Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books
Date of publication: February 26th, 2019
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Series: Hanne Lagerlind-Schon
The Ice Beneath Her—Book 1
After She’s Gone—Book 2
In a small backwater town in Sweden, a young boy with a dark secret comes across a diary. As a cold case investigation suddenly becomes eerily current, a police investigator mysteriously disappears. What links these seemingly random events?
As atrocious acts from the past haunt the present and lives are changed forever, some will struggle to remember – while others struggle to forget . . .
The new thriller from the acclaimed author of THE ICE BENEATH HER, described as ‘Scandi-noir at its powerful bleakest’ by the Daily Mail and ‘unsettling, menacing and compulsively written’ by Heat, this is another slice of tense and twisted drama that will chill you to the bone.
I seem to be reading a lot of police mysteries/thrillers that are set in Finland/Sweden/Iceland lately. I don’t know why I am drawn to them, but I am. It is a combination of fascination with how their laws work and the culture.
The first 30-35% was slow. I don’t like books with slow beginnings. But, in this case, it worked. This plotline needed to be built up. I needed to read about what happened to Malin and Jake. I needed to see what formed them into the people that they were. I also needed to read about what was happening to Hanne through her diary. Once all the backstories were explained, then the ball started rolling. And man did it catch momentum.
Jake was the character I connected with. He had a lot of turmoil over the past year and kept to himself. It was his secret and what he thought about himself because of it that hurt my heart. His character growth came when he started to read Hanne’s diary. He related to Hanne and started to care for her. Not going to give anything away but Jake was the true hero of the book. He came to accept himself for what he was. His actions at the end of the book broke a cold case wide open and released secrets that were long buried.
I didn’t care for Malin. While she was a great detective, I didn’t care for her on a personal level. Her dislike for her fellow team member had no reason. She didn’t like him. I did agree with Manfred that she was racist. She protested way too much throughout that scene. She wasn’t a sympathetic character. Even with everything that was revealed at the end, I couldn’t help but go “Oh well” when it happened.
I felt awful for Hanne. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be losing my memory. Especially if I had a job where my memory has to be sharp. Hanne’s confusion and sadness came across the pages. I understood why she needed the diary. To be honest, I thought that Peter was drugging her at one point in the book. His secretiveness (or what Hanne perceived to be) was suspicious. I also wondered if she was going to remember everything that happened to her.
I thought that the plotlines were well written. I got involved with the mystery behind who the woman was and how she could be related to the girl found 8 years earlier. The author did a fantastic job of pointing out latent racism. The resentfulness that people had against the refugees could have been pulled from the headlines. Same with the bullying that Jake endured.
I was surprised at the end of the book. I wasn’t expecting the “bad guys” to be who they were. It was a twist that came out of nowhere. I was thinking how Malin and her partner picked up was the killer. Also, the confession was chilling. Talk about no remorse. I was also surprised at how Malin was tied into what happened. Again, a twist that I didn’t see coming.
I would give After She’s Gone an Adult rating. There are sex and sexual references (nothing graphic). There is violence. There is language. There are triggers. They would be imprisonment, refugees, bullying, and homophobia.
I would reread After She’s Gone. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.
I would like to thank the publisher, the author, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review After She’s Gone.
All opinions stated in this review of After She’s Gone are mine.
Have you read After She’s Gone.
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