The Hidden Child
Camilla Lackberg
Harper Collins 2011

The Hidden Child by Camilla Lackberg is not so much a mystery novel than a novel about the ordinary life of various characters. Yes, there is a murder or two and an investigation, but this takes less precedence than things like the chief of police getting a dog and dating a South American woman or the problems an inspector’s wife’s sister is having at home. Kindle at Amazon

The Hidden Child has a solid premise. A man who was looking into the story of a Nazi medal is murdered. At about the same time an old woman who was a childhood friend of the victim is suffering the ravages of Alzheimer’s and referring to past events someone does not want brought to light. The medal was brought to the man by the wife one of the local inspectors. The medal, the murder, and the past events are tied together somehow.

Much is made of the “mysterious” medal but when Camilla Lackberg reveals it was an Iron Cross an educated reader wonders why the inspector’s wife, a investigative writer, didn’t immediately figure out what it was. Anyone who has seen be it one WWII movie knows what an Iron Cross looks like.

The novel shifts between past and present events. Here, Lackberg does a good job. The reveal and the last fifth of the book are very good. The problem is you have to want to get there.

If you are interested in the daily routine of various ordinary folks in a Swedish village, this book might be for you. If you are interested in reading a mystery novel, pass.