My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery
Patrik Hedstrom is on paternity leave from the local police force so that his wife Erica Falck, who is a crime writer, can finish her next book without have their daughter Mia underneath her feet, but his curiosity gets the better of him when a murder occurs.
Erica's mother was always extremely distant and unloving. She provided for her girls, for Erica has a sister Anna, but there was no loved shown to them by their mother. So when Erica goes through her mother's things and finds a Nazi war medal, a child's dress with old dried blood on it, and several of her mother's diaries she decides that it time to find some answers to why her mother was the way she was toward her and her sister, what was in her mother's past that was linked to these objects that could explain the person her mother had become?
This quest to find out more about her mother's past leads her to a local man, Erik, who is a retired history teacher and the local history buff on World War II. Local history buff may be putting it lightly, Erik was actually obsessed with World War II especially the German military and had collected many considerable artifacts over the years, he also lectured quite extensively on the atrocities that the Nazis's had committed. Erik's obsession could be attributed to his past, his older brother, Axel, was captured by the Germans because he would ride over to Norway from Sweden on fishing boats to work with the Norwegian Resistance. Axel was kept in a work camp and treated horribly but he survived and returned home after being liberated and this is where the drama starts. The story goes back and forth through time, with flashbacks to 1943 and then back to the present. Erica and Patrik are surprised to learn that the local murder victim was Erik whom Erica had taken that found medal to only days before his death.
So Elsy, Erica's mom; Britta, Elsy's best friend; Erik, our WWII buff; and Frans, a man full of prejudices and who was in love with Elsy, where all close friends back in 1943. When Axel was captured they endured it together but not long after returning home from a different trip, then the one Axel was captured during, Elsy's father brought with him a young man by the name of Hans Olavsen who had stowed away on the boat. Hans lives with Elsy's family and soon him and Elsy fall in love and Elsy soon finds herself in the family way, if you know what I mean. But what does Elsy really know about Hans, other than what he tells her? Chaos soon ensues once Axel returns home and outs Hans as a liar. A secret from the their past has finally come back to haunt Britta, Frans, Erik and Axel; one that had changed their friend Elsy's life forever and turned her into the unloving mother Erica remembers.
Full of heartache, murder, deep prejudices, and friendship Camilla Lackberg takes you on a trip through the past so that we may understand the present. I didn't know this was a book in a series but just had heard how good it was so I picked it up when I was at the library, but I have since added all her books in this series to my to-be-read list. Though a translated work, which I usually have a bit of frustration with because they feel like the writer is just telling you a story instead of making you a part of it, The Hidden Child, sucked me right in and wouldn't let me go long after I turned the last page. I still think about this book and human deceit even though it has been weeks since I finished it.
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