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Top Customer Reviews
Sibylla's ambition is someday to have a sanctuary, a home of her own, and she is assiduously saving money to reach this goal. Her plans for the future are thrown into disarray when she is framed for a murder that she didn't commit. With the help of a schoolboy, Patrik, who becomes her friend when he discovers her sleeping in the attics of his school, Sibylla turns detective and solves the crimes. The author sensitively handles the traumas in Sibylla's background, and it is a relief to find a crime novel that doesn't automatically relegate a homeless person to the role of murder victim.
This was a very entertaining introduction to the work of yet another excellent Swedish author of thrillers. Definitely worth a read.
Sybilla is an outcast, living off the radar of the authorities in Stockholm. She has various safe places and strategies for surviving each month until her meagre payment from her mother arrives at a PO box. One of her ploys is to put on a smart suit she keeps in her rucksack (bought from Oxfam), go to a luxury hotel bar, meet a businessman, flirt, pretend to lose her wallet, and trick the mark into paying for her room for the night. Unfortunately, on one of these outings, the man she tricks is found murdered the next morning. Sybilla escapes, but soon finds that she is the main suspect, becoming the victim of a police and media hunt.
Sybilla's survival over the next few days is interspersed with the story of how she came to drop out of society. She suffered a childhood of awful mental abuse, which made my blood boil to read about. With nobody to sympathise with her (to the contrary, everyone is against her and/or betrays her) she falls into a trap made of her own idealism and trusting nature, as a result of which she is abused even further by the authorities. The story of Sybilla's childhood leading up to her eighteenth birthday, is equally as harrowing as that of Lisbeth Salander, the main character of the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson, and Sybilla's solution, of living "off the grid", is remarkably similar to Lisbeth's.
Matters come to a head when Sybilla discovers that her source of income has dried up. She's now desperate, and friends she's made since living rough cannot or will not help her now. The hunt for her intensifies.Read more ›
Sybilla Forsenstrom doesn't exist. For fifteen years she has been excluded from society and, as one of the homeless in Stockholm, she takes each day as it comes, keeping all her possessions in her rucksack - apart from a knife and salami which she stores in a smart briefcase. She is always well-dressed and displays impeccable manners. One night, in The Grand Hotel, she charms a susceptible businessman into paying for her dinner and room. His dead body is discovered the following morning and Sybilla becomes the prime suspect. When a second person is killed in similar circumstances, she becomes the most wanted person in Sweden.
A couple of my reading challenges that I set for myself is to read a Scandinavian book monthly and also an Award winning crime fiction book. I managed to kill two birds with the one stone here, reading Swedish author, Karin Altvegen's debut Glass Key Award winning novel Missing. I believe she won the award in 2001 and the English translation first appeared in 2003.
Well how did I get on?
I was fascinated by the author's portrayal of Sybilla's existence on the fringes of society. We see with flashbacks and frequent references to her past; her difficulties with her mother and as a result at school; her struggle to form friendships. This dysfunctional environment and a lack of support cast Sybilla as an outsider, even before her mental disintegration, subsequent hospitalisation and escape. She was an outsider when living within the structures of normal society and now believing she is still pursued, 14 years after the event she flies under the radar.
Until now; with the discovery of a dead businessman with whom she was seen dining with in a smart hotel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this story to the end even though the plot was contrived and the main character not very believable. It was a light easy read but very forgettable.Published 1 month ago by A. D. Myerthall
My first book by this author. I will read more and hope they are as gripping as this real page turner.Published 3 months ago by Elizabeth Noles
Flits a bit. Past and present intertwined. Stay with it enthralling read.and for 99p. Look forward to more from Author.Published 10 months ago by j.c. homes:
Engrossing story, to the point of reading into the early hours. So many facets of homelessness and growing up in a loveless home. Never mind the murders!Published 13 months ago by vanoweth
Just found an extraordinary new author and who is amazing and Swedish !! Loved my first novel can't wait to read the next !!Published 14 months ago by Kindle Customer
I have finished this book in less than a day. Couldn't put it down. Very good plotline, kept me enthralled to the end.Published on 19 Jan. 2015 by Claire
A great disappointment after the brilliance of "Shadow" which left an unforgettable aura. Slow in pace, disjointed in its plot, making it difficult to feel any enthusiasm... Read morePublished on 27 May 2014 by Jane Baker
Another must for Scandinavian Crime Fans - really enjoying collecting these on my Kindle and passing long commuting hours dreaming of travel...Published on 13 May 2014 by Mrs. J. Gietzen
I have been a fan of Scandinavian crime stories for quite a while and this is the poorest I have read. Read morePublished on 3 Oct. 2013 by Glen