Well book 4 of my 20 Books of Summer 2016 challenge was another sure fire winner and another opportunity for me to catch up with a much admired and enjoyable series.
This is the eighth in the Patrik Hedström and Erica Falck series set in Fjällbacka on the west coast of Sweden and once again I was reminded quite why I love these tales which often link past crimes to present ones. The characters that I feel I have grown to know over the last few years, are all present in this novel and as well as being hooked by the plot I enjoyed catching up with the developments at Fjällbacka police station and of course their personal lives too.
In Buried Angels Erica is keen to find more about an old unsolved mystery where an entire family bar one year old Ebba disappeared from an island. The family was that of the resident headmaster Runes who had opened a school where strict discipline and outside activity to tame the teenage boys was the order of the day. Many of the boys came from wealthy families and Runes ruled both the school and his family; one that consisted of three children from his first marriage as well as his second wife Innes and their daughter Ebba.
Erica’s interest is reawakened when following a bereavement, Ebba moves back to the island to claim her inheritance with her husband Tobias. The pair set about carrying out a restoration project with the aim of opening up the property as a small hotel. Erica is excited about meeting Ebba, she’s sure she will welcome a book to reinvestigate what happened there all those years before but before she can arrange a meeting a fire breaks out on the island, and it looks like arson.
This story is also politically focused with a party called ‘Friends of Sweden’ featuring heavily the in the storyline. They are making moves to halt immigration into Sweden and the author paints a picture of this powerful group of people moving towards to making this a realty. But the past is never far away with some of the schoolchildren who attended Runes school back in 1974 now adults, included in this group is Jewish Josef, who is determined that the part Sweden played in World War Two is not forgotten and to ensure it isn’t, he is planning a new centre to hold all the evidence.
As well as these strands we also follow the life of Dagmar from the time she was a small child living in Fjällbacka in 1908. The first excerpt has her stood in a courtyard as the police arrived to arrest her parents. These short excerpts continue right up to the books conclusion, when their significance becomes clear.
You can always depend on Camilla Läckberg to pull many seemingly disparate strands of a story together and this book does this with dexterity as the past, present and the hopes for the future are gradually entwined closer together for the explosive finale.
The plot and pace are well-judged whereby the reader can absorb the details of the complex plot without feeling that the story drags at any point. Furthermore once again the translator, Tina Nunnally has done a fantastic job so that except for the names, I would never have realised I was reading a book not originally written in English.