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The Hidden Child: A Novel (Patrik Hedstrom Book 5) [Kindle Edition]

Camilla Lackberg
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (345 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The brilliant new psychological thriller from worldwide bestseller Camilla Läckberg—the chilling struggle of a young woman facing the darkest chapter of Europe’s past.

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 . . .

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Long troubled by her late mother’s coldness toward her two daughters, writer Erica Falck begins to read her mother, Elsy’s, teenage diaries. She also discovers a Nazi war medal with the diaries and asks a retired history teacher to examine it. Within days, the teacher is bludgeoned to death. Then Britta, Elsy’s closest friend as a teenager, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, is also murdered. Through the diaries, Erica intuits that the solution to the mystery is rooted in events that took place during WWII. Once again, Läckberg (The Stonecutter, 2012) employs Swedish history and her setting, Fjallbacka, the postcard-pretty village where Falck grew up, to craft an engaging tale that spans three generations of Fjallbackians. The author goes deep into the lives of a very large cast of characters, and some crime lovers might balk at a 520-plus–page novel that is almost half family saga. But taken as a whole, The Hidden Child will keep fans of Swedish crime guessing until the final pages. --Thomas Gaughan


'Lackberg is an expert at mixing scenes of domestic cosiness with blood-curdling horror! a must for white-knuckle junkies' Guardian 'Lackberg is particularly good at portraying the claustrophobia of a small community in which everyone knows everyone else and the police may well be friends with killers' The Times 'Camilla Lackberg is probably the hottest female writer in Sweden at the moment! Lackberg's job is to make the reader pleasurably uncomfortable -- one of her ironclad skills' Independent 'Chilly, deceptive and lucid, just like the icy environment it describes' Literary Review 'Both chilling and thrilling' The Sun 'Heart-stopping and heart-warming, 'The Ice Princess' is a masterclass in Scandinavian crime writing' Val McDermid

Product Details

  • File Size: 2484 KB
  • Print Length: 545 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1605985538
  • Publisher: Pegasus (April 22, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,446 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
93 of 97 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much Better Than First Book July 23, 2011
The same characters appear as in the first book of this series, ICE PRINCESS. Author Erica is now married to policeman Patrick. Since she writes true crime books, she inserts herself into his investigations. Because this is a small Swedish tourist town, with very little crime taking place, she can get away with this. What really intrigues her about this crime though is that it involves her late mother. When Erica discovers her mother's old diaries from the World War II years, she unwittingly sets in motion the unveiling of a past that others of her mother's generation in that town do not want unveiled.

One of the very best characters in this book is one we were all set to despise in the first book, the police chief. This time he adopts a stray dog and begins taking salsa dance lessons. He just about steals the whole book this time around.

This is a much stronger book than the first. I also did not solve the mystery until shortly before the author revealed "who-done-it."

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
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84 of 92 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea March 27, 2012
By E. J.
This book is a great example of how everyone has unique tastes. I am very much into Scandinavian thrillers and I particularly enjoy authors such as Arnaldur Indridason and Asa Larsson. I found that the story in Hidden Child is written with particular inclination for exploring "human stories" and going off on side subplots. That is fine but to my taste the ratio of murder investigation to the human stories was too low. You will enjoy this book if you want to read about a jaded old detective who finds affection both in a human and a canine companion, about a couple deeply in love and facing the birth of a child, about a detective on paternity leave who can't stay away from work, and about his wife who is a writer that decides to investigate the murder story on her own (it happens to involve her deceased distant mother). You get the idea. I did not like the story but you might.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the 7th book in this Swedish series by Camilla Lackberg that focuses on romantic partners Patrik Hedstrom and Erica Falck. He is a homicide detective and she is a true crime writer. In this latest novel, the two are married and have a daughter. Erica has been home with her for a year, and now Patrik is taking paternity leave for six months while she writes a book. Needless to say, there are adjustments to be made. This is the first book I've read by this author, and I was struck by how much non-crime material there was; at just over 500 pages, the book feels stuffed with characters and personal stories. I suppose if you've read the first six you are happy to get so much information on what these characters are up to, so I'm not holding that against the author. And I did enjoy all the personal drama -- but there is a lot to keep straight, with minor characters being evoked infrequently enough that several times I was caught thinking -- "Now WHO is that again? Oh! The sister's husband's half daughter's boyfriend!" Yikes. I think there were over 40 named characters! Aside from that, the only thing I didn't enjoy was the mini-cliffhangers that pervade the pages. Stories are told as short doses of each character -- a page or two that then jumps to the next vignette -- and often new information would come out just as the narrative moved on and the reader doesn't know what it is until the character carousel stops at your guy again. This was charming at first but got to be mildly annoying after a while.

That said, I enjoyed this tale of a daughter's quest to understand her remote mother better. She is going through her dead mother's belongings when she finds a Nazi war medal. I liked the story hidden by a group of friends from 60 years ago. Clues were available, the story was interesting, and the final revelations plausible and interesting.

I would read more by this author and in this series.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neo-Nazism Rears Its Head May 10, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Camilla Lackberg, has based her mystery/police procedural series in Fjallbacka, on the west coast of Sweden featuring police detective Patrik Hedstrom and his mystery writer wife, Erica Falck. Patrik is taking paternity leave to look after the couple's daughter Maja while Erica is getting back to work and writing a new novel.

At the same time, Erica finds an old Nazi medal mixed in with her mother's diaries. She takes the medal to a local historian who will examine it and report back . Unfortunately, the man is murdered, and this opens up a mystery that involves her mother and other people who lived during the 1940's and the war. With the introduction of neo-Nazis in the news, in particular in Norway, this storyline takes a nice twist. Patrik becomes involved part-time because his colleagues do not trust that their boss, Melberg is capable of handling this type of investigation. Erika becomes more involved in the mystery because of what she finds out about her mother.

We are also privy to the private lives of Erika and Patrik as Patrik tries to care for Maja. However, he keeps bothering Erika who is writing at home, and this leads to many discussions of parental responsibilities. Erika's sister Anba and her new partner, Dan have issues surrounding their combined children and in particular, his teenager, Belinda. We also meet Patrik's colleagues at the police department. We get to know Melberg and the new, detective, Paula.

This is a well written storyline, full of surprises and the introduction of all of the characters is indeed, well done. The alternating chapters between 1944 and the present are tiring, and I skipped over some of the 1940's. However, I think this is one of the best novels written by this author. I look forward to the next one.

Recommended. prisrob 05-10-14
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent mystery!
Many layers of suspense in this story, flashbacks to WWII, back to current day. Excellent mystery, interesting characters, nice plot.
Published 1 day ago by melanie vidrine
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent mystery.
Camilla Lackberg is an excellent writer. Her characters are well developed and real, the story held my interest throughout. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Lyn M.
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time
Couldn't even make it through the first couple of chapters.
Published 15 days ago by J. Weaver
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This was a great book it kept my interest all the way till the end. All the characters in the book had a important part to play.
Published 19 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Searing tale of past meeting the present
Unputdownable! From the first moment to the last intrigue, murder and history weave a terrifyingly honest tale awakening strong memories of a horrific past.
Published 19 days ago by Beryl Eichenberger
5.0 out of 5 stars The kind of book that I enjoy.
Had me guessing until just about the end.
Published 26 days ago by gerald bedell
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Fantastic series!!
Published 1 month ago by Johanna
4.0 out of 5 stars Secrets
How well do you think you know someone and why they follow the life path that they do? Camilla Lackberg builds a story centered around just that. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Barbara Oldroyd
1.0 out of 5 stars Timeline made no sense
The time line of the story and the characters made it very hard to buy into.
Published 1 month ago by MBD
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as compelling as they used to be
Camillas writing was so much more compelling- the
Published 1 month ago by joanna pavlou
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