After She’s Gone was named Best Swedish Crime Novel for good reason—realistic characterizations, a compelling mystery, and a haunting setting.
Swedish Police Detective Malin is called back to her rural hometown to investigate the murder of a five-year-old girl. Ironically, Malin found the girl’s skeleton eight years earlier when only a teenager.
Malin is part of a five-person homicide team. Two of its members disappear. When one, Hanne, crawls out of the freezing forest without coat or shoes, she can remember nothing of what happened. She was last seen with her boyfriend Peter, who is also on the team. However, Peter is still missing. Only cross-dressing teen, Jake, has seen Hanne emerge from the forest. He also picked up a book she dropped on the road. But he is afraid his secret will come out if he goes to the police.
After She’s Gone alternates between Malin and Jake’s viewpoints. Hanne’s diary also sheds a light on her thoughts before her disappearance. I enjoyed the many twists and turns. The reveal at the end totally blindsided me. The book is highly recommended to dark thriller fans. 4 stars!
My only question is, “How are Scandinavian countries consistently rated happiest when their environment, and their fiction, is so cold and dark?”
Thanks to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.