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Publisher's Summary

The brilliant new psychological thriller from worldwide best seller Camilla Läckberg - the chilling struggle of a young woman facing the darkest chapter of Europe’s past.

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...

©2014 Original material Camilla Läckberg (Pegasus Books Edition); Translation 2013 Marlaine Delargy. Recorded by arrangement with Pegasus Books. (P)2014 HighBridge Company

Critic Reviews

“Läckberg handles the alternation between the present and the 1940s with steely skill, as she does the dangerous investigation into secrets from Sweden’s past.” ( The Independent)

What listeners say about The Hidden Child

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

the author's best work so far

Sometimes when you listen to a new author you're not overwhelmed by the quality of the writing. But there is something there that interests you, you feel the author has potential and you decide to give the author another go. Sometimes you can see in researching the books that subsequent books are rated higher and that could mean the author is getting better with experience. I find that's the case with Camilla Lackberg. In this, the fifth book in the series, the author brings it all together.

There are lots of book written about World War II and sometimes you tend to think that you've read them all, what kind of new twist can an author put on that horrific time but there always seems to be a new twist of some kind.

This one was different for me in that you don't really consider the impact the war had on Sweden and Norway. Sweden was neutral and even though they weren't attacked, occupied or fight any battles the Swedes all knew there was a big war going on all around them. Norway was invaded and occupied by the Nazis. Since they are next to each other it stands to reason that people for many different reasons were going back and forth between the two countries.

It is in this setting that Camilla Lackberg expertly crafts a tale that has its roots in the war and the circumstances that come out 60 years later of events from the war. It affected many people in many different ways. This book of fiction describes how it affected the characters in this story.

I like the descriptions of life in Sweden and the interactions between the different characters. The plot is what originally grabbed me and didn't disappoint. My wife listened to portions of the book and commented that the couples interact just like we do! I like the way the author introduces issues that become plots in future books. I will anxiously await the next book in this series. I'll be interested to see if she can top this one.

9 people found this helpful

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Really good mystery

What did you love best about The Hidden Child?

The Nazis are always an interesting topic. In this lengthy book, character development was better than most mysteries, and the flashbacks gave context to the people and events of the present. I like mysteries which are long, good character development and nothing supernatural. It's not Linwood Barclay or Gillian Flynn, but I enjoyed it.

6 people found this helpful

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Difficult: endurance required

The story was interesting and pretty original. i thought the narration was good and did not distract from the story. But the story was too complex to follow without effort. i don't understand why time shifts aren't alerted by a chapter heading or year description. It is a simple thing that can make it more fluid. Between the time shifts and the multiple characters I found it difficult to follow. I read for enjoyment and relaxation. I don't like to have to work at it.

4 people found this helpful

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Her best...so far!

Camilla Lackburg's books just keep getting better. Simon Vance is a superb narrator. This one had a much more complex plot that previous books. Her characters are becoming increasingly well developed as do their interactions with each other. Characters grow and change----just as in real life! This book is set in present day Sweden with flashbacks to the time of the end of WWII, around 1944. I really enjoyed a look at Swedish history. They were not invaded and at the outset of the war immediately declared themselves neutral. My only sadness about this series is that not all the books are available on Audible.

2 people found this helpful

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Best of the Series

I was blown away by how well-crafted this book is. The plot is beautifully intricate. Complex multi-dimensional charactersEnding is satisfying. Left me eager to read the other books in the series.

2 people found this helpful

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Boring

Boring story. It is not enough to repeat that there is a secret somewhere. One of the worst book I heard. Money back would be the right thing to follow.

1 person found this helpful

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Woven threads of past and present

Wonderful job weaving family histories of the past and present, slowly builds, really enjoyable listening.

1 person found this helpful

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great!

Its the first time I like a man playing a woman, young and aged! He plays men wonderfully too. Even, I missed the pronunciation Ilika for Erika. The novel is great too.

1 person found this helpful

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Well written but weak plot

I kept having high hopes for this book. It just never got better. The writing was quite fluid. But I could hear where the plot was going before half the book was through. And the protagonist's friends are monsters. Completely disgusting. Very disappointing.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Annoying use of Repetitive plot device continues

An effectively used plot device is one that is not noticed when implemented. When an author uses the same plot device over and over and over again across two books it is impossible to not notice it. The repetition pulls you out of the story and that is unfortunate because otherwise this is a great mystery. What I am referring to is her repeated use of a character in the book making a discovery or having a revelation that is not revealed to the reader until later in the book. It can be a good way to build suspense and mystery but not when it is done so often the hidden revelations stat to pile up and you lose track of them. I first noticed this use in the previous book. Luckily this book is much better overall than that one I liked the mystery and the use of flashbacks. It really made me wonder about life in Sweden during WWII for my cousins and 2 Great Great Grandmothers alive at the time. If there was still contact with them and what the relatives here thought of the circumstances. The mystery at the center is excellent as past events lead to death in the present. I especially enjoyed the redemption of the chief in a side story. It made him a much more likeable character and less a buffoon. The side story connected to Ericka's sister is also well executed. I am hoping the next book is even better and she grew as a writer.