Psychological drama with unexpected twists

After she´s gone by Camilla Grebe

Camilla Grebe wrote the appreciated Siri Bergman series together with her sister Åsa Träff, but her first novel as a solo author, The Ice Beneath Her,  became a huge success. Now she is back with the psychological thriller After She´s Gone, a stand alone continuation of Hanne Lagerlind-Schön and Peter Lindgren´s story. It was awarded the prestigious Glass Key, by Crime Writers of Scandinavia, in 2018.

After She´s Gone is a psychological thriller set in the fictive village of Ormberg in rural Sweden. Three persons are linked together by a brutal murder many years ago, when the remains of a little girl were found in a cairn near the town. Hanne is a psychological profiler, who suffers from dementia and keeps a meticulous diary, where she writes down everything she’s likely to forget. Malin is a young police officer, who grew up in Ormberg but has done her best to leave the village and the people of Ormberg behind her. Finally, there is Jake, a 14 years old boy, alone and bullied by his class mates, and desperatedly guarding a shamefull secret.

After she´s Gone is primarily a story about humans, about their prejudices, shortcomings and hidden secrets. But it´s also a story about a small community, where the factories are shut down, many people have lost their jobs and everything seems to be in decline. The locals feel completely abandoned and neglected by the government, until one day they find out that the old factory buildings will be used for housing hundreds of refugees. This is the delicate background of the story and Camilla Grebe succeeds in delivering a heartrending but unfaltering message about the feelings of the locals but also the plight of the refugees.

The book opens with Hanne found wandering out of the forest, hurt and confused, with no memory of what has happened to her or to Peter, who is missing. Malin and her police colleagues keep looking for Peter, until the body of a woman is found at the very same place where the remains of the little girl were found many years ago. It becomes clear that the two murders are related to one another, to Peter’s disappearance and whatever happened to Hanne in the woods. Jake, who has found Hanne´s diary,  realizes that Hanne herself is in danger, and his only choice is to find her and warn her so that together, they can stop the killer before he strikes again.