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Engeleneiland by Camilla Läckberg
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1692070,359 (3.65)3
Member:huizenga
Title:Engeleneiland
Authors:Camilla Läckberg
Other authors:Elina Van der Heijden, Wiveca Jongeneel
Info:Amsterdam Anthos cop. 2012
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:brand, Zweden, verdwijning

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Buried Angels by Camilla Läckberg (2011)

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Dutch (9)  Spanish (8)  English (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (20)
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This is the 8th instalment in this author's series featuring Patrik Hedstrom & Erica Falck. It's the story of a woman who lost everything as a child & the five boys who knew her then. They're adults now & on a collision course to meet again as old secrets threaten to surface.
Common themes include nazism, antisemitism, the loss of a child & fire...what it destroys & what it leaves behind. Each of the 6 characters has been shaped by these events & whether they like it or not the past is rearing its' ugly head.
Ebba was abandoned as a toddler after her family disappeared from the island of Valo. Their fate remains a mystery. After losing their son, she & her husband Tobias return to the old house with dreams of turning it into a B&B. It's a bit of a wreck & needs a lot of work, mirroring the state of their marriage.
In subsequent chapters we are introduced to 5 men. They are all wealthy & successful but have little else in common. Yet they are bound by the events of one night on the island more than 20 years ago. For the first time, they are all in Fjallbacka & learning Ebba is just across the water is stirring up old memories.
Meanwhile, main protagonists Patrik & Erica have their hands full with everyday life. Patrik is a local cop & Erica tries to carve out time to write while caring for their 3 children.
In alternating chapters beginning in 1908, we are told of another little girl who lost her family. As the story progresses, we learn the fate of 4 generations of women. Each of their lives is full of heartbreak & disappointment, spanning both world wars to the present. Eventually it becomes clear who these women are & I found myself more wrapped up in their stories than those of the present.
It all begins with strange events at the house on Valo. First, someone tries to burn it down as Ebba & Tobias sleep. Then sinister evidence is found beneath the floorboards. This brings Patrik to the island & the old case file of Ebba's missing family is quickly exhumed. One of Patrik's colleagues was part of the original investigation & has closer ties than anyone knows.
As usual, Erica senses the makings of a book & insinuates herself into the investigation. Before it's all over, she & Patrik will encounter betrayal, dirty politicians & personal danger.
This is not for someone looking for a realistic police procedural. Yes, there are shootouts & murders but oddly enough, it's more in the "cozy" vein of the genre. It's a clean read (no sex, swearing, etc) and Patrik & Erica come across as a modern day Nick & Nora. Also, her inclusion in police affairs stretches credibility & the investigation itself is lax & full of holes. The author frequently uses Erica's tendency to rush off half cocked as a plot device to move things along but in the end, it's just irritating.
It's difficult to give examples without spilling the beans but the plot has some issues as well. No reason is given for some events & the explanation for a major development is quickly glossed over & dropped.
I have read the other books & enjoyed them but I'm afraid this one missed the mark for me. The writing is simplistic & some of the phraseology was odd though this may be due to blips in translation. Although each book is centred around our intrepid couple, I found them the least interesting characters & enjoyed the historical aspect of the book much more. Erica's inner Nancy Drew is allowed to run amok, leaving the reader shaking their head at her implausible actions & just plain dumb decisions. That no one in the police force, even Patrik, reins her in is completely unbelievable.
Maybe it's me. Maybe my tastes have changed. Maybe I've read too many books where the female lead portrayed as an amateur sleuth who out thinks the cops is used as a plot device. Either way, I doubt I'll continue with this series.
If you're an über- fan of Hedstrom & Falck, by all means grab it. If you haven't read this author, please ignore the comparisons with Larsson & Nesbo trumpeted in the promotional blurb. Scandinavia is all they have in common. ( )
  RowingRabbit | Sep 14, 2014 |
I liked this one better than the previous Lackberg. It was very unpredictable and addictive. I have had enough of Erika disliking her role as a mother though. Get over yourself, I'm thinking all the time. ( )
  emhromp2 | Nov 9, 2012 |
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No. 1 international bestseller and Swedish crime sensation Camilla Lackberg's new psychological thriller featuring Detective Patrick Hedstrom and Erica Falck - irresistible for fans of Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo. YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE PAST Easter 1974. A family vanishes from their home on an idyllic island off the Swedish coast. They have left everything behind - including their one-year-old daughter, Ebba. Now, years later, Ebba has returned to the island. She and her husband have suffered the loss of their only child and are looking to make a fresh start. But within days, their house is the target of an arson attack. YOU CANNOT ESCAPE THE FUTURE Detective Patrik Hedstrom takes on the investigation, aided by his wife, crime writer Erica Falck, who has always been fascinated by the mystery of Ebba's abandonment and the family's tragic history. When dried blood is found under the floorboards of the old house, it seems that the cold case involving the missing family is about to be brought back to life. And soon, Patrik and Erica are consumed by the hunt for a killer who will stop at nothing to keep the past buried...… (more)

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