After She’s Gone by Camilla Grebe

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Psychological profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schon and her partner, Investigator Peter Lindgren, are asked to go to the small industrial town of Ormberg to investigate a cold case.

Ten years earlier a five-year old girls remains were found in a cairn near the town. No one ever claimed her.

Chilling and compelling, a delicious slice of  Scandi-noir

Format:  Hardback                                            Publisher: Zaffre Books

Opening with the unexpected discovery of a child body in a cairn by a group of children one of whom is Malin who is now a police officer and has been brought back to help investigate the re opened cold case of the young girl. Also on the investigation are profiler Hanne and investigator Peter Lindgren, one night Hanne is found wandering alone in the forest and Peter has disappeared, the only witness someone in a dress.

It is not long before another body is discovered in the same cairn all the evidence leads to Hanne. However can’t remember anything she also has the beginnings of dementia and had taking to keep a diary only no one knows who has it and can it hold the key to solving the killings.

So begins a beautifully intricate and compelling read, whilst the suspense is slow at the start, it soon builds to a wonderful and unexpected conclusion.

I loved the way the chapters interweave between three of the main characters and help to build up the story, and whilst Hanne has no recollection of events her story is in part told through the eyes of Jake a young boy who has his own secrets to hide.

This is my first read by this author and whilst part of a series stands up well as a stand alone.

The characters are superbly drawn and engaging in their own way, you also have that small town feel with the characters trying to find themselves within the restricted confines the small town brings, although some secrets should remain hidden. I particularly found the interplay between Jake and his friend Saga engaging and in some ways central to the outcome of the story.

The story also in part focuses on the plight of asylum seekers living in Sweden and again in part is a social commentary on todays landscape

There is a strong narrative running throughout the book and raw emotion, one of those where you need to take in and savour every word to do full justice to the authors highly descriptive passages.

The author has conjured a wonderful sense of place, dark and foreboding with the wilderness bleak and desolate. It paints its own evocative picture in the mind and in part this plays its own part in bringing the story to life on the pages.

Overall I found this to be a highly compelling read, one where the pages will turn themselves as you race to uncover the truth, and whilst I have not previously read this author I will have no hesitation is seeking out their previous works.

5*

Categories 2019 Reviews

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