The Disappeared (Bergman & Recht 3) Hardcover – 1 Aug 2013
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About the Author
Kristina Ohlsson is a political scientist and until recently held the position of Counter-Terrorism Officer at OSCE (the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe). She has previously worked at the Swedish Security Service, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Swedish National Defense College. Kristina lives in Stockholm.
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It features a densely-woven murder mystery spanning several decades, with the core plot enhanced by the ongoing and convoluted private lives of the investigating team of detectives. Where the previous book had been overwhelmed by (to me) tedious details about mundane failing marriages and personal pregnancy angst, here the back-story is usefully employed to add heft to the puzzle and meaning of the mystery. It helps that the author uses a nifty device – a subsequent investigation of the investigation – to chop up the timeline and ratchet up the tension.
Here, the plot follows an investigation into a newly-discovered body of a young woman who died a couple of years ago, but it rapidly expands to draw in a bewildering array of different characters; a famous author convicted of killing her husband who hasn’t spoken since; a university professor accused of raping a student; a young lad with every motive for the recent murder… but who is hard to connect to the older bodies which soon follow the girl’s out of the ground. It’s a complicated tale but one which makes satisfying sense when you reach the conclusion.
My only real criticism is that too many of the detectives become embroiled in the case on a personal basis. There are two staggeringly huge coincidences which defy the laws of nature – and, sure, they ramp up the drama, but just one of them would have been hard to swallow.
There's more comments on the plot and characters over at murdermayhemandmore.net
Solid, but not astonishing. A good book to get engrossed in at an airport lounge which will last a long-haul flight.
I did spot mistakes in it. There were quite a few punctuation marks missing, like speechmarks or fullstops which was pretty random (and careless)and on one page Internet is capitalised and then on others it isn't like someone couldn't make their mind up. This was odd-"..if only Helena hadn't I listened to gossip..."....sloppy mistakes like this let it down. At one point I was totally baffled when Spencer was thinking that words he was using were easier to get out now than they had been at the time. It meant nothing to me and just succeeded in really confusing me. A lot of characters seemed to have rough or deep voices which got a little wearisome at times though I WAS pleased English spelling was used in translation-that's a big plus.
I'm pleased this wasn't the first one of hers I picked up as I doubt I would bother with any more after it. However, I'll stick with the series and see how the fourth one goes.