Book Review: After She’s Gone by Camilla Grebe

  • Author: Camilla Grebe 
  • Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre 
  • Series or Standalone: Book 2, but does work as a standalone.
  • Genre: Fiction, Crime, Mystery, Scandi-Noir 
  • Source: This book was sent to me free of charge in exchange for a review via Readers First.  
  • Goodreads Rating: 3.81 
  • 🌳Buy it on Amazon🌳  

“It’s hard to find the courage to be the person you are inside” 

Synopsis:

A case as cold as the season. A profiler who can’t remember. A killer ready to strike again. Psychological profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schön and her partner, investigator Peter Lindgren are invited to the small, sleepy industrial town of Ormberg to investigate a cold case: ten years earlier a five-year-old girl’s remains were found in a cairn near the town. 
But when a recurring memory problem resurfaces, Hanne struggles to keep track of the case. She begins keeping a diary, noting down everything she is likely to forget to keep up appearances so she doesn’t lose her job. 

When the body of a woman is found at the cairn and one of Hanne’s shoes is found nearby covered in the victim’s blood, can Hanne’s diary hold the key to what happened? How does this new murder connect to their old one? 
How can you put together what happened when the pieces keep fading away?”

My Review:

It has been a long time since I last read a crime novel never mind a tantalising Scandi-Noir so I was super excited to begin this one once it arrived through my door!  

The book is told through the eyes of two main narrators Malin and Jake. Malin is a cop who moved away from Ormberg who has come back to investigate the reopened cold case surrounding the discovery of a murdered 5-year-old. Jake is a conflicted young teen who finds a diary containing the key to the murder. I loved both of these characters and found them so incredibly real and complex.  

I found the plot to be incredibly interesting even though I did manage to correctly predict the main mystery, there was still a few shocking moments for me along the way. The mystery had me on the edge of my seat trying to piece together what happened which for me is a sign of good story telling.

What I found most important about this book is the way it broached the toxic mindset of anti-immigration following the political unrest in some middle eastern countries over the past few years. This book really shone the spotlight on societal and political norms and how easily unconscious bias can develop.  

A small complaint I have with the writing is that the pov changed every chapter, so as I was just getting into my reading rhythm I’d be thrown off by the change. However, that’s more of a reflection on my reading than the story as I found the book to be incredibly well written

Despite this book being a crime fiction, I think that it’s also an amazing book of acceptance, Hanne with her illness, Malin her prejudices and Jake his identity. I know that this book and the importance of its messages will stay with me for a long time.  

I really recommend this book if you have an interest in topical crime/mystery novels, I would love to know your thoughts if you do pick this up! Happy Reading!  

My Rating: 4/5

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