cover image The Hidden Child

The Hidden Child

Camilla Läckberg, read by Simon Vance. HighBridge Audio, unabridged, 12 CDs, 15 hrs., $39.95 ISBN 978-1-62231-321-1

This latest visit to Läckberg’s Fjällbacka, a tourist resort on Sweden’s southwest coast, finds homicide detective Patrik Hedström on paternity leave, caring for baby daughter Maja, which frees his wife, author Erica Falck, to finish a book about her late mother’s life. When news arrives of the brutal murder of the retired Marxist history teacher Erik Frankel, Patrik is asked for advice. Erica, meanwhile, has just discovered a connection between her mother and Frankel dating back to the WWII years. The lengthy novel leaps back and forth, from the present-day investigations to 1943–1944, when Erik and Erica’s mother become embroiled in the Nazi occupation of neighboring Norway. There are also a number of subplots, populated by numerous characters. Following a story this complex as it moves backward, forward, and sideways can be a bit daunting, but narrator Vance does his best to keep us on track. He presents the expository passages in a crisp, immaculately paced British accent, and slips with seeming ease into a vast assortment of vocal intonations for the characters, each of whom distinctive enough to identify immediately. Läckberg sketches out of what feels like half the population of Fjällbacka and Vance’s narration add detail and color. A Pegasus hardcover. (May)