Silenced – Kristina Ohlsson – 6/10

“And by the time they found her, she was already another person.”


Having really enjoyed Ohlsson’s debut novel Unwanted, I was thrilled to have the sequel to hand as soon as I finished it. 

Having eventually concluded the Sebastiansson case, Alex Recht’s team is back at work after the summer holiday, struggling with a variety of cases that have been pushed their way. Fredrika Bergman has finally been made to feel at home in the police force after a rocky start, but a troublesome pregnancy is sapping her of her fiery investigative style. Peder Rydh’s life seems to have gone totally off the rails, not improved by the arrival of a smug new transfer from the Sodermalm force. Are the two apparently open-and-shut cases they’re working on related?

Having aired a strong position on domestic abuse in Unwanted, Ohlsson turns her attentions to asylum seekers in this novel. A pastor whose covert support for asylum seekers over decades has ripped his family apart and attracted some unwelcome attention appears to have lost his daughter to drugs, shot his wife and committed suicide. Why can’t the police track down his other daughter? In Thailand, why won’t Johanna’s email, flights, hotel or phone recognise her? Why is she being silenced? And why did a man who died in a hit-and-run appear to have no records at all?

Perhaps by the nature of its multi-crime plot, Silenced reads less coherently and focussed than Unwanted. The police characters have been better developed (I was pleased to see Peder called to account for his ridiculous behaviour, and Fredrika soften up a bit), and the newly introduced characters were consistently strong, but I felt the plot was too disjointed, flicking back and forth between the family drama, the anonymous victim and the woman in Thailand being shut off from the world… when we did get to the climax, I got really confused.

Still a gripping read, but not as good as Unwanted. I can’t wait for the third in the trilogy (out in mid 2013!).

Additional information:

Copy kindly provided by the publisher (Simon & Schuster) in return for an honest review.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 468 pages (paperback)
Order Silencedfrom Amazon*
* this is an affiliate link – I will be paid a small percentage of your purchase price if you use this link, which goes towards give-aways and site hosting

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