cover image The Vanished

The Vanished

Lotte and Søren Hammer, trans. from the Danish by Martin Aitken. Bloomsbury, $26 (448p) ISBN 978-1-63286-485-7

At the start of the Hammers’ entertaining if meandering third Konrad Simonsen thriller (after 2015’s The Girl from the Ice), a 16-year-old boy takes a submachine gun to his Copenhagen school and opens fire. This horrible crime is but the preamble to a low-profile case, the death of middle-aged postal worker Jørgen Kramer Nielsen, to which Simonson, a detective superintendent, is assigned. Did Nielsen fall to his death down a flight of stairs—or was he pushed? This routine inquiry slowly grows into something more serious as Simonsen and his team members painstakingly connect Nielsen and a group of the dead man’s high school friends to the fate of a British woman missing for decades. Glimpses into Simonsen’s first years on the force during the late 1960s and early 1970s lend interest, but readers should be prepared for an excess of details and asides along the way to the satisfying ending. The Hammers are a sister-brother writing team. Agent: Sofie Voller, Gyldendal (Denmark). (Sept.)