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Title: Echoes from the Dead
Author: Johan Theorin
Number of Pages: 400 pages
My Rating: 3.75/5

Review: Set predominantly on the Baltic island of Oeland, Theorin's deeply disturbing debut will remind many of Henning Mankell both in its thematic intensity and dark tone. Two decades after the unsolved disappearance of a young boy, Jens Davidsson, who vanished one foggy autumn afternoon in 1972 and was presumed to have drowned, Jens's grandfather, Gerlof, a retired sea captain, receives one of Jens's sandals in the mail. Gerlof enlists his alcoholic daughter, Julia, who's still struggling to come to grips with the loss of her only child, to help solve the mystery. All leads point to infamous thug Nils Kant, who was rumored to have killed numerous people. But Kant allegedly died years before the fateful day that Jens disappeared, so who could've killed the boy? And why? Further investigation leads the unlikely sleuths to some startling revelations about their isolated island community and its much-storied history. (from Publisher's Weekly)

This is another Scandinavian thriller and the first book in a planned four-book series set on Oeland. It's not a very fast-paced story and – since I haven't read any Mankell books yet – reminds of Arnaldur Indridason's Iceland thrillers. It's a complex plot: there's a family story telling the relationship of the Davidsson family and how they handle the disappearance of Jens. There's the description of past and present life on Oeland and there's the story of the mysterious Nils Kant who is basically blamed for everything bad that happened on the island in the last sixty years.

The story takes a bit to gain momentum but it's a very atmospheric and well-written story. Recommend for everyone who likes Scandinavian thrillers.

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