Getting back into the swing of things each week is hard. So is finding the quiet time to write a review over the weekend. In order to ease out of the weekend, I’ve decided to begin my blogging week with a mini review.
For me, Swedish crime fiction is where my love of audiobooks began. While I’ve not read any of Camilla Läckberg’s novels, when I saw that Simon Vance narrated The Hidden Child, I had to ask for a review copy. While Läckberg is a much different author than Stieg Larsson, listening to this audiobook was like coming home. I really enjoyed the experience.
After spending a year looking after her infant daughter, Erika Falck hopes to get back to her writing. Her husband Patrik, a local police officer, agreed to take paternity leave to look after their child so that Erika could focus on just that. Unfortunately, Erika wasn’t able to stay focused on her book. She was more interested in her deceased mother’s diaries and the Nazi medal she finds in her attic. Then, as Patrik’s paternity leave begins, the elderly World War II historian researching that medal is found murdered in his home. Patrik finds it difficult to devote himself entirely to his paternity leave when this murder seems to be related to other local deaths. This creates tension in Patrik and Erika’s marriage, but neither of them are able to stay away from a case that becomes more and more personal.
Simon Vance and Swedish crime drama are like two peas in a pod. From the very beginning, his work made me feel at home when I was coming in blind to the Fjällbacka series. His characterizations were excellent. I especially enjoyed his work on some of the minor characters, such as Melberg. It gave them a life they might not necessarily had if I read the book in print.
I very much enjoyed the experience of listening to The Hidden Child. The mystery was interesting. I did not figure out who the murderer was before the reveal, but I wasn’t completely surprised. It made sense. What I enjoyed the most about this book was the exploration of gender roles, parenting, and marital relationships. It was interesting to see how the politics played out when both parents have leave. Throughout it all, Vance remained true to the characters and the story. I highly recommend this audiobook.