As time moves forward the past is just that. The Past! Yet at times the events of the past create a pattern of behavior moving forward that can create chaos in otherwise ordinary lives. The adage of ‘the sins of the fathers’ seems very adroit.
In The Hidden Child by Camilla Lackberg we are introduced to crime writer Erica Falck. Returning to her field of work after the birth of her child she finds a strange Nazi medal among her mother’s personal effects. As a child she always found her mother to be elusive, unable to give love. The medal draws hers curiosity like no other, and she decides to investigate the meaning.
Meanwhile her husband Patric, a police investigator is on paternity leave from his own job taking care of their young daughter in an effort to help Erica get back to her tasks. Patic finds himself embroiled in a murder investigation even as he continues his leave, uncomfortable at missing out on an egregious murder that has occured. Knowing the Erica will take issue with him taking the baby to the station he initially does not let her know that he has been doing some consulting on murder.
Their paths collide when she finds that the man she took the medal to — one of her mother’s oldest friends — has been murdered and that her husband is involved in the investigation. Suddenly a quest to answer a personal question becomes dark and dangerous. Can digging for the truth of her past put the life of her own family into peril?
Lackberg has taken us into history in a way that is both haunting and persuasive. Her characters are interesting and hold a fascination that keeps pulling you forward. The entry of their daughter Maja to the story gives you another layer of both charm and concern. In a strange way the connection of the past circles back creating a feeling of understanding.
Her history takes you to a time when Nazi Germany was in full swing, and gives you a possible insight to how the events of such magnitude could shape the lives of those born way past. Even the joys of the past can bring about a hardship when tragedy occurs. Yet the vault of secrets from the past must often be opened to bring about healing, and it is here that Lackberg has set the stage. Just when you think you understand, think again; the direction ricochets.
If you enjoy history, romance, suspense and danger then you will find this work an incredible book to add to your library. The amount of backstory would be great for both a reading group as well as discussion group. As theories abound, the discussion would unfold in many directions.