Worldwide best seller Camilla Lackberg weaves together another brilliant contemporary psychological thriller with the chilling struggle of a young woman facing the darkest chapter of Europe's past.
Crime writer Erica Falck is shocked to discover a Nazi medal among her late mother's possessions. Haunted by a childhood of neglect, she resolves to dig deep into her family's past and finally uncover the reasons why. Her enquiries lead her to the home of a retired history teacher. He was among her mother's circle of friends during the Second World War but her questions are met with bizarre and evasive answers. Two days later he meets a violent death.
Detective Patrik Hedström, Erica's husband, is on paternity leave but soon becomes embroiled in the murder investigation. Who would kill so ruthlessly to bury secrets so old? Reluctantly Erica must read her mother's wartime diaries. But within the pages is a painful revelation about Erica's past. Could what little knowledge she has be enough to endanger her husband and new-born baby? The dark past is coming to light, and no one will escape the truth of how they came to be....
©2011 Camilla Lackberg (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
"Läckberg is an expert at mixing scenes of domestic cosiness with blood-curdling horror... a must for white-knuckle junkies." (Guardian)
"Läckberg is particularly good at portraying the claustrophobia of a small community in which everyone knows everyone else and the police may well be friends with killers." (The Times)
I think the book started quite well and I was hooked listening, but it didn't take long before the style of the writing become incredibly dreary. It's so old fashioned and simple in it's style, like the essays you wrote in college. If I didn't know better I would have thought this was an amateur writer. The dialogue was so predictable! The narrator also used a lot of the same voices for several characters - all male characters sound like they belong in the 60s. The story however, does get better and it's worth listening to the end. But I won't be choosing more books from this author.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book which was extremely well crafted and brilliantly narrated. Unlike some other translations and adaptations from Swedish novels, this has been very well done and the narration brings the characters to life in a way that allows the listener to easily empathise with them. I would recommend this book without reservation.
A mystery - how can Carole (previous reviewer) give this book 5 stars, yet say she couldn't bother to finish it.
I understand the sentiment and do wonder if this book, rather than being under 'crime' should be recommended as a reader for first year sociology students majoring on dysfunctional families on modern Scandinavia, or a useful resource for those researching present day neo-facism - 'crime' happens, but it is a very small part of what's going on.
And there is something curiously stilted or dated about some of the writing or characterisation, though to what degree this is a function of the narration is difficult to tell, but I recently listend to Sjowall and Wahloo's first book, written in the 60's, and aspects of The Hidden Child feel like they pre-date that
I stuck it for the whole 17 hours - who knows, perhaps the abridged version is a better bet, and if someone can give me a good reason for listening to another Lackberg, please do, because otherwise I won't
Disliked the book, only story I could not continue to listen to all the way to the end.. The reader did not have a voice that enhanced the story either making it quite hard to concentrate. I normally become immersed by the books that I purchase on audible.
I felt well be truly lectured on pregnancy and childbirth as if the author had to get it all of her own chest. It needed a strong editor to cut the overblown story down. Much of the book does nothing to advance the plot. As for the narrator he is one of the worst. I have listened to him on a few of lackbergs boos now and I still don't like his work. Sorry.
Say something about yourself!
I have read other Camilla Lackberg books and enjoyed each one. Enjoyed the narrative and the characters are really interesting. I also feel it has a good twist to it and I was sad to come to the end. I really enjoyed hearing about the day to day activities and would recommend.
A story addicted curmudgeon swimming in a sea of wonderfully crafted words.
I have read, heard and seen a great many Scandinavian works. Most are outstanding consequently I was disappointed with this stories. Far too much domestic trivia, a shallow plot spread over silly events ... baby sitting and sitters, husband and wife arguments, what and how to feed the child. When important facts eventually come along you know full well they will be absorbed between the numbing cotton wool of household arrangements. The lead detective is rather a spineless excuse for a man and policemen... making pathetic excuses to avoid the wrath of his wife's tongue.
The story ambles along without either strength or conviction.
"Camilla Lackberg gets my vote again."
Eamon Riley is a brilliant narrator. Camilla has created such complicated characters and each book allows the reader to learn more of the characters and why they act the way they do. I love crime novels and she is one of my favourite authors. I much prefer the authors of the Scandinavian countries. Will definitely continue to 'listen' to Camilla's books.
"Sugar Coated Holocaust"
This will be the last Camilla Lackberg I read. This pretentious and poorly written novel might be just about acceptable as a children’s book but it is an insult to even a moderate adult intelligence. The characters are two dimensional, shallow and irritating and include those such as the cringe making Scandinavian man who “does his bit of tidying up” and the older boss who is ridiculed as a buffoon. The prose is laboured and leaden and the story line full of inconsistencies.
The level of sentimentality is high and at times it was like being force fed marshmallows: the prose syrupy, stilted and contrived.
I shudder to think what kind of labour Ms Lackberg had with her children because the mawkish account she gives in the book pushed credibility to new limits.
This book is full of tired old stereotypes and a ceaseless mind-numbing litany of trivia.
Given the underlying subject matter this book is an insult to those who lived through the second world war and suffered it’s consequences.
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