Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Review of The Hidden Child by Camilla Lackberg (Harper 2011, Swedish 2007)
The Hidden Child is a well plotted story about two connected crimes in the small coastal town of Fjällbacka, Sweden, one committed in 1945, the other in the present day. The tale has two particular strengths: a fairly intricate plot told from multiple perspectives that has depth, resonance, and attention to detail; and very nice and detailed characterisations, with in-depth back stories and interchanges. Indeed, the tale is as much a soap opera concerning the families of Erica Falck and Patrik Hedström, the small team of cops at the local police station, and the lives connected to the case as it is a crime tale. However, whilst a lot of this soap opera drama is interesting and engagingly told, much of it is somewhat surplus to requirements with respect to the main storyline (though I suspect some of it is pretty central to the series). The ending is a little telegraphed, especially as the number of viable candidate murderers is whittled down, but nonetheless Lackberg manages to spin out intrigue and nice reveals under the end. The result is a multi-threaded, well paced story that kept this reader turning the pages.