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The Historians

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The Historians blends a fascinating historical intrigue with the quick pace and excitement of a thriller.”  — Ellen Keith, author of The Dutch Wife

The Secret History meets The Alice Network in this riveting tale of murder and conspiracy in Sweden during WWII by critically acclaimed author Cecilia Eckbäck.

It is 1943 and Sweden’s neutrality in the war is under pressure. Lau
Paperback, 464 pages
Published January 12th 2021 by Harper Perennial (first published November 3rd 2020)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  105 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Dec 26, 2020 rated it liked it
With a DNF, there is always a build up for me. You start out by wishing the story would move faster- and at this point, everything slows down for you. So you start skimming, waiting for the interesting stuff....but it never comes, so you keep skimming, and then realize you are waisting your time.

I am rating this 3 years because this is meant for someone, but not me. I did give it the college try and made it 200 pages, a little under half the book. The Historians is fine, but it is VERY slow. Th
Guylou (Two Dogs and a Book)
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Historians by Cecilia Ekbäck

📚 Hello Book Friends! THE HISTORIANS by Cecilia Ekbäck was a revelation and taught me so much about the position of Sweden during WWII. The story is intriguing, and the author keeps you on your toes from start to end. A young woman is discovered tortured and murdered, and this is the start of an investigation to find out why. Three people not related, work together to investigate, and will stumble on a conspiracy that could overthrow the Swedish government and change Sweden forever. They will en
Ken Fredette
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't praise Cecilia Ekbäck enough for her story. You have to read her author's note and historical background to get where she's coming from after you read the story. You start out in 1943 with Laura, then Jens, and then Blackåsen Mountain in that order. We start out with Laura working for Jacob Wallenberg, who was Sweden's chief negotiator with Germany. Then we learn of her best friend being killed. We find in her previous life Britta, Laura, Erik, Matti, and Karl-Henrik were all in as Histo ...more
Nov 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what exactly I was expecting from The Historians, but it was kind of too noirish for me. I love it when a novel has a wonderfully atmospheric feel to it, and The Historians has that in spades. I also like reading books based on Scandanavian countries, I am very interested in the different cultures and yes, I am NOT a huge fan of the deluge of books during WWII but when it's in a Scandinavian country I also take exception to it. Okay, I did like it but I didn't love it. There was som ...more
Dec 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-complete
I'll be the first to admit that I've read a substantial amount of World War II historical fiction in my day. However, The Historians takes on a perspective I have never before experienced as a reader - from the eyes of politically neutral Sweden. Told from three different perspectives, this novel centers around a series of disappearances and murders that ultimately gives rise to a dark secret the country has been hiding. With tensions from the Second World War raging around them and Nazis casual ...more
I'm a little wary of WWII stories, since so many seem to be repeating the same story. The Historians, though, is unlike any other WWII story I've read in the best possible way.

The Historians takes place in Sweden, following several different characters who are all connected in one way or another to a history student who was found tortured and murdered. While at first it's unclear how the characters are related to each other, eventually, everything ties together and I was racing to see what would
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
A great historical fiction book that felt like a thriller (in a great way). After a college student is killed for sending her thesis to a secretary of the Minister of Foreign affairs in Sweden, I didn't know who to trust. I had my suspicions with a few other characters and I didn't predict how the story unfolded and yet I enjoyed the ride it took me on.
I also liked the dual stories of what was happening in Stockholm and what was tragically happening in Blackensen Mountain as well. Just as the mo
Rachel Watson
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
It’s crazy to think of the things that people do to others simply because they think they’re superior. The Historians tells of such events.
I liked the way the author told the story from different perspectives. I had an idea of who one of “the bad guys” was from early on, but was surprised by the revealing of another.
The reason for the 14A rating is the multiple uses of the f-word, along with other mild profanity, along with some graphic violence.
Charisma D
Jan 14, 2021 rated it liked it
Technically, this book gets 3.5 stars from me.

While I normally don’t read historical fiction, this was a great book! The ultimate reason for the rating of 3.5 stars is for the following below:

- Their are 4 POV in different chapters, which surprisingly went in order everytime which made it easy to follow but within one of the POV it was about 4 different characters we would follow which ultimately made it confusing for me until we got towards the last 100 pages.
- Laura praised her friend Britta,
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Thoughts:
I’ve gone back and forth on whether to give this book a good or very good rating. I’m not usually a half-star reviewer, but technically this book is 3 1/2 stars.
What I love most about the story is the location. I’ve since bought 3 Scandinavian historical fiction books. These books are Gunnar’s Daughter by Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavrandsdatter by Sigrid Undset (3 books or volumes in this edition), and The Half-Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker.
A 2nd reason I love this story is the tim
Nelda Brangwin
Jan 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
When I picked up this novel, I quickly realized it wasn’t your standard World War II novel. Taking place in Sweden, a country walking a tightrope with the Germans and fearful of having the Soviets as neighbors, I knew I would find it interesting. When a woman working on her master’s thesis is brutally murdered, those trying to figure out what happened find a secret Swedish program promoting Scandinavian racial purity. Characters including the Sami people who are most in danger from this program. ...more
Mary Scanlon
Sweden in 1943 was a very trying time as the country deemed itself neutral whereas those around it had chosen sides. Under the surface, there are those who believe some of Hitler's ideas such as racial supremacy. Those who believe in a pure bloodline will do anything to make it so - including kidnapping and murder.

I desperately wanted to enjoy this book as it covers my favorite period in time and has comparisons to other amazing World War II historical fiction but I found the story slow and lack
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to the publisher and to Swamp Fox Books for allowing me to read an ARC. I loved this book! It follows a group of university friends as Sweden tries to stay “neutral” during WWII. It was a fairly good mystery and a good historical fiction about the Scandinavian countries during this period. I loved how the author studied and described history, religion and the role of charismatic leaders during troubled times. A good reminder for all of us.
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is the type of book that you don't realize how hooked you are until the last dozen or so chapters, by then, you can't stop, you need to know..... However, when I did finish, I was left lying awake, unable to stop thinking about it, unsatisfied. It's not that the ending was bad, I just wanted more from it. I guess, I am just greedy for a good story. 🤷🏻 ...more
Jan 02, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2021
I loved the Sweden setting of this WWII historical fiction. As I love WWII history my knowledge of the Scandinavian countries is a little lacking. The authors note in the beginning was super helpful with a quick lesson on what the countries were doing.

This started out a little slow for me, but it is incredibly detailed and gives off the dark Nordic Noir style a little bit.
But the details and in depth history are what make this book.

If you're into a mystery WWII thriller I think you'd like this
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not your typical WWII historical fiction - much darker, noir-ish/Scandinavian in tone (think Stieg Larsson). It moves a bit slowly but the mystery does build to a pretty good climax. More of a mystery/suspense book than the usual historical fiction/romance type WWII story that I generally enjoy best.
Mallee Stanley
Dec 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a side of WWII that I had never read about before. See my full review on my readandwriteblog on wordpress
Audrey Lawrence
Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Very intriguing and suspenseful account about happenings in Sweden during WWII. See full review at
Gillian Burles
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Loved this book. Subject matter was fascinating and she has a nice tight writing style. The mystery was logical and well laid out too. Worth your time
Dec 28, 2020 marked it as to-read

This was a very good read, I truly enjoyed it and certainly recommend for a very exciting read .
Lots of suspense and scary at times . It is a must read .
Ataque Funtenna
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway-wins
I just received this book in the mail and as soon as I finished When by Victoria Laurie, I AM PICKING THIS UP!!! So grateful for being able to read it before it is released/published. I don't know really how or why I got it in the mail, did I enter a giveaway!!??!?! But either way it is totally up my ally and I cannot wait until I can read and review it! :) ...more
Rebecca Craw
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Arlene Kuntz
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Jan 10, 2021
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English Translati...: Cecilia Ekbäck - The Historians 2 17 Aug 10, 2020 05:35PM  
Cecilia was born in the north of Sweden; her parents come from Lapland. During her teens, she worked as a journalist and after university specialised in marketing. Over twenty years her work took her to Russia, Germany, France, Portugal, the Middle East and the UK.

In 2010, she finished a Masters in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway. She now lives in Calgary with her husband and twin daughters, 'r

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