Summary and book reviews of After She's Gone by Camilla Grebe

After She's Gone

by Camilla Grebe

After She's Gone by Camilla Grebe X
After She's Gone by Camilla Grebe
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  • Published:
    Feb 2019, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl
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About this Book

Book Summary

Brought together by a brutal murder, a psychological profiler who's lost her memory and a teenage boy with a fiercely guarded secret become unwitting, unlikely partners in this race to stop a killer.

Out of the frozen depths of a forest in Ormberg, Sweden, a woman stumbles onto the road. Her arms are covered with scratches, her feet are bare, and she has no memory of who she is. Local police identify her as psychological profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schön, who, with her partner, had been helping  investigate the cold case of a young woman's murder. Hanne begins to recover but cannot recall anything about where her partner is, or what their investigation had uncovered before her disappearance. Police have only one lead: a young woman in a sequined dress who was spotted nearby the night Hanne was found.

The young woman doesn't come forward because she doesn't exist: Jake Birgersson, a local teenager, had been out walking in his mother's dress and sister's makeup, his secret shame and thrill. Terrified of discovery, Jake hid and watched Hanne get into a car, leaving behind her diary.

Reading Hanne's notebook, Jake realizes that it contains the key to a major breakthrough in the case - but turning it in would mean admitting the truth about who he is. When another murder victim is found in the woods, Jake realizes that Hanne herself is in danger, and his only choice is to find and warn her so that together, they can stop the killer before he strikes again. 

Named the Best Nordic Crime Novel of the Year by the Crime Writers of Scandinavia

Excerpt
After She's Gone

"Ugh," I said. "Why could we not just go to somebody's house and drink beer there instead? Do we really have to sit in the woods? It's freezing out here."

"I'll keep you warm," Kenny said with a grin.

He drew me so close I could smell the beer and snuff on his breath. Part of me wanted to turn my face away, but I stood still and met his eyes because that's what was expected of me.

Anders just whistled, sat down on one of the large, round stones, and reached for a beer. Then lit a cigarette and said:

"I thought you wanted to hear the Ghost Child."

"There's no such thing as ghosts," I said, and sat down on a smaller rock. "Only idiots believe in ghosts."

"Half of Ormberg believes in the Ghost Child," Anders countered, then cracked a beer and took a swig.

"Exactly," I replied.

Anders laughed at my comment, but Kenny didn't seem to hear me. He rarely seemed to listen to what I said. Instead he sat beside me, running his hand over my butt. Stuck an ice-cold ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Grebe's novel, narrated from the points of view of Jake, Malin, and Hanne herself, offers not only a genuinely suspenseful narrative but also a thoughtful exploration of prejudices – about everything from race and age to nontraditional gender identity, addiction, and developmental disabilities – that lurk not only around but also within all of us.   (Reviewed by Norah Piehl).

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Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. [A] stellar crime novel ... Grebe delivers an unflinching, heart-wrenching message about the plight of refugees in this scorching thriller.

Booklist
Starred Review. Nordic noir at its best.

Reader Reviews

escapetothebookshelf

So much mystery and intrigue with a great twist!
This was a mysterious and intriguing Swedish mystery that truly kept me gripped. It is the second book in a series but I read this without having read the first (The Ice Beneath Her) and it was completely fine as a stand alone read - although I have ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Refugee Resettlement in Sweden

Refugee IllustrationCamilla Grebe's novel focuses on Sweden as a haven for asylum seekers. The ongoing crisis of refugees from Syria has been particularly visible in Sweden, which accepted more than 160,000 migrants (primarily from Syria but also from Afghanistan and Iraq) in search of asylum in 2015 alone, the most of any other country per capita. Since the early 2010s, population growth from immigration to Sweden has actually exceeded population growth due to births in the country. As of 2016, there were more than 116,000 Syrians residing in Sweden.

Although this latest wave of refugee resettlement continues, recent years have also seen a rise in resistance to immigration, paralleling trends in other European countries and in the United States. A rise in ...

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