity and thinking himself aberrant (his word, he likes words) only to end up the bravest toughest man in the book. There is also a fascinating representation of a person with dementia, the plot crucial journal in the book belongs to her and is maintained for purposes of covering up the fading memory, such a terrifyingly claustrophobic thing. So anyway, I’m done listing things I liked about this book, there were plenty. It was a great read, a standout in an overpopulated genre, a genuinely thrilling mystery. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley.
Acht jaar geleden vond Malin Brundin in het bos het skelet van een meisje. Nu is ze politieagente en wordt deze coldcasezaak opnieuw geopend. Samen met profiler Hanne Lagerlind en inspecteur Peter Lindgren probeert ze de jaren oude moord op te lossen. Hanne doet haar best haar beginnende dementie te verbergen door nauwgezet een dagboek bij te houden over alles wat ze zou kunnen vergeten. Dan verdwijnen zowel Peter als Hanne. Hanne wordt volledig uitgeput en uitgedroogd teruggevonden, ze heeft geen idee wat er met haar is gebeurd en haar dagboek is verdwenen. Peter wordt nog steeds vermist.
Wanneer vervolgens het lichaam van een vrouw wordt gevonden op dezelfde plek waar ooit de overblijfselen van het meisje lagen, wordt duidelijk dat deze twee moorden en Peters verdwijning met elkaar te maken hebben.
Enkele posts geleden vertelde ik al dat ik sinds kort Camilla Grebe had ontdekt en ik was erg enthousiast over haar verhaal! Al snel volgde dus dit tweede deel. 'Dagboek van mijn verdwijning' begint met de vondst van het skelet, acht jaar geleden (2009). Vervolgens maak je een sprong vooruit en zitten we in 2017.
Vooral Hanne speelt een erg grote rol deze keer. Ze raakt steeds meer verward en wordt op een dag in het bos teruggevonden. Haar partner Peter is spoorloos verdwenen. Hierdoor vond ik het verhaal al meteen spannend, want waar is Peter gebleven? En wat heeft het skelet van het meisje met dit verhaal te maken? Ook leer je Jake kennen, een jongen die Hanne die bewuste dag vindt. Heeft hij ook misschien iets te maken met al deze vreemde dingen?
Dit verhaal wordt voornamelijk vanuit Jake en Malin, een rechercheur die de coldcasezaak van acht jaar geleden onderzoekt. 'Dagboek van mijn verdwijning' is een erg goed, opbouwend verhaal en ik vond het plot dan ook weer goed en verrassend. Het boek telt ruim 400 pagina's, maar ik vloog er doorheen, mede door de zeer vlotte schrijfstijl. Ik ga heel snel aan het derde deel (In slaap gevangen) beginnen!
Superior, contemporary & socially conscious Scandi-noir thriller with a multifaceted plot.
Camilla Grebe’s exceptional second novel to feature beleaguered psychological profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schön is as much about the isolated Swedish backwater town of Ormberg where the entire story takes place as its central protagonist. In fact, Ormberg could be just about any depopulated town, devastated by the closure of the factories where the locals are resentful about the lack of government support and the subsequent decision to situate a refugee facility in the midst of the surrounding forests. A review of an investigation into the body of a five-year-old girl originally discovered in 2009 in the local cairn takes Hanne, her partner, Peter Lindgren, and Manfred Olsson of the National Operations Department to the village to take a second look. Locally born Malin Brundin was a teenager when she discovered the partially decomposed remains but as a present day detective eight years later she is part of the team setup to investigate due to her local knowledge.
But just over a week after the case is reopened, Hanne is found wandering in the forest suffering from hypothermia and short-term memory loss due to her early onset dementia, and with no sign of the notebook which serves as her aide-memoire and Peter nowhere to be found, the original cold case explodes into a far more complex affair. When a second barely cold corpse is discovered, Hanne’s life is jeopardised and there is still no sign of Peter, Manfred and Malin are forced to retrace their colleagues footsteps without the aid of Hanne’s precious notebook. Little do they know that troubled fifteen-year-old Jake Birgersson who found the missing notebook holds all the answers but has his own deeply personal reasons for not turning over to the police. As the current investigation ignites suspicion in the village and threatens to strike at the heart of Jake’s already fractured family life after the death from cancer of his mother a year ago, he wrestles with his angst about the locals finding out about his cross-dressing and desire to be a female in a place where anything non-mainstream is given short shrift. As the case casts a fresh web of intrigue over the entire village its inhabitants are forced to look inwards and confront the darkness at the very heart of their community...
The plot takes a significant time to fully establish as it catches up on the first weeks discoveries and reiterates the known facts whilst also searching for Hanne and Peter amid suspicion that they may have followed a potential lead. Despite this slow start Grebe infuses the whole story with a slow-burning suspense that never lets up, as detective Malin relays the police developments whilst also outlining the rationale behind the town’s attitude to the refugees in her part of the narrative. While the pace of the unfolding story might not feel like a searing thriller, taking well over a third of the story to establish the details provided in the synopsis, it skilfully presents the lie of the land in Ormberg and the protagonists concerns, motivations and attitudes. A second narrative, providing notebook finder Jake’s perspective is interspersed by Hanne’s diary excerpts as he works his way through her notebook.
The plot is multifaceted and there are so many aspects that add depth and contribute to the complex investigation with far-reaching implications contained within After She’s Gone. All three narrators and lead protagonists are fully-realised individuals and compel the reader to empathise with them in the case of Hanne and Jake, or in the case of Malin have some degree of sympathy. With each of the narrators experiencing their own turmoil and the narrative taking time to identify the key individuals in the village, in addition each chapter also shifts the point of view meaning readers are quickly taken out of one characters head and dropped into another. Although the author’s ability to capture the individual voices of her protagonists means the constant shifts between perspective are far less jarring than they often can be, some readers may find it a distraction as the narrative moves between self-conscious and sensitive, Jake, who is uncomfortable in his own skin to prickly Malin’s mixed emotions at being home and impending marriage. It was Jake’s voice and my empathy for his journey that I found most compelling and I felt his component was the main driver in the story as he uses his insights from Hanne’s diary to follow a menacing trail.
Ormberg is the original small town where a miasma of hopelessness pervades and the inhabitants frustration is barely concealed below the surface and it isn’t hard to empathise with the townsfolk. Grebe portrays a situation which is more complex than xenophobia and casual racism and more akin to bitterness at their plight and resentment at the generous handouts that the asylum seekers benefit from.
Not only does the novel have a deeper underlying message above and beyond the shocking mystery it also delivers a timely message on understanding, both for those battling health conditions in the case of Hanne and issues of identity in the case of both Jake and Malin. Several unexpected twists punctuate the novel throughout with a final jaw-dropping revelation in store as the ultimate pay-off. After She’s Gone is an excellent police procedural novel but it would do it a disservice to label as an “issues novel” despite the weighty topics broached. I appreciated that the novel never veered into sanctimonious or preachy in tone but offered a balanced assessment of a very contentious subject.
With thanks to Readers First who provided me with a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
I was very excited when I stumbled across THE ICE BENEATH HER earlier this year. I love Scandinavian thrillers, and Camilla Grebe ticked all the boxes for me with her police procedural. I was hoping to see psychological profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schön back in another book, and with AFTER SHE’S GONE my wish has been granted!
The story starts out with the type of atmospheric setting that makes this book series so irresistible for me. Ormberg, a small backwater town amidst a large Swedish forest in the snow is as good as it gets as far as backdrops to dark Nordic thrillers go. Add a few eclectic small town characters, an abandoned factory, a mysterious cairn and a couple of bodies and the scene is set. It was at this point that I knew I was in for a real treat, and the book surely delivered it all!
Grebe uses three narrators to tell her latest story, and manages to pull off one of the most difficult things a writer can do – to make each of them as interesting and compelling as the others, so I was equally invested in all their fates. Jake, a young teenage boy who witnesses something on a dark winter night that will have huge implications for many lives – but he cannot tell anyone, for reasons of his own. Malin, a young police officer who had been born and raised in Ormberg and has now been forced to return here from her new city home to help with a murder investigation. And last but not least there is Hanne, who has been found wandering the dark forest covered in blood and no memory of what has happened to her. Peter, her lover and partner has disappeared and the police hold grave fears that he has come to harm.
Grebe has created a multi-faceted plot here that takes some time to establish, but she does so skilfully and with that constant air of underlying menace and tension that makes this genre so compelling for me. As the small town of Ormberg came to life in my mind, I realised that it shares the characteristics of small dying towns everywhere. In a place where people have been robbed of their livelihoods by outsourcing, where small businesses have long gone bust and resentment is rife, a simmering hatred is looking for someone to blame. And who could be more convenient scapegoats than the group of asylum seekers that have been houses in the abandoned factory buildings? Grebe brings up a lot of contemporary issues here, which made this both an entertaining but also thought provoking read.
If you have met Hanne in Grebe’s earlier novel, you will know that she has a long battle ahead of her. Suffering from early onset dementia she is faced with losing everything she holds dear. Her struggle is well portrayed, and my heart ached for her in this latest book. I am not sure how Hanne will fare, but she seems so real to me that I am truly saddened by her plight. To help her remember, Hanne keeps a journal where she writes everything that happens in her day, which allows her to still use her extensive knowledge of criminal profiling to assist in murder cases. Her diary features strongly here, even maybe not in the way you would expect. It gives a heartbreaking insight into her life, and one that made this book touch me in a way that many other police procedurals haven’t managed to.
I really appreciated the way Grebe slowly leads us to the final reveal in a way that the reader can follow the breadcrumbs and see where they are leading – only to be completely gobsmacked by another aspect of the story that was simply genius. So whilst I could see some aspects of the final reveal fall into place, I was not prepared for the whole complexity of this very clever plot!
All in all, AFTER SHE’S GONE is a perfect read for anyone who loves complex, well thought out Nordic thrillers featuring contemporary issues and an atmospheric setting. I have really come to love this series and hope that the next installment will be translated into English soon so I can find out how Hanne will fare in future.
Boy, I really enjoyed Camilla Grebe's book. It had one of the most unbelievable, I didn't think that's coming, in the book. You have to read it yourself to discover it, it will blow you away. Malin is a fairly new policewoman and she goes home to drunks and weird people. An old dropped case that she found when she was younger where a little girl that was found dead was reopened. They brought Peter and Hanne to profile the case and end up with Hanne being forgetful and Peter missing. The case gets even more interesting when they find the mother of the little girl murdered in the same place 20 years later. Where was she. The case gets involved when Jake, a young boy gets involved with Hanne when he finds her brown book that she writes things down so she can remember. Much more is in the story but you can get the drift, it's worth the time reading it.
Hanne Lagerlind-Schön and her partner, Peter Lindgren, from the National Operations Department in Stockholm, along with their colleague Manfred Olsson, are in Ormberg investigating a cold case involving the murder of a young girl who was never identified 8 years prior when her body was discover in a cairn. Two other more local police officers join in the squad, Andreas Borg and Malin Brundin. The group begins examining the little bit of information available about the discovery of the body and start to interview some of the local families in the very underpopulated town. The people have fallen on hard times with the closing of industry and many have moved away. Malin is asked to be on the task force for two reasons: 1. She was the one who actually found the little girl's body when she was a teenager and 2. She grew up in Ormberg and knows everyone. But things are about to get really crazy as shortly after the team gets going, Hanne and Peter disappear. Then Hanne is found wandering in the woods by a local teenager named Jake Birgersson. Hanne gets picked up by a Good Samaritan who happens to be driving by but leaves behind a very important part of herself - her diary. Because Hanne has early onset dementia, she writes everything in that notebook. Jake finds that diary and, instead of turning it over to police (for a very good reason), he reads it. NO SPOILERS.
I could go on and on describing what this book is about, but let me just say that this is excellent Nordic Noir with a very complex and absorbing plot. It has enough twists and turns to stymie even the most savvy crime thriller reader. The most difficult part of reading this book was its structure. It alternates in point of view and back and forth in time and also includes excerpts from the diary as Hanne can't remember anything about what happened to her or what became of Peter. The atmosphere is another character in the story as the setting and the cold temperature provides a chilling backdrop to this incredibly plotted tale. The reveals and the conclusion are well worth waiting for and I really sped through this fully invested in the characters and the events that occurred. Definitely recommend it!
I was lucky enough to read the first book in the series immediately prior to beginning this one so the characters mostly felt familiar. The book also has to do with the plight of refugees and asylum seekers who are re-homed and settled into this depopulated town in Sodermanland. In a final note from the author, she declares, "We live in a difficult time. More people have been displaced from their homes than ever before in history. And this stream of refugees has been met with xenophobia, conflict and fear." The main message that she wants to convey in this book is this: "It could have been you who had to feel from war and starvation."
Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for this e-book ARC to read and review.
Subjektīvi 3, objektīvi 4 zvaigznes. Jāatzīst, pirmā grāmata "Ledus zem viņas kājām" mani aizrāva vairāk. "Mājdzīvniekā" grāmatas pirmā puse man bija par lēnu. Temps un spriedze parādās grāmatas vidū līdz ar vienu svaigi līķi. Bet kopumā - labi. Vairāk šeit: https://lililasa.wordpress.com/2019/0...
I was all ready to give this one star, because Malin was the most fucking unlikable character ever. I don't mind a giant arsehole - but Malin was a giant arsehole, and boring, which is the cardinal sin for any protagonist.
I loved Jake and Hanne, but Malin just ruined it for me - and I'm not going to lie, the ending and the revelation was very good and turned a lot of things on their head. But unfortunately, at the end of the day... plot twists in the twilight of the book aside, Malin was terrible and I wasn't enjoying the book very much because of her.
The whole concept COULD have been executed well, and I loved Glebe's whole message at the end, but... none of this makes up for the fact that for 80% of the book I wasn't bloody enjoying myself at all. An unlikeable-yet-likable protagonist is exceptionally hard to do, and I'm afraid Glebe, for all her good intentions and ideas, couldn't quite pull it off.
Despite this... it was a pretty good plot twist, and as I mentioned earlier, Jake and Hanne are excellent characters, so... it's a three star! I just wish Glebe had just a little tighter control over Malin's characterisation and the narrative as a whole, because there was a lot of potential that was just mired in dullness and mediocrity.
Jag gillade budskapet i den här boken så mycket att den får en extra stjärna. Annars är det lite svårt att följa med de olika första persons berättarna i ljudboken, jag visste inte alltid vem det var som förde ordet. Första persons berättarna varvar mellan skåp-transvestiten Jake, poliskvinnan Malin och dementa Hanne.
Det hela börjar med att Hanne och Jake stöter på varandra i en mörk skog. Efter ett par dagar hittas Hanne, men hon minns ingenting. Hennes partner Peter är försvunnen. Hanne och Peter var på plats för att undersöka ett cold case av en kvinna som hittats i skogen. Jake hittar Hannes dagbok och börjar läsa. I letandet efter Peter hittas en död kvinna som inte legat länge i snön.
Något är på tok i det lilla samhället Ormberget, som också kokar av illvilja mot att flyktingar inkvarterats där. Ungefär som på början av 90-talet, när det var flyktingar från Jugoslavien som kom till Ormberget. Två systrar försvann eftersom de trodde de skulle bli skickade tillbaka. Vid ett tilfälle är det nån som säger till Malin att "det skulle kunna vara du som var på flykt från krig och elände". För så är det faktiskt. Vi är inte i någon moralisk särställning bara för att vi vunnit födelselandslotteriet. Vi hade tur. Det är allt.
I read this book in hardback Camillia Grebe is back with another Unputdownable novel. I'm a huge fan of Camillia Grebe I've read The Ice Beneath Her, that I highly recommend to crime fans. I've also read More Bitter Than Death. I was so right to be excited about reading After She's Gone, it has taken my top star spot. Once I started reading this story I couldn't stop. If you haven't read books by Camillia Grebe, please try this one, I'm sure you will become a fan of Camillia Grebe too. It's quite heartbreaking when psychological profiler Hanne and Peter are investigating a criminal investigation of an cold case that's been opened up once again, it's of a skeleton of a little girl that was found in the woods eight years ago, it broke my heart to read that she was never identified and worse still the perpetrator was never found. Now the thing that I loved reading about is that when Hanne Langerlind-Schon was found in cold weather in the forest she was suffering from hypothermia & confused, she couldn't remember anything, & here is an ongoing problem that we are all to aware today dementia. It is now feared that Hanne's could be suffering from dementia.
Byla, verianti kai šaltasis metų laikas. Policijos psichologė (Hanė), praradusi atmintį. Tyrėjas(Peteris), dingęs be pėdsakų. Žudikas, pasiruošęs naujam grobiui. Istorija apie pabėgėle moterį ir jos vaiką,apie nelaisvę rūsyje,šokiruojanti ir netikėta tiesa, įtraukia taip, kad pamiršti viską aplink,ir netikėta tai, kai sužinai, kas buvo žudikas. Tikrai rekomenduoju perskaityti, nes tikrai patiks ir "įstrigs" atminty ilgesniam laikui. "Kartais nežinoti yra palaima" .
För nästan två år sedan så läste jag boken Älskaren från huvudkontoret, som var den första boken som Camilla Grebe skrev helt själv. Och jag tyckte att den var mycket, mycket bra. Länken går till min recension av boken.
Camilla har även skrivit fem böcker, i genren psykologiska thrillers, tillsammans med sin syster, Åsa Träff, om psykologen Siri Bergman. Alla fem är mycket, mycket bra, och här är en länk till min recension av den femte och senaste boken i serien, Eld och djupa vatten. Finns även länkar till mina recensioner av dom tidigare böckerna i det inlägget.
Dessutom har Camilla skrivit en trilogi, i genren spionthriller, tillsammans med Paul Leander-Engström. Dom böckerna är också mycket bra, och här är en länk till den tredje och sista boken i serien, Den sovande spionen. Finns även i det inlägget länkar till tidigare böcker.
Alla dessa böcker är mycket bra. Men om spionthrillertrilogin är på betygsnivån fyra, och psykologithrillerserien är på betygsnivån fyra-komma-fem, så är Camilla Grebes egenskrivna böcker definitivt på betygsnivån fem.
För Älskaren från huvudkontoret fick högsta betyget från mig. Och det får nu även den här fristående uppföljaren, Husdjuret.
Husdjuret är som sagt var en mycket, mycket bra bok, som jag varmt rekommenderar. Och jag tycker att den går alldeles utmärkt att läsa helt fristående.
Boken är väldigt spännande, men också mycket gripande. Tycker den här meningen, från bokförlagets beskrivning av boken, beskriver den bra: ”Det är en berättelse om vår samtid, om identitet och om de lögner vi berättar för andra och de vi själva väljer att tro på.”
Lättläst är boken också, och absolut inte förutsägbar. Och den är en sån bok som jag kommer att minnas. Så jag säger bara: Läs den!
J'avais vu ce livre a la fnac et je remercie netgalley de m'avoir permis de le lire.
On y retrouve Hanne qui vit dorénavant avec l'inspecteur Lindgren. Elle tient un journal pour toujours garder une trace de sa vie passée et actuelle car elle perd la mémoire. Ils sont envoyés a Omberg pour reprendre une affaire classée, le meurtre d'une fillette de dix ans jamais identifiée. Tout ne vas pas se passer comme prévu Hanne va être kidnappée et Lindgren disparaitre. Surtout qu'un cadavre va être découvert là où gisait le corps de la fillette, les deux affaires sont elles liées? C'est ce que la police va essayer de découvrir.
J'ai adoré ce livre; l'auteure à une écriture fluide qui fait que l'on ne s’ennuie pas pendant la lecture. Une histoire prenante, captivante avec des personnages attachants.
I do enjoy an atmospheric novel, and Scandinavian writing seems particularly good at it. A young teen finds a nearly frozen and highly terrified woman in the woods. She turns out to be a well-known psychological profiler who was in the area working on a cold case. The plot involves the discovery of a baby’s skeleton, and then, 25 years later the recently murdered body of the mother. The pages are full of vivid descriptions of a desolate landscape filled with not only police officers but many of the original inhabitants of the area. Tension is further created by the local residence for recent refugees from war torn countries. I did have a few unanswered questions about Patrick which I may have overlooked in my reading. He was acting peculiar.