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...
L ckberg's excellent fifth novel set in the Swedish coastal village of Fj llbacka (after 2013's The Stranger) finds Det. Patrik Hedstr m on paternity leave, looking after his toddler daughter, Maja, though that doesn't stop him from taking her to a crime scene, much to the chagrin of Patrik's wife, Erica Falck. Someone struck elderly Erik Frankel, an expert on Nazis, a fatal blow to the head in the house he shared with his brother, Axel, who tracks Nazi war criminals. Is the historian's murder related to the uptick in neo-Nazi activity? Meanwhile, Erica has a connection to the victim. She recently asked Erik to examine a Nazi medal that she discovered among the possessions of her late mother, Elsy. Flashbacks to WWII describe how Elsy, the Frankels, and others befriended a young French Resistance fighter. Horrific secrets come to light as the author skillfully shows how the past has influenced recent events.