cover image The Invisible

The Invisible

Mats Wahl, , trans. from the Swedish by Katerina E. Tucker. . FSG, $17 (186pp) ISBN 978-0-374-33609-7

The intriguing premise of this suspenseful novel will pull readers right into contemporary Sweden, where Hilmer Eriksson, a rural high school student, discovers one day that he is completely invisible to those around him—to his classmates, teachers, parents and girlfriend. Hilmer quickly learns that he "disappeared" Saturday evening while riding his bike to a neighboring village. The teen latches onto the detective investigating his disappearance to find out why no one can see him. Detective Fors's queries uncover a group of alienated skinheads whom he suspects may be responsible for Hilmer's disappearance. Wahl shifts the third-person narrative between the perspectives of Hilmer and Fors to strong effect, palpably building the tension. As Fors gathers evidence and interviews Hilmer's family and friends, Hilmer's memory fades. Short sentences, forthright dialogue and turns of phrase reveal a great deal about the characters. As far away as this rural Swedish community may be, readers may be chilled by the commonalities of the dark side, wherever humans dwell. A major motion picture based on the novel is soon to be released. Ages 12-up. (Jan.)