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The Hidden Child by Camilla Lackberg

The Hidden Child

by Camilla Lackberg

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Erica Falck & Patrik Hedström (5)

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6205015,695 (3.79)20



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English (21)  Dutch (7)  Spanish (6)  French (4)  Catalan (3)  German (3)  Swedish (2)  Danish (2)  Italian (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (50)
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This is engrossing Scandie thriller that mingles the present and the past -- in this case, the dark days of World War II. In it, we have the fifth appearance of writer Erica Falck and policeman Hedstrom, now the parents of a year-old daughter, and (at last) married. Erica discovers a Nazi medal and a bloody child's dress among her mother's things, at the same time that Patrik becomes involved in the investigation of the brutal murder of an elderly local resident. While each tries to unravel these mysteries, they have to work out how parenting works (Patrik is taking parental leave!), how to deal with Patrik's ex-wife, and how to cope with a seriously interfering mother in law. At the same time, the cast of characters at the police station reappears, pursuing interests of their own. As time passes, of course, Erika's investigation of the long-ago past and Patrik's current day investigation become intertwined.

The book is highly suspenseful, and the interweaving of past and present adds to that, for me. And the characters remain likeable, interesting, and at times very funny. One small quibble: I have a little trouble making people's birthdays make sense, but no other reviewers seem troubled by that. I think this is Lackberg's best since "The Ice Princess", and look forward to reading more. ( )
  annbury | Jun 30, 2014 |
Pretty good. Probably the best I've read so far, perhaps because it was not quite so gory as some. I did guess the conclusion about half the way through but I was quite happy with that. It's because the author is honest (unlike Agatha Christie where solving the murder always seems to involve using a piece of information she doesn't give you!). ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jun 17, 2014 |
This is a great mystery revealing the spectrum of human emotion. Patrick Hedstrom and Erika Falck live with their daughter Maja in a quiet village in Sweden. The peaceful atmosphere of Fjallbacka is shattered one day when a murder victim is discovered by two young boys. Patrick works for the police department investigating the case, but he is on paternity leave. Coincidentally, Erika finds that she is acquainted with the victim, Erik Frankel, a quiet, retired history professor with a special interest in World War II. Erika had recently discovered some of her mother’s possessions and diaries and determined to unearth the secrets of her mother’s past, she brought the Nazi medal she found to Erik, hoping he could identify it. As she uncovers her mother’s previous life, and as the investigation unfolds, many secrets will be unearthed connecting the past to the present .
Part of the story takes place in 1943, at the time of World War II. Although Sweden is not occupied, German troops are in control in nearby Norway. Some brave men are engaged in an effort to smuggle people out of that country. Elof, Erika’s father, is one of those men. It is a terrible time, a time when madness reigns and men are sometimes driven mad by what they see and experience.
As the story unfolds, the reader learns that Erika’s mother was once a young and carefree girl, part of a close group of friends. There were five of them, four were childhood friends: Elsy Mostrom, Erika’s mom, Frans Ringholm, whose father is a hateful man, Erik Frankel who had an older brother Axel, a Nazi hunter, Elsy’s girlfriend Britta, a bit of a flirt, and Hans, a young man who came late to the group. Hans suddenly appeared as a stowaway on Elsy’s father’s boat, in 1944, and is subsequently sheltered by her family. He had escaped from Norway. Frans, Erik and Axel come from the better side of town and Elsy and Britta from the poorer side. All kinds of prejudice existed at the time, and their different social class makes their friendship unusual. How they all fit into the present day murder mystery that Patrick is quasi involved in investigating, and Erika becomes drawn into as she investigates her mom’s past, is neatly knitted into the story. Without Erika’s insight and Patrick’s expertise, the police force is portrayed as a bit inept, haphazardly handling the investigation. However, the characters all grow into their jobs and their lives, admirably, as time passes.
I enjoyed the writing style of this author and didn’t want the book to end too quickly. Although it is part of a series, it stands well on its own. Erika and Patrick are characters that endeared themselves to me. So many of the quirky characters were charming and the dialog between the characters felt so natural and real with their honest expression of feelings and the injection of humor into their conversations, that I felt like I was a fly on the wall, listening in and watching the scenes unfold in real time. Although there were many unlikely coincidences, they were handled deftly by the author, woven so smoothly into the tale, they just naturally seemed to fall into place. I enjoyed the way the plot twisted and turned and kept me guessing as the mystery unfolded. It was a pleasure watching the characters grow and behave as I would have expected normal people to in real life, not stilted in any way, like watching Martin, a detective, grow into his investigator’s job and gain confidence, and watching the Chief, Bertil Mellberg, as he becomes caregiver to a charming dog named Ernst and falls in love with a salsa dancer, and observing him as he softens into a more loveable character as time goes on, although watching Patrick engage in a friendly relationship with his ex-wife stretched my imagination a bit. I was engaged by all of the characters, complete with the dog, and although some were not very likeable, all were simply human beings behaving as humans do, subject to their follies and foibles, subject to the realities of life, to its unexpected fortunes and misfortunes, compassion and malevolence.
I did find it a little contrived throughout the book because practically every societal issue arose in one form or another. Every character had some kind of an issue from sexual to domestic abuse, infidelity to divorce, gender issues to prejudice encompassing sexual preference, class and ethnic purity, from immaturity to insecurity, and it covered family relationships and dysfunction in all its forms. Still, each incident felt that it was true to form in the way that it was exposed.
If you like a good murder mystery steeped in historic fiction and flavored with romance in its many forms, this book is surely for you. This author has a gift. She makes even the goriest of scenes easy to read because they play out with realistic description rather than sensational explanation meant simply to arouse the reader. There s a lightness, a friendliness, kind of a comfort zone feeling in her words and presentation. She is never crass.
And as a yummy aside, like Erika, I love chocolate caramels and I ate them right along with her! To chocolate covered caramels, long may they live! ( )
  thewanderingjew | Jun 9, 2014 |
[The Hidden Child] is book 5 in a series, but I had no problem jumping right in. I'm definitely going back to find the first four. Writer Erica Falck has been a stay-at-home mom for a year. Her husband Patrik, a detective, is taking paternity leave so that Erica can get back to writing. Before she settles down to write, Erica goes through some of her late mother's things, a task she's been avoiding, and discovers a Nazi medal and some diaries. The diaries show a completely different person than the woman Erica knew, and she starts a search to learn more about her mother's past.

Patrik has a hard time with his paternity leave and ends up leaving his one-year-old daughter with staff at the department so he can participate in a murder investigation.

There are a lot of characters in the novel, but Lackberg does a good job of keeping them straight and separating the intertwining stories. Simon Vance does an excellent narration.

Do the Swiss have more sexual assaults or misogynists than other countries? I like Swedish crime novels, but either I keep choosing the ones with rape scenes or they have an inordinate number of crime novels that include sexual assaults. I expected this novel to not have one because of the type of crime the main character investigated, and I was hoping that a female author would not feel the need to include a sexual assault in her book. It's not a major scene, but I was still disappointed. ( )
  bohemiangirl35 | Jun 8, 2014 |
Four stars because I couldn't put it down, no Stieg Larson though. I miss the girl with the dragon tattoo... I prefer not have diapers and diet talk in my dark thrillers... Tried Jo Nesbo but he doesn't really develop his female characters very well. Like I said, there has been no one to replace Larson yet in this genre. ( )
  viviennestrauss | May 11, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Camilla Lackbergprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Heijden, Elina van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jongeneel, WivecaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Wille & Meja
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In the stillness of the room the only sound was from the flies.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Hvers vegna skyldi móðir Ericu Falck hafa varðveitt gamla nasistaorðu? Spuringin lætur Ericu ekki í friði og hún hefur uppi á sögukennara á eftirlaunum til að leita svara. Sá bregst hins vegar undarlega við og veitir engin svör. Tveimur dögum síðar er hann látinn. Myrtur. Ericu bregður í brún þegar henni berast fréttir af morðinu. Eftir að hafa tvístigið lengi tekur hún til við að lesa dagbækur móður sinnar og kemst þá að því að á stríðsárunum var móðir hennar í sama félagsskap og hinn myrti. Gæti heimsókn Ericu til hans hafa hrundið af stað atburðarás sem leiddi til morðsins? Hver skyldi vera reiðubúinn að fremja morð til að hindra að sannleikurinn um löngu liðna atburði líti dagsins ljós?Í Ástandsbarninu eru það fjölskylduleyndarmál Ericu Falck sem koma upp á yfirborðið meðan lögreglan í Taumshede þarf að komast af án Patriks Hedström sem er í feðraorlofi.
Camilla Läckberg fléttar samtímanum listilega við heillandi frásögn af atburðum í lífi ungrar konu á fimmta áratugnum.Ástandsbarnið er fimmta bók Camillu Läckberg um Ericu og Patrik Hedström.
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Crime writer Erica Falck is shocked to discover a Nazi medal among her late mother's possessions. Haunted by a childhood of neglect, she resolves to dig deep into her family's past and finally uncover the reasons why.

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