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Echoes from the dead by Johan Theorin

Echoes from the dead (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Johan Theorin, Marlaine Delargy (Translator)

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7215813,038 (3.8)18
Title:Echoes from the dead
Authors:Johan Theorin (Author)
Other authors:Marlaine Delargy (Translator)
Info:New York: Delacorte Press, 2008.
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, male author, swedish, sweden, crime, mystery, LT-arc, arc, delacorte press, random house, bookshelf17, read2009

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Echoes from the Dead by Johan Theorin (2007)


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English (43)  Dutch (5)  Swedish (4)  Danish (2)  French (2)  Norwegian (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (59)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
It's quite early in the year, but it's obvious to me that Echoes from the Dead is going to be one of my favorites reads of the year. It's an enchanting story, it has very vivid characters, and it weaves the past storyline with the present extremely well.

The book begins with the unsolved disappearance of five-year-old Jens Davidsson years before: he escaped from his grandparents' back garden and encountered an old man calling himself Nils Kant. Nils Kant's story, beginning with his childhood and his crimes, takes up the other half of the book. Jens's depressed mother Julia returns to Öland, the vacationer's island in the Baltic Sea, when her father Gerlof says there have been developments in the case. The story alternates between the present day missing persons investigation- unofficially carried out by Gerlof and his daughter Julia--and the story of Nils Kant, whose story remains mysterious as well. It takes quite a bit of skill to have two story lines keeping me guessing.

Theorin is so good at capturing the slightly fantastical story, reflecting Gerlof's love of scary stories told at twilight since he was a boy. The tone works so well and Theorin earned so much goodwill in my eyes that one little bit of action at the end of the book didn't bother me if it had been in another story. Julia, Gerlof, and even Nils Kant are nuanced characters who I cared about immensely, and that doesn't happen regularly.

Highly recommended.

Other glowing reviews appear in Yet Another Crime Fiction Blog, EuroCrime Reviewing the Evidence, and Reactions to Reading.

I bought my copy of the book.
1 vote rkreish | Mar 13, 2015 |
Ach menno, manchmal denke ich wirklich, man sollte Klappentexte verbieten, soviel Unsinn wie da verzapft wird. 'Eine feine Mischung aus Krimi und Gespensterroman. Zum Gruseln gut.' meint die Für Sie über das erste Buch 'Öland' von Johan Theorin. Wetten, dass wer immer dies auch geschrieben hat, lediglich die Inhaltsangabe gelesen hatte? Von Geistern und Gespenstern ist in dem ganzen Buch nämlich weit und breit keine Spur zu finden. Und zum Gruseln ist die ganze Geschichte nun sicherlich auch nicht geeignet.
Aber spannend ist es, spannend bis zum wirklich überraschenden Ende, das mit einigen unerwarteten Wendungen aufwartet. 1972, ein kleiner Junge von fast sechs Jahren verschwindet, alle Suche bleibt vergebens. Es scheint, als ob der damals herrschende dichte Nebel ihn verschluckt hätte. 20 Jahre später hat seine Mutter Julia noch immer nicht ins Leben zurückgefunden. Psychisch krank quält sie sich durch endlose Tage, als sie ein Anruf ihres Vaters erreicht. Man hat ihm per Post ins Altenheim eine Sandale zugesandt, die Sandale eines kleinen Jungen. Er bittet Julia, zu ihm zu kommen, um die Suche erneut aufzunehmen. Gemeinsam mit zwei alten Freunden glaubt er zu wissen, wer hinter dem Verschwinden seines Enkels steckt: Nils Kant, ein mehrfacher Mörder, der jedoch schon Jahre zuvor beerdigt wurde.
Die Geschichte wird in zwei Strängen erzählt: Zum einen begleitet man Julia und ihren Vater auf der Suche nach dem, was damals wirklich geschah. Und zum andern nimmt man teil am Leben von Nils Kant, der bereits als Kind den Tod seines kleinen Bruders verschuldete. Man glaubt schon früh zu ahnen, was damals vorfiel, wird aber immer wieder eines besseren belehrt.
Auch wenn Ortsbeschreibungen und Ähnliches nicht allzu viel Raum einnehmen, gelingt es Theorin, die Einsamkeit und Verlassenheit der Sommerferienorte wie auch die besondere Stimmung der Alvar (so heisst die Gegend dort) überzeugend darzustellen. Ein rundum gelungener Krimi mit wenig Blut und viel Atmosphäre. Und weshalb nur vier Punkte? Weil es auch noch spannendere Krimis gibt :-) ( )
1 vote Xirxe | Dec 2, 2014 |
Just fantastic. An incredibly well-done mystery within an incredibly well-written novel. The plot was interesting and the mystery was difficult enough to not completely suss out but the characters and the settings were the real winners. I thought I would hate Julia and I spent a long time not warming to her but she was seemed a very real person and I really liked that about her. As one of the linchpins of the plot, she did seem to grow and change. Still fairly flawed but interesting. I loved the setting in an island off the coast of Sweden, I knew nothing about it but it felt like a very real place. The switching bewteen current and older plots was handled very well, I never felt pulled away from one to the other. Worth looking for more by this author.
  amyem58 | Jul 3, 2014 |
I just wish people will stop comparing all Scandinavian authors with Steig Larsson. A thriller based based in Oland, Sweden where a small child goes missing from an island, without a trace. Does that ring a bell? But well, the story, the narration, the outcome, the quality of writing, all differ from the Steig Larsson masterpiece. Not a bad read, but nothing commendable about the book either.

3/5 ( )
  PiyushC | Aug 23, 2013 |
*mild spoiler ahead*

A little boy disappears on a foggy day on the Swedish island of Öland. This book unravels the story of what has happened to him. We find out, but the solution to the mystery differs from our expectations.

I must agree with one of the other reviewers: the characters do have their flaws in the book. With that I don't mean real life flaws, but artificial flaws. In particular Gerlof and his friends are sometimes depicted as stupid secret wannabe detectives, even to their relatives.

Nils Kant, the sociopath, however, is well depicted.

What enamored me was the personal change Julia went through. For her returning and searching for the fate of her boy turns out to be a spiritual journey towards acceptance, healing and - I hate to say - maturity. She is able to find redemption at the end of the book.

A few times Theorin tries to rev up the suspension by switching story lines. That's nothing new, but in this book he uses this in the wrong way. He switches twice from a dramatic occurrence to a boring description of something hardly interesting for the development of the story.

The end of the story is mildly surprising as to why the boy disappeared. In these cases the revelations often follow too hasty. That's no problem for a fast paced book, but This book isn't, so unraveling the truth should follow the same pace.

Engrossing, nevertheless, and great depiction of the isolation of Öland and desolation of the alvar. ( )
  jeroenvandorp | May 22, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Johan Theorinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bang, KarinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bolstad, KariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bree, Corry vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cangemi, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cassaigne, RémiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Delargy, MarlaineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dobosi, BeátaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kejia, XinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Menna, OutiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Misumi, KazuyoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schöps, KerstinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Topczewska, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valle, Carlos DelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the Gerloffson family, Öland
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The wall was built of big, rounded stones covered in grayish lichen, and it was the same height as the boy.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
On a gray September day, on an island off the coast of Sweden, six-year-old Jens Davidsson ventured out of his backyard, walked out into a fog, and vanished. Now twenty years have passed, and in this magnificent debut novel of suspense — a runaway bestseller in Sweden — the boy’s mother returns to the place where her son disappeared, drawn by a chilling package sent in the mail. In it, lovingly wrapped, is one of Jens’ sandals — sandals Julia Davidsson put on her son’s feet that very last morning. Now, with only a handful of clues, Julia and her father are questioning islanders who were present the day Jens vanished — and making a shocking connection to Öland’s most notorious murder case: the killing spree of a wealthy young man who fled the island and died years before Jens was even born. Suddenly the island that once seemed so achingly familiar turns strange and dangerous. Until Julia finds herself facing truths she never imagined — about what really happened on that September day twenty years ago, about who may have crossed paths with little Jens in the fog, and how a child could truly vanish without a trace ... until now.
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Twenty years after Jens disappeared without a trace from the island of Oland, a package is mailed to the boy's grandfather that contains the worn and mended shoe of a child, prompting the grandfather to contact the child's mother, resume the hunt for the boy, and make a shocking connection between Jens's disappearance and the island's most notorious murder case.… (more)

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