The Disappeared

It’s a cold night in April when a homeless man witnesses a young woman exiting a nightclub together with a man who appears violent. That same night, Charlie Eriksson falls to her death eleven stories down. The tragedy bears the clear signs of suicide – drugs, disease, depression – and the police write the whole thing off as self-inflicted.

Helene comes from a broken family with an addict for a sister, a father who’s a drunk and a mother who left her young children and home behind to follow the man she loved to Argentina. Now a successful architect, Helene has left her chaotic past behind and built impenetrable walls around her – or so she thinks. She is committed to her family, determined to never abandon her children the way her own mother abandoned her. But when she is confronted with the death of her sister Charlie, the carefully constructed façade crumbles. As she tries to settle her sister’s affairs, Helene comes across three different witnesses who confirm that Charlie hadn’t been alone the night she died. Even though none of the witnesses appear credible, Helene can’t help but wonder if perhaps Charlie did not kill herself after all?

As Helene begins to dig into the case she learns that Charlie traveled to Argentina shortly before her death – the same country that their own mother Ing-Marie left them for all those years ago. Helene soon realizes that Charlie had followed a dangerous route in the search for what actually happened to their mother back in Argentina in the 1970’s. Had she become one of the disappeared in the Argentine military junta’s purge? Now Helene must follow in the footsteps of her lost mother and dead sister and travel to Argentina for answers, the same answers that got her sister killed.

The Disappeared is a captivating thriller that weaves a complex and lyrical story about love and loss – and how shadows from the past continue to cast darkness over the present.

The Disappeared was named Best Crime Novel of the Year by the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy.

“The best suspense novel of the year.”
LOTTA OLSSON, DAGENS NYHETER (SWEDEN)

“An incredibly skillfully written thriller, dark and hair-raising.”
INGALILL MOSANDER, AFTONBLADET (SWEDEN)

“Tove Alsterdal is more than just a Queen of Crime – she is the Empress of the genre. The best book I’ve read this year!”
DAST MAGAZINE (SWEDEN)

“The breathtaking story and the skillful character portrayals stays with you.”
SKARABORGS ALLEHANDA (SWEDEN)

“Incredibly interesting about an unusual subject. […] Alsterdal writes incredibly well, the plot is smart and the resolution is utterly phenomenal.”
AFTONBLADET (SWEDEN)

“I won’t say too much about this captivating novel, since I don’t want to ruin the suspense which is so masterfully handled by Tove Alsterdal, who exposes difficult matters like the need to silence certain facts, resistance, and the loss of innocence.”
BRUXELLES CULTURE (FRANCE)

“Tove Alsterdal is an imaginative author who possesses a very sharp pen, and she has written an unexpected tale where personal drama is combined with historical tragedy and impeccably high suspense. […] Tove Alsterdal bursts through the glass ceiling of the crime genre and both deviates from it and surpasses its conventions, offering her readers an unusual novel that is both complex and captivating.”
TRANSFUGE (FRANCE)

“Simply magnificent!”
HR1 (GERMANY)

“A brillianty good crime novel. […] One of the best crime novels of the spring.”
verdens gang (Norway)

“A great thriller: haunting, fascinating, alternating between past and present. […] Very captivating.”
DLM (FRANCE)

“An excellent Swedish thriller.”
frankfurter stadtkurirer (germany)

“Captivating.”
MYWAY (germany)

“A thrilling novel.”
bücher magazin (germany)

“Alsterdal isn’t just a skilled writer, she’s a razor-sharp social critic and also very funny. This is one of the best crime novels of the year, I know that already, for the simple reason that it just doesn’t get any better than this.”
Amelia (sweden)

“An excellent novel that combines personal wounds with collective tragedy.”
Nyctalopes, blog (FRance)

The Disappeared portrays revenge, justice, and oblivion with great originality.”
Fondu au noir, blog (FRance)

“Tove Alsterdal combines deeply poignant family stories with political thriller. The topics never get dull or didactive and she has an instinctive feeling when she writes about people, about love, guilt, loss and reconciliation. She writes with a light pen, and one travels through the story effortlessly. It is so worth every minute of the time it actually takes to read a book. She is the John le Carré of Sweden.”
Åsa Larsson

“This is the best Swedish crime novel this year, and I know that already for the simple reason that it just cannot get better than this.”
Malin Persson Giolito

Tove Alsterdal is one of Sweden’s most renowned suspense writers. Her novels have been published in 19 countries and she has won literary prizes in Sweden and France. Her third novel, The Disappeared, earned her the award for Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year in 2014 and was a finalist for the Glass Key Award.

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Learn more about Tove Alsterdal