The Hidden Child

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Written by Camilla Läckberg – Läckberg’s latest book in her series featuring crime writer Erica Falck and her police detective husband Patrik Hedstrӧm sees the pair investigating a case that may have its roots 60 years in the past.

Apart from a few initial teething problems, all seems serene in the Falck/Hedstrӧm household. Erica is returning to work after 12 months of maternity leave and Patrik has decided to take four months paternity leave caring for their daughter, Maja. Now Erica can concentrate on her latest book. However when Erica discovers a Nazi war medal and several wartime diaries amongst her late mother’s possessions, you know things can’t stay quiet for long. Never one to let a mystery pass her by, Erica embarks on her own investigation to discover who the medal belonged to and how it came into her mother’s possession.

Patrik is finding it difficult to adapt to life away from the police station, so when he just happens to be in the vicinity of a crime scene when out walking with Maja, he can’t resist the temptation to get involved. A retired history teacher has been brutally murdered in a seemingly motiveless attack. It turns out that Erica had visited the victim two days before his death because he was an authority on World War II, and he also featured prominently in her mother’s war time diaries. So the motive for his death may lie in a past that was kept hidden from Erica and her sister, Anna.

Erica and Patrik must join forces and make one or two unlikely allies in order to solve this mystery. For Erica this is an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the mother she always felt distant from, and to make a suprising discovery along the way.

The Hidden Child is a glimpse into Sweden at a time when the Nazis occupied neighbouring Norway, and lines were being drawn between those Swedes who came out in support of fascism and those who took often dangerous risks to oppose it. Seen through the eyes of a teenage girl, this is a story that shows how individual decisions within a small group of friends would continue to affect them all in their adult lives.

Initially, I did find myself a little disorientated by the format of the book as it’s split into three perspectives – those of Erica, Patrik and Elsy (Mostrӧm) Falck. However, it didn’t take long to get into the flow and once I did, to become involved with Elsy’s story just as much as Erica and Patrik’s investigation. It’s also an interesting look at Sweden’s wartime history, and its underground resistance movement. Fans of the Falck/Hedstrӧm series will not be disappointed by Läckberg’s latest offering. Well worth a read.


CFL Rating: 4 Stars

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