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.