In Ormberg, Hanne Lagerlind-Schön practises as a psychological profiler and has proved adept at disinterring cold cases. Her most profound challenge comes when she examines a decades-old mystery in which the remains of a young girl were discovered in a cairn near the town. She has never been identified – but Hanne is to pinpoint her identity and draw back a veil, behind which hides some malign human behaviour.
As Camilla Grebe’s The Ice Beneath Her demonstrated, she is one of the most adroit of current practitioners of the Nordic Noir genre, and her heroine here – while working in a desperately overfamiliar profession for crime fiction – is strikingly characterised, dealing (as she is obliged to) with early onset dementia. In fact it is the heroine’s continuing battle with the condition as it begins to impinge on her life that makes for one of the book’s most impressive elements, as well as her attempts to maintain a relationship with her partner, investigator Peter Lindgren. The case she is engaged with here is expertly handled in narrative terms by Grebe. After She’s Gone is more proof that there is plenty of life in the Scandicrime genre.
Reviewed by Barry Forshaw
AFTER SHE’S GONE
Written by Camilla Grebe
Translated from the Swedish by Elizabeth Clark Wessel
Published by Zaffre (2019)
Barry Forshaw’s books include Crime Fiction: A Reader’s Guide, the Keating Award-winning Brit Noir and Nordic Noir. Other work: Death in a Cold Climate, Sex and Film and the British Crime Writing encyclopedia (also a Keating Award winner). He edits Crime Time.
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