Monday, December 19, 2016

Review of "The Hidden Child" by Camilla Läckberg

In Fjällbacka, Sweden two teens break into the house of Erik Frankel, an elderly man who collects Nazi memorabilia. They're shocked to discover his badly decomposed body. Coincidentally true crime writer Erica Falck, looking through belongings of her deceased mother, Elsy, finds some diaries and a Nazi medal. Thus starts a dual investigation - the police look into Erik's death and Erica searches for information about her mother.

The story alternates between the present-day and the 1940s (during World War II), when some Swedes aided the resistance in Nazi-occupied Norway. The mysteries in the book multiply when a woman with Alzheimer's disease is killed and Elsy's friends are curiously reluctant to talk about Elsy with her daughter, Erica.

The book has plenty of interesting characters, including Nazi sympathizers, Nazi hunters, a motley crew of detectives, a cute child, and a stray dog that helps its new owner find romance. I found the characters more interesting than the mystery at the heart of the story, which turned out to be fairly ordinary and foreshadowed by the book's title. Also, once the mystery was resolved the explanation was too long and drawn out.

The book does provide some interesting insight into Sweden's role in WWII and the fate of Scandinavian prisoners of war. Overall, an okay book.

Rating: 3 stars

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