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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. Her enquiries lead her to the home of a retired history teacher. He was among her mother’s circle of friends during the Second World War but her questions ar 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. Her enquiries lead her to the home of a retired history teacher. He was among her mother’s circle of friends during the Second World War but her questions are met with bizarre and evasive answers. Two days later he meets a violent death. Detective Patrik Hedström, Erica’s husband, is on paternity leave but soon becomes embroiled in the murder investigation. Who would kill so ruthlessly to bury secrets so old? Reluctantly Erica must read her mother’s wartime diaries. But within the pages is a painful revelation about Erica’s past. Could what little knowledge she has be enough to endanger her husband and newborn baby? The dark past is coming to light, and no one will escape the truth of how they came to be . . .


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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. Her enquiries lead her to the home of a retired history teacher. He was among her mother’s circle of friends during the Second World War but her questions ar 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. Her enquiries lead her to the home of a retired history teacher. He was among her mother’s circle of friends during the Second World War but her questions are met with bizarre and evasive answers. Two days later he meets a violent death. Detective Patrik Hedström, Erica’s husband, is on paternity leave but soon becomes embroiled in the murder investigation. Who would kill so ruthlessly to bury secrets so old? Reluctantly Erica must read her mother’s wartime diaries. But within the pages is a painful revelation about Erica’s past. Could what little knowledge she has be enough to endanger her husband and newborn baby? The dark past is coming to light, and no one will escape the truth of how they came to be . . .

30 review for The Hidden Child

  1. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    I felt that Lackberg walked a fine line with this one. By putting Patrik at home instead of at the police station she made the book more domestic than crime. On the other hand she turned Erica into a temporary sleuth and successfully ran two separate mysteries until they became one. It worked for me. As with all good series I have an attachment by now to all of the main characters and it is good to see them changing and developing. Anna in particular has made huge progress and I loved the moment I felt that Lackberg walked a fine line with this one. By putting Patrik at home instead of at the police station she made the book more domestic than crime. On the other hand she turned Erica into a temporary sleuth and successfully ran two separate mysteries until they became one. It worked for me. As with all good series I have an attachment by now to all of the main characters and it is good to see them changing and developing. Anna in particular has made huge progress and I loved the moment where she suddenly decided she had had enough. Of course the biggest development is Mellburg - the power of a new dog and a good woman. I hope his future is as good as it seems at the moment! All good and I am looking forward to book 6.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    In this 5th book in the 'Fjällbacka/Patrik Hedström' series, Swedish crime writer Erica Falck is faced with the possibility that her mother was a Nazi sympathizer during WWII. The book can be read as a standalone. ***** In Fjällbacka, Sweden two teens break into the house of Erik Frankel, an elderly man who collects Nazi memorabilia. They're shocked to discover his badly decomposed body. Coincidentally true crime writer Erica Falck, looking through belongings of her deceased mother, Elsy, finds so In this 5th book in the 'Fjällbacka/Patrik Hedström' series, Swedish crime writer Erica Falck is faced with the possibility that her mother was a Nazi sympathizer during WWII. The book can be read as a standalone. ***** In Fjällbacka, Sweden two teens break into the house of Erik Frankel, an elderly man who collects Nazi memorabilia. They're shocked to discover his badly decomposed body. Coincidentally true crime writer Erica Falck, looking through belongings of her deceased mother, Elsy, finds some diaries and a Nazi medal. Thus starts a dual investigation - the police look into Frankel's death and Erica searches for information about her mother. The story alternates between the present-day and the 1940s (during World War II), when some Swedes aided the resistance in Nazi-occupied Norway. The mysteries in the book multiply when a woman with Alzheimer's disease is killed and Elsy's friends are curiously reluctant to talk about Elsy with her daughter, Erica. The book has plenty of interesting characters, including Nazi sympathizers, Nazi hunters, a motley crew of detectives (including Erica's husband Patrik Hedström), a cute child, and a stray dog that helps its new owner find romance. I found the characters more interesting than the mystery at the heart of the story, which turned out to be fairly ordinary and foreshadowed by the book's title. Also, once the mystery was resolved the explanation was too long and drawn out. The book does provide some interesting insight into Sweden's role in WWII and the fate of Scandinavian prisoners of war. Overall, an okay book. You can follow my reviews at http://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot.com/

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    The Hidden Child is easily the strongest entry in Läckberg's canon to date, and this is largely attributable to the fact that in this novel she has a masterful handle on just about all of her characters. Erica is not sidelined for the first time since The Ice Princess, and Mellberg, now that we've accepted that he doesn't do any actual work, is clearly being groomed into a lovably reformed "middle aged" man in his sixties. First you throw him a dog, and the rest will follow. The crime here is fa The Hidden Child is easily the strongest entry in Läckberg's canon to date, and this is largely attributable to the fact that in this novel she has a masterful handle on just about all of her characters. Erica is not sidelined for the first time since The Ice Princess, and Mellberg, now that we've accepted that he doesn't do any actual work, is clearly being groomed into a lovably reformed "middle aged" man in his sixties. First you throw him a dog, and the rest will follow. The crime here is fairly simple, but the reasoning behind it - and the expertly tied parallel story, the strongest Läckberg has ever written - is compelling and the cast of suspects and loved ones are well realised. There are times when it seems like sentiment is being slathered over the page, but this is the sort of emotional response that is more than forgivable five books into a series; it's practically expected. The Hidden Child is a successful novel because it is intelligent, interesting, and at least a little melancholy. If you'd given up on this series after the excesses of The Gallows Bird/The Stranger, you might want to reconsider. This is very good small town crime fiction indeed.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Aditi

    “One day you will do things for me that you hate. That is what it means to be family.” ----Jonathan Safran Foer Camilla Läckberg, the international bestselling author, is back with her new Nordic noir, The Hidden Child which is the fifth book in her popular crime thriller series, Fjällbacka. This book welcomes the well admired protagonist, Patrik Hedström, who is on a four month paternity leave for his 1 year old daughter whereas his popular crime writer wife, Erica is back to writing novels bu “One day you will do things for me that you hate. That is what it means to be family.” ----Jonathan Safran Foer Camilla Läckberg, the international bestselling author, is back with her new Nordic noir, The Hidden Child which is the fifth book in her popular crime thriller series, Fjällbacka. This book welcomes the well admired protagonist, Patrik Hedström, who is on a four month paternity leave for his 1 year old daughter whereas his popular crime writer wife, Erica is back to writing novels but she is distracted by sight of her mother's journals and lingering mystery behind a Nazi medal found among the belongings of her mother, soon followed by the murder of the historian whom Erica had sought help for that medal's history right before his tragic death. Synopsis: 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. Her inquiries lead her to the home of a retired history teacher. He was among her mother's circle of friends during the Second World War but her questions are met with bizarre and evasive answers. Two days later he meets a violent death. Detective Patrik Hedström, Erica's husband, is on paternity leave but soon becomes embroiled in the murder investigation. Who would kill so ruthlessly to bury secrets so old? Reluctantly Erica must read her mother's wartime diaries. But within the pages is a painful revelation about Erica's past. Could what little knowledge she has be enough to endanger her husband and newborn baby? The dark past is coming to light, and no one will escape the truth of how they came to be… Patrik is on leave for his daughter Maja and he can't stop himself from disturbing his wife, Erica who is back to writing novels in the very comfort of their home. But on the very first day of his leave, Patrik is stumbled upon a crime scene where the dead body of an old historian has been found by his colleagues, and little did Patrik knew that Erica had sought help, not very long time ago, from the same historian about an old Nazi war medal that she found among her late mother's belongings. Together Patrik and Erica embark upon a forgotten path taking them back in time through Erica's mother's journals that narrate the period when the world war II is coming to an end, in order to find the connection of her mother and her friends in Sweden in the war. Eventually the history begins to unravel right in front of their eyes when the hidden secrets surface up about a young and naive couple who got caught up between love and war. The book held me from the very first chapter till the very last line of the book, although I must say, the book ended with a bang(I mean literally! )- a cliffhanger hinting to the next book in the series. The book opens a bit slow and all the while it felt like there's no point of stretching such a good story for so long by withholding the secret which finally became very obvious midway through the story. Anyhow, what allured me to stick to this book is the way the author narrates the whole story, bit-by-bit, piece-by-piece in a forward motion, where there were no wrong turns to mislead me into another theory of what has actually happened in Erica's mother's past. The writing style is flawless, with a captivating narrative style. The prose is evocative since most of the time it brings up the past despite of the clean slate kind of situation. The importance of having family is closely observed in this story thus leaving the readers with a feeling of longing for their families. Moreover, the author captures the aura of the war and how war affects the bonds of the families if someone from that family becomes a prisoner of the war and how war can bring people together and they destroy those newly formed bonds, all these themes are delicately depicted into this story. The mystery doesn't play any games with the minds of readers, yet the author takes a lot of time to unravel it, by giving each and every character a proper presence in this puzzle, I mean it's like every one adds up to this mystery. The atmosphere that the author sets in to this story line is thick in suspense and gives a chilling feeling while reading it and the very essence of evil, since the best part of this story is the careful postmortem of darkness underlying during the era of war. The characters are strongly developed, with lots of back story so that the readers are able to contemplate with each and every one of her characters in this book. The demeanor reflected in each people of this small city in Sweden is impressive, where all the families have their own story to tell. The main characters are developed with the pace of the mystery. The author here simply played with the minds of the readers in her own way, thus reproducing a brilliant masterpiece. And I promise, there are some characters in the book which are going to stay with you long after the end of the story. The author gives a vivid picture of Fjällbacka, where the story is set, given the fact that the descriptions in the book are very detailed and with such intricacy the plot has been laid out, that it feels like the reader is himself watching the crime scenes unfolding right in front of his eyes. Moreover, the author strikingly captures the cold and the gray backdrop of yet another amazing city in the world, Fjällbacka, that comes alive with the story. Since this is the third book that I read in this series, the first being not so memorable for me, but surprisingly this book stands out in the mellow, which being a bit tedious yet maintains that old charm of being intriguing and intense both at the same time. Verdict: Nordic noir at its best and Camilla knows how to device a page turning thriller with a flavor of history and a deathly murder plot.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    I'm not really sure why I'm still reading these, but I guess they're predictably enjoyable? I'm always really into the mysteries, and you pretty much know it's going to unfold really slowly. Still, they are uncomfortably sexist sometimes, even though Lackberg seems to be making an effort to sort of drag that discussion into her story. But, like, Patrik will do things like go on an accidental two-hour errand run, while leaving the baby with Erica even though she's now working and he's on paternity I'm not really sure why I'm still reading these, but I guess they're predictably enjoyable? I'm always really into the mysteries, and you pretty much know it's going to unfold really slowly. Still, they are uncomfortably sexist sometimes, even though Lackberg seems to be making an effort to sort of drag that discussion into her story. But, like, Patrik will do things like go on an accidental two-hour errand run, while leaving the baby with Erica even though she's now working and he's on paternity leave, and then Erica will be pissed at him...but then it's fine? Like, he doesn't really get it? And eventually she's like, "Oh, I overreacted". Um, excuse me, you didn't overreact; you had a totally normal reaction of a person who is entitled to do work like a human without your husband (who is supposed to be the main caretaker at this point) suddenly giving you the kid. Lackberg sort of, maybe, wraps this up towards the end, but it still doesn't FEEL that good to me. These books are feminist-y with a patriarchal twist, and that's always been SUPER weird and conflicting to me (I feel this way about most Scandinavian crime fiction though), but that will definitely not stop me from reading the next one.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    I'm generous giving this a 3. Closer to a 2.5 star because these novels (Lackberg series) are not as much crime or mystery genre anymore as they are continuing character minutia tracts. The read is 40% character trivia that is basically unrelated whimsy and only on a super wide tangent from any fact or semi-involved relationship that has anything to do with the plot or outcome of the "mystery". A run on sentence but that's what is going on more and more with each progressive Lackberg novel. I do I'm generous giving this a 3. Closer to a 2.5 star because these novels (Lackberg series) are not as much crime or mystery genre anymore as they are continuing character minutia tracts. The read is 40% character trivia that is basically unrelated whimsy and only on a super wide tangent from any fact or semi-involved relationship that has anything to do with the plot or outcome of the "mystery". A run on sentence but that's what is going on more and more with each progressive Lackberg novel. I doubt I will read anymore. The people are ok, but not all that bright and frankly, also tedious and a bit small minded, IMHO. And at the same time the main 4 or 5 characters have also become pure stereotypes. It has a dumbing down result that just kills any entertainment value for me.

  7. 4 out of 5

    LENA TRAK

    Amazing book! Another favourite from Camilla Lackberg! I just cannot get enough of her writing! Her thrillers are right up my alley! This one includes flashbacks from the dark days of WW2 which is another reason why I loved it! I think this one along with The stonecutter are my 2 favourites! Don't miss it! "Because people who refused to love had nothing to lose" Amazing book! Another favourite from Camilla Lackberg! I just cannot get enough of her writing! Her thrillers are right up my alley! This one includes flashbacks from the dark days of WW2 which is another reason why I loved it! I think this one along with The stonecutter are my 2 favourites! Don't miss it! "Because people who refused to love had nothing to lose"

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ema

    I was an avid reader of detective novels in high school, but I haven't tried this genre for quite a while. I decided to leave the classics aside and dive into unknown territories, those of the modern writers of detective fiction. My first try (apart from Stieg Larsson) was the Scandinavian Camilla Läckberg, who turned out to be a big disappointment. Another reason not to fall prey again to a good rating and a promising synopsis. If you brace yourself and read this book nonetheless, be ready for I was an avid reader of detective novels in high school, but I haven't tried this genre for quite a while. I decided to leave the classics aside and dive into unknown territories, those of the modern writers of detective fiction. My first try (apart from Stieg Larsson) was the Scandinavian Camilla Läckberg, who turned out to be a big disappointment. Another reason not to fall prey again to a good rating and a promising synopsis. If you brace yourself and read this book nonetheless, be ready for an epidemic of pregnant women, cups of coffee at every page and hour of the day, domestic scenes that are boring as hell - which I soon started to skip - and a detective investigation that is diluted and just as tasteless as a watery cocktail. I was indecisive between Jo Nesbø, Boris Akunin and Camilla Läckberg and in the end I chose her - what a waste of time! I finished this 600 pages book in no time though, because I skipped more than half of it. For the most part, The Hidden Child is a bad quality soap opera, with a detective story that is shredded into tiny slices interspersed with boring accounts of domestic life. You could read this novel in the worst conditions imaginable and still keep track of the plot. This kind of books, along with the Sandra Brown type and the most recent vampire literature, are - for me - an explanation for the fact that some people are still reading. I don't want to offend anyone, but I'm afraid that, if such easy-type novels would cease to exist, the number of readers would reduce drastically. Try to also read some novels that challenge your brain and teach you something. Don't make this kind of books your only connection to the literature world.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stacia

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This just wasn't a very good book. Some parts of it were okay: I didn't know that much about Sweden during the Second World War, so that bit of the story line was interesting. One problem with a translated work is that it's hard to know where to assign blame for the book's faults regarding language. Was the original in as desperate need of editing, or is the translator responsible for the language that really needed to be tightened up? But many of the flaws in this book must be laid at the feet of This just wasn't a very good book. Some parts of it were okay: I didn't know that much about Sweden during the Second World War, so that bit of the story line was interesting. One problem with a translated work is that it's hard to know where to assign blame for the book's faults regarding language. Was the original in as desperate need of editing, or is the translator responsible for the language that really needed to be tightened up? But many of the flaws in this book must be laid at the feet of the author. First of all: If the mother didn't want to have kids, why in the world did she end up having two of them when she was almost 40? That makes absolutely no sense to me. Another huge problem is the insanely precocious daughter of the main couple in the series. Having just reached her first birthday, she's characterized very much as a toddler instead. Her development is at least a year above what it's supposed to be, and now that there are two more babies on the way, I think I might just give up on this series. I already had to read two way-too-long birth scenes in this book; there's no way I can sit through two more of them, plus two more precocious children characters.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    What do entries in a diary, a Nazi Iron Cross medal, and a retired history professor found murdered in his chair by teens who broke into his house have in common? Secrets. A dreadful secret held by a scared young man who escaped into Sweden, fleeing the Germans. Secret payments to a man by the murdered victim. A horrific secret held by a group of young friends in the 1940s. Someone is out to protect those secrets at all costs. Patrik Hedstrom has to only participate in this murder investigation What do entries in a diary, a Nazi Iron Cross medal, and a retired history professor found murdered in his chair by teens who broke into his house have in common? Secrets. A dreadful secret held by a scared young man who escaped into Sweden, fleeing the Germans. Secret payments to a man by the murdered victim. A horrific secret held by a group of young friends in the 1940s. Someone is out to protect those secrets at all costs. Patrik Hedstrom has to only participate in this murder investigation on the fringe because he's supposed to be on paternity leave. His wife, Erica, starts to read some of her mother's old diaries and is inadvertently drawn into this investigation. This psychological thriller takes us into the world of resistance fighters during WWII and the risks taken by them, including that of being captured by the Nazis and placed in concentration camps, the strength of friendship and family bonds. It's a page turner that holds you in its tight grip and you can't put it down until after all secrets are laid bare.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kenchiin

    An intense page-turner. Crime Fiction at its finest.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marsha

    If you haven't discovered Swedish crime sensation Camilla Lackberg yet, you are in for a treat. Her first three books, in order are: The Stonecutter The Preacher Gallow's Bird Had I known, I would have begun with the trilogy in order, but the first book I happened upon was Gallow's Bird, then I found The Ice Princess, her fourth. Both have recurring characters and it doesn't really matter what order you read them in as the crimes/mysteries stand on their own. The crimes are intriguing and original a If you haven't discovered Swedish crime sensation Camilla Lackberg yet, you are in for a treat. Her first three books, in order are: The Stonecutter The Preacher Gallow's Bird Had I known, I would have begun with the trilogy in order, but the first book I happened upon was Gallow's Bird, then I found The Ice Princess, her fourth. Both have recurring characters and it doesn't really matter what order you read them in as the crimes/mysteries stand on their own. The crimes are intriguing and original and the characters are so realistic that you get sucked into the minutiae of their lives. The Hidden Child was every bit as good as the others I've read. This one connects an incident in World War II with a current murder and a mysterious trunk found in the attic.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Magil

    I was disappointed in this book right from the first chapter when the author had a one year old more advanced than she should have been. On page 80 the author had the medical examiner explain that Erik had been killed by a right handed person standing in front of him who hit him on the right temple. Later in the book, the killer stated that he had dropped the stone bust on the top of Erik’s head. The reactions of her characters were often in excess of the circumstances. The plot was predictable I was disappointed in this book right from the first chapter when the author had a one year old more advanced than she should have been. On page 80 the author had the medical examiner explain that Erik had been killed by a right handed person standing in front of him who hit him on the right temple. Later in the book, the killer stated that he had dropped the stone bust on the top of Erik’s head. The reactions of her characters were often in excess of the circumstances. The plot was predictable and most characters poorly developed. This story could have been condensed into a book half its size. I was quite disappointed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lumalcav

    If in the previous book of this series I said that the personal lives of the characters were not very important, in this one it is all about that. The plot goes around Erika’s mother, her life, her secrets and the possible link between her childhood and a crime that happens in now well known Fallbacka. Maybe I´m now used to read the author or, she is (or was, since this book is not really new) growing up, but I am enjoying a lot the last books of the series. Maybe it is slower than the previous o If in the previous book of this series I said that the personal lives of the characters were not very important, in this one it is all about that. The plot goes around Erika’s mother, her life, her secrets and the possible link between her childhood and a crime that happens in now well known Fallbacka. Maybe I´m now used to read the author or, she is (or was, since this book is not really new) growing up, but I am enjoying a lot the last books of the series. Maybe it is slower than the previous one, but the plot is really good and, as usual, we need to keep reading in order to resolve more puzzled situations. The fact that everything is related to Erika´s family, who is one of the main characters, if not the main one, allows me to want to know every detail, in order to understand better her past. Not sure if it is because the Ms Lackberg situation or mine one, but… there are like too many pregnancies in this book, aren´t there? Four or five in just one book.. I don´t know, maybe it is too much, having in mind that not all of them were necessary for the plot. Anyway, and as I said, this book was a good one. I want to know more!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Book Concierge

    Digital audio performed by Simon Vance Erica’s mother has died, and when going through her mother’s possessions, she’s shocked to discover a Nazi medal. She goes to the home of a retired history professor to get information about the artifact, but he’s less than helpful and rather evasive. Two days later he’s dead. And Erica’s husband, Patrik, gets involved in the investigation. This is the fifth book in the series featuring crime writer Erica Falck and Detective Patrik Hedström, in the village of Digital audio performed by Simon Vance Erica’s mother has died, and when going through her mother’s possessions, she’s shocked to discover a Nazi medal. She goes to the home of a retired history professor to get information about the artifact, but he’s less than helpful and rather evasive. Two days later he’s dead. And Erica’s husband, Patrik, gets involved in the investigation. This is the fifth book in the series featuring crime writer Erica Falck and Detective Patrik Hedström, in the village of Fjällbacka, Sweden. However, it’s the first one I’ve read; I’ll have to go back to the beginning, though to truly understand the relationships between recurring characters. Läckberg uses a dual time line to tell this story. There are the events of 1945, when one young couple’s plans are shattered by prejudice and violence. And there is the current-day mystery of an artifact that threatens to reveal long-held secrets. There is also personal drama – a new baby, tensions at work, an ex-wife coming back. It’s a dark story, but Läckberg gives us a few moments of humor to break the tension. I really liked the relationships between the characters. Delving into Erica’s past in this way certainly gives a different perspective on her current self, as well as illuminate the ways in which she relates to her husband, friends and colleagues. And I loved the interplay between the detectives on the team. I look forward to reading more of the series. Simon Vance is excellent, as usual, when performing this audio. His voice simply draws the listener into the story. There are many characters to handle, and he is more than up for the task, even doing a good job of the women’s voices.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Lord, I'm still stuck in Sweden. Best Patrik Hedstrom book yet in the series for so many reasons. Will write full review tomorrow. I have to decide if I should stay in Fjallbacka or not. I'm afraid if I leave I won't return for a while and there are only a couple of books left in this series. I might have to stay.... Lord, I'm still stuck in Sweden. Best Patrik Hedstrom book yet in the series for so many reasons. Will write full review tomorrow. I have to decide if I should stay in Fjallbacka or not. I'm afraid if I leave I won't return for a while and there are only a couple of books left in this series. I might have to stay....

  17. 5 out of 5

    AdiTurbo

    Good, mature writing, better than most Scandinavian thrillers I've read. Sound character building, the writer is compassionate towards them, and doesn't present them as black or white, good or bad. Interesting plot which involves true historical events. Enjoyable read. Good, mature writing, better than most Scandinavian thrillers I've read. Sound character building, the writer is compassionate towards them, and doesn't present them as black or white, good or bad. Interesting plot which involves true historical events. Enjoyable read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Crime writing is a complicated task that Camilla appears to have mastered with ease. This is the fifth book in this series that is a police procedural at its heart but about life in general. Once again we have a terrific novel, over 500 pages but captivating to the end. Can you keep a secret? The Hidden Child is about a dark secret from childhood that seeps out into a present time where those distant friends now elderly are caught up in a murder when one of their number is brutally killed - can Crime writing is a complicated task that Camilla appears to have mastered with ease. This is the fifth book in this series that is a police procedural at its heart but about life in general. Once again we have a terrific novel, over 500 pages but captivating to the end. Can you keep a secret? The Hidden Child is about a dark secret from childhood that seeps out into a present time where those distant friends now elderly are caught up in a murder when one of their number is brutally killed - can it really be linked with the past. Two stories, past, during World War II and present, the police investigation slowly reveal and expand to inform, entertain and thrill. It is a story about unfulfilled dreams, how secrets can not be buried for ever and that right rather than wrong and a sense of moral justice will perhaps seep out and especially in old age a time of reckoning or reflection leads one to seek forgiveness and absolution. As it is a Lackberg novel it is packed with family life and we learn lots more about Erica with themes of reconciliation continuing and the chance for new beginnings. So it isn't just dark, focusing on murder & death; indeed my male sensitivities are challenged not once but twice with descriptions of labour pain and delivery of a babies. There is a wide cast of characters but each is generously outlined and allowed to grow. The benefit of this creative writing is a story that entertains fully, but never signposts a restricted list of suspects for the solution to the crime. I like the fact that Camilla's stories are grounded in a real world which I can identify with fully. It is a joy to get involved with the writing and loose yourself in her novels. It is great not to have every page dependent to the plot but it is all relevant to the book and the pages stream by imperceptively. I read this author in order so I have other books lined up and ready to enjoy, I hope others will share in my enjoyment and find out what they've been missing.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sally Rivers

    I've read two books by this author and it's only fair to say that she's not for me. However, I don't want to put you off. I've given it a low rating because I have to, to me it was just 'okay', but I knew as I was reading it that many others would think far more of it. I like my crime fiction, and in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but there were just too many tangents here, too many distractons, and to be blunt, too much character contemplation of the navel. Everyone has their own tastes. I am qui I've read two books by this author and it's only fair to say that she's not for me. However, I don't want to put you off. I've given it a low rating because I have to, to me it was just 'okay', but I knew as I was reading it that many others would think far more of it. I like my crime fiction, and in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but there were just too many tangents here, too many distractons, and to be blunt, too much character contemplation of the navel. Everyone has their own tastes. I am quite at home with some Scandinavian thrillers but I found that the story in Hidden Child is buried at the expense of character subplot. If you want to read about an old detective hasbeen and his canine companion that's fine, but it's not Lassie. There are other human interest stories too, though I use the term human 'interest' loosely. You get my drift. Shame though because the story itself could have sparkled.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    This was a solid 3 stars for me. There was much that I liked about this book and a few things that I didn't. I liked the author's set up in the beginning. It was engaging. I also liked the characters. They had some interesting characteristics. The policeman who was on paternity leave was great. That was new to me. The feeling I had in the beginning with the great set up, wasn't sustained throughout. I liked the story and the characters, it was just slow for me at times. There was too much meande This was a solid 3 stars for me. There was much that I liked about this book and a few things that I didn't. I liked the author's set up in the beginning. It was engaging. I also liked the characters. They had some interesting characteristics. The policeman who was on paternity leave was great. That was new to me. The feeling I had in the beginning with the great set up, wasn't sustained throughout. I liked the story and the characters, it was just slow for me at times. There was too much meandering and not enough action. Plus, there seemed to be so many characters to keep track of. Those two things are my only real complaints, so I'm surprised I didn't like it more than I did. I wish I had liked this more. I think maybe my mood did not match this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    June

    This is my first time reading a Camilla Lackberg novel. I saw a lot of buzz late last year about her novels and decided to try. Firstly don't read the blurb, it is somewhat misleading. This is a translated literary mystery. The strength here is the characters and the weaving of two mysteries. And it deals with the impact of world war 2. One of the themes here is the role of parenthood. The struggle for working mothers to cope and how fathers fail/thrive in their roles. Notably the main character This is my first time reading a Camilla Lackberg novel. I saw a lot of buzz late last year about her novels and decided to try. Firstly don't read the blurb, it is somewhat misleading. This is a translated literary mystery. The strength here is the characters and the weaving of two mysteries. And it deals with the impact of world war 2. One of the themes here is the role of parenthood. The struggle for working mothers to cope and how fathers fail/thrive in their roles. Notably the main characters are new parents, Erica Falck and Patrik Hedström. Because I haven't read the prior novels I'm not sure how well developed their relationship was prior to Maja their daughter. But I was able to follow them as well as the well-fleshed out secondary characters. The other theme is secrets. This is the crux for the mysteries. Whilst I was able to figure out most of the secrets early on, I still enjoy and would recommend. This novel didn't need the neat ending. I didn't need the second last flashback. By then it was clear for the most part what had happened. This is not a clean novel- mild swearing with some violent scenes.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Deur

    This felt like coming home for me. I love this series because they are sort of predictable in a way. Not because of predictable or boring storylines, absolutely not, but because these books are always well written, well thought out, have rounded and interesting characters. I like the routine of starting out several storylines that eventually come together. I love that even though the main characters are flawed, they are also real and make you feel as if meeting old friends. The plot: Oorlogskind This felt like coming home for me. I love this series because they are sort of predictable in a way. Not because of predictable or boring storylines, absolutely not, but because these books are always well written, well thought out, have rounded and interesting characters. I like the routine of starting out several storylines that eventually come together. I love that even though the main characters are flawed, they are also real and make you feel as if meeting old friends. The plot: Oorlogskind is het vijfde boek over politieagent Patrik Hedström en Erica Falck. Dit keer draait het verhaal om Erica's moeder: waarom heeft zij al die jaren een oude nazi-medaille bewaard? Met die vraag blijft Erica worstelen. Uiteindelijk besluit ze de gepensioneerde geschiedenisleraar Erik Frankel te bezoeken, een expert op het gebied van onderscheidingen. Maar Frankel gedraagt zich vreemd en geeft ontwijkende antwoorden. Twee maanden later is hij dood, vermoord. Erica is geschokt. Dan leest Erica de dagboeken van haar moeder en wordt onthuld waarom haar moeder nooit een band met haar dochters kon opbouwen en waarom ze veranderde van een lieve, zachtaardige vrouw in de kille, afstandelijke moeder die ze was. I was really excited and curious to read this book because it was so personal for Erica. I wanted to find out more about her parents and how it all tied in with old Nazi Germany. The different storylines that we are served in the beginning always start out completely unrelated to the others but in the end Camilla tends to weave an intricate web and the end always makes sense even if the beginning doesn't. These books just make me happy. And that is what books should do. Make you happy. Whether they make you happy because they make you feel at home, or because they bring you tears or excitement, or anger etc. they should just make you happy. And this book made me happy. 5 stars.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Oliveira

    Quite tiresome and repetitive narrative, a bit obvious in the mystery department and a lot of passages concerning the personal drama aspect of series as a whole - not something a first time reader like myself find interesting. It felt a lot like watching a reeeaaaallllllyyyy long episode of any American police series of your choice, with poor dialogue and - dare I say it? - unintellingent detectives. All in all, it sometimes got me feeling that Lackberg sees her readers as the unintelligent lot.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I'm a fan of Camilla Lackberg's crime stories and so far, I think The Hidden Child is the best of this series. Tore through this one and couldn't put it down! Already have the next one on hold at the library....... I'm a fan of Camilla Lackberg's crime stories and so far, I think The Hidden Child is the best of this series. Tore through this one and couldn't put it down! Already have the next one on hold at the library.......

  25. 4 out of 5

    Albert

    The Hidden Child by Camilla Lackberg is considered book #5 in the Patrick Hedstrom series but it is the fourth or third to be translated and made available to English reading audiences. Though it is referred to as the Patrick Hedstrom series it is quite a bit more the Ericka Falck Hedstrom story as she once again taking center stage in this mystery of murder, betrayal and a buried past. Erica is a crime writer, mother and wife to Detective Patrick Hedstrom. In going through the possessions of her The Hidden Child by Camilla Lackberg is considered book #5 in the Patrick Hedstrom series but it is the fourth or third to be translated and made available to English reading audiences. Though it is referred to as the Patrick Hedstrom series it is quite a bit more the Ericka Falck Hedstrom story as she once again taking center stage in this mystery of murder, betrayal and a buried past. Erica is a crime writer, mother and wife to Detective Patrick Hedstrom. In going through the possessions of her departed mother, Erica is surprised to come upon a Nazi Medal. Her relationship with her mother was a lifetime of emotional neglect and with the birth of her own daughter, the relationship with her mother ways even heavier upon Erica. She takes the medal to a retired history teacher and sets forward a chain of events that result in the murders of a group of childhood friends. All of them, the circle of friends that grew up with her mother. Among the possessions her mother left behind, is the bloody shirt of a newborn baby. The retired teacher is found dead and now Detective Patrick Hedstrom, Erica's husband is involved as he seeks to untangle the web of secrets of the group of childhood friends. The mystery deepens at Erica reads her mother's wartime diaries and she begins to learn of a young girl who bares little resemblance to the woman she had known all her life. Slowly the tale of a young girl, the uncertainty of war and the loss of friends and family, emerges and Erica comes to know the young girl who would become her mother. Erica begins to unveil secrets of the past. Secrets of illicit love and murder. Secrets that threaten Erica today. Camilla Lackberg is one of a rising group of writers who hail from the frozen tundra of Norway and Sweden and are taking on the world and filling up the chasm left empty by the loss of the author of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. Her novels are stark and mysteries embedded in the cold and isolation of their settings. The mysteries are often complex with red herrings and twists that leave the reader believing in one outcome until it changes and changes. In the Hidden Child, the novel is a departure. A book about the past and the decisions made as young men and women that haunt people into their final years. The incredible power of guilt and betrayal and the loss of a child. The pain of such a sacrifice and the hold it has over the years. The Hidden Child is deep and emotionally complex, but moves slower than Lackberg's previous novels and Erica as a character is somehow becoming less likable. Though her dogged pursuit of the truth unravels these secrets, it is a selfish and entitled act that causes a great deal of pain for others along the way. But in the end Lackberg delivers the tale with the smooth cadence of a ages old mystery coming slowly into the light. A good read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Thebooktrail

    The fifth installment in the Camilla series of books and this one is a real favourite of ours due to the history and weaving in of past and present. The best and strongest in the series for the subject matter and the complex yet fascinating story. A horrible secret from the past slowly comes to light - about a young man who fled the Germans and came to Sweden looking to start over. Turns out the murder victim was making regular payments to someone for some reason. could it be that he wanted a secr The fifth installment in the Camilla series of books and this one is a real favourite of ours due to the history and weaving in of past and present. The best and strongest in the series for the subject matter and the complex yet fascinating story. A horrible secret from the past slowly comes to light - about a young man who fled the Germans and came to Sweden looking to start over. Turns out the murder victim was making regular payments to someone for some reason. could it be that he wanted a secret kept hidden? A secret held by friends in the 40s that Erica’s mum may have been a part of? Fjällbacka takes on a really dark tone in the latest Camilla Lackberg novel and it delves into the shady world of Naziism and Sweden’s role in the 2WW which has levels of intrigue and darkness that none of the previous novels have had in such abundance. The links between this latest cloud on the Fjällbacka horizon is enhanced since it is Erica’s mother who is, at at least seems to be, at the centre of it all and it is Erica who goes investigating to try and find out he truth. Having read about the 2WW and learned a little about the Swedish standpoint and war issues at first hand, I was intrigued to read about the moral crisis that people may have had years ago and how they dealt with having a war criminal in their midst. It also made us think of how we would have reacted in their circumstance and the good and bad about wanting some kind of retribution for the past. The story of Neo-Nazis with the calm and remote backdrop of Fjällbacka really made the issue stand out as it is not the place you would associate with any of the war issues at all. Very effective and very chilling.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Upton

    I was disappointed by this addition to the Patrik Hedstrom series for a few reasons. The plot wasn't as strong—it was too easy to figure out the ending, practically from the start. The writing of the continuing characters wasn't as strong. The theme was depressing. But the reason I'm giving it only two stars (which is pretty much as bad as I get without loathing a book) was because of the depicted violence. When I realized the book was going to contain flashback of Nazi Germany, of course I knew I was disappointed by this addition to the Patrik Hedstrom series for a few reasons. The plot wasn't as strong—it was too easy to figure out the ending, practically from the start. The writing of the continuing characters wasn't as strong. The theme was depressing. But the reason I'm giving it only two stars (which is pretty much as bad as I get without loathing a book) was because of the depicted violence. When I realized the book was going to contain flashback of Nazi Germany, of course I knew I was in for some tough reading. I understand the need to be realistic about history so we can hope to learn from our mistakes. But there was a particular scene, outside of that realm, that was vile. I hope I'll forget it soon. So, I don't recommend this one. In fact, I'm sure that you could skip right over The Hidden Child if you're reading the series; Lackberg always provides just enough rehash of the main character's plights so you can discover what happened with them in the last book and move forward. That's what I wish I would have done.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    The story itself was 4 stars but the narration probably 2 stars. The narrator used this annoying old-man-gruff voice for multiple characters which was very very confusing. The mystery starts with the murder of an elderly man. It evolves into a mystery going back to World War II and Nazis. It moves between the past and present which was also confusing in the audio version. Nonetheless, it was a good story, and would make a gripping read, but I cannot recommend the audio version.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Kinsky

    What a clever way the author has written this book! It kept me guessing right till the end! This book was translated from Swedish to English and it was translated so well, I could not tell the difference. I also am a sucker for reading books that go from the present to the past every alternative chapter! Brilliant thriller and highly recommended!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Excellent and it kept me intrigued. Now I will read the other books by camille Chose this rating as it was masterfully written.Will read other books. I read many about ww two . Very informative

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