Uprooted

A country road winds through blue-tinged mountains, a river smooth as a mirror stretches out like a second sky. Olof Hagström is driving south along the northern coast of Sweden when he makes an impulsive turn into the small town where he grew up, a place he hasn’t stepped foot in over twenty years. Outside his childhood home, something is amiss. A dog barks relentlessly inside, and water is running down the dilapidated façade. Olof searches under a familiar stone: the key is where he remembered. Inside the house he discovers a panicked dog, a terrible stench, water pooling on the floor. Olof draws back the shower curtain in the bathroom and finds his father, a man he has not seen or spoken to in nearly two decades. He is dead.

Police investigator Eira Sjödin has recently left Stockholm to return to her childhood home in the Ådalen region of Northern Sweden in order to care for her aging mother who is slipping into dementia. When Eira is sent to investigate the suspicious death of an elderly man, nightmares from her childhood come flooding back. Eira was only nine years old when a teenage Olof Hagström was found guilty of raping and murdering a local girl named Lina Stavred, but the case left a wound in the town’s collective memory and tinged Eira’s own upbringing with fear. Olof Hagström was only fourteen years old at the time, and too young to be sentenced. But when he was sent to a youth home, his family severed all ties with him and Olof was never seen in the town again. Until now.

Did Olof kill his father Sven? Eira Sjödin begins a search for Sven Hagström’s killer that will lead her back to the Lina-case. What she finds will shake the town, and her own family, to the core. A missing girl, a hidden body, a decades-long cover-up, and old sins cast in new light.

Uprooted is the first book in a new crime fiction series by Tove Alsterdal.

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Erasure

Buried tunnels. Cries echoing underfoot. The blood of a repressed history running through your neighbour’s veins…
Sonja and Daniel are an established middle-aged couple who, in a last attempt to save their failing marriage, decide to leave Sweden and follow their dream of buying a vineyard. When Daniel finds a dilapidated estate in Bohemia in the Czech Republic, an area also known as Sudetenland, they buy the property and one-way tickets to a new life.

One night, Daniel wakes Sonja and leads her down into the house’s deep basement. He has found an opening to a hidden tunnel. As they climb inside, they find themselves in an old wine cellar filled with dusty bottles. Sonja wanders further into the tunnel where she makes a frightening find: the mummified corpse of a young boy. His clothes are dated and he wears a white armband. In his pocket is a German Reichsmark from 1943. The local police don’t want to dig further into the case.

As her life unravels around her, Sonja starts digging into what happened in the area at the end of the Second World War. She realizes she may have stumbled upon something that people are willing to kill to keep hidden.

History and present intertwine in a riveting tale about human brutality – and loyalty. In a town without mirrors, the past may be erased but the departed will not be forgotten. The living carry the dead in this exceptionally atmospheric suspense novel. With Erasure, Tove Alsterdal offers a new perspective on a history we all thought we knew and asks the question: to what ends will we go to save ourselves and the memories of those we love?

Do not turn around

Svante Levander is brutally stabbed to death on the rolling grounds of the former mental institution Beckomberga, now an exclusive suburban housing development. His ex-wife Eva finds herself the primary suspect. Eva may be emotionally unstable, but is she a killer?

Eva begins a searchfor the missing Roma woman who may have witnessed the murder and can clear her name. Her journey takes Eva from underground clubs in Berlin to the slums of Bucharest. Meanwhile, back at Beckomberga, a group of young boys make
a shocking discovery: human remains buried close to the crime scene. Are they connected to Svante’s murder? Or are they related to the hushed-up history of the Beckomberga mental institution? The police rev up a hunt for what may be a serial killer, while the residents of the park create vigilante groups to defend themselves.

Demons from the past stalk the present in this evocative thriller about obsession, insanity, and the hidden realities of lives lived between society’s cracks. Läs mer

The Disappeared

A homeless man witnesses a young woman exiting a nightclub together with an aggressive man. That same night, Charlie Eriksson falls to her death eleven stories down. The tragedy bears clear signs of suicide, and the police write the whole thing off.

Helene, a successful architect, has left her chaotic past behind – or so she thinks. But when her sister Charlie dies, the carefully constructed façade crumbles. Helene learns that Charlie traveled to Argentina shortly before her death. The same country where their own mother went missing in the 70’s – perhaps as one of the disappeared in the Argentine military junta’s purge? Now Helene must travel to Argentina in search of the answers that may have gotten both her mother and sister killed.

The Disappeared is a captivating thriller that weaves a complex and lyrical story about love and loss – and how the past continue to cast shadows over the present. Läs mer

Buried in Silence

Tomb of Silence takes place in the very north of Sweden, on the banks of Torne River which is the border to Finland. It’s ice cold midwinter, when a former cross country skier, the loner Lapp-Erik, is beaten to death in an old farm, isolated from the rest of the village.

In the meantime, further south, Katrine returns from London, where she has lost her job as a correspondent for Swedish Radio. She discovers that her mother has gone into dementia, and when going through her belongings she reveals secrets about their past that has been kept in silence for decades. It all leads to the northern village Kivikangas and further east, into the fallen empire of the Soviet Union. Läs mer