The Forgotten Dead

A young woman is the sole survivor from an overloaded dingy carrying refugees across the Mediterranean. In the dead of night, she makes her way into a harbor in southern Spain, disoriented and afraid. In the next cove, a Swedish tourist wakes at dawn from a romantic encounter on the beach and finds a black man dead in the water – yet another supposed African migrant in the waves of anonymous dead washing up onto European shores.

In New York, scenographer Ally Cornwall has just learned she’s pregnant. Her beloved husband Patrick, a highly acclaimed investigative journalist, is in France working on a story about human trafficking. When Ally can’t get hold of Patrick to share her good news, she begins to get worried. One day a package arrives for her from Patrick, postmarked a week earlier. Inside are his field notes and blurry photos of men in suits, along with a cryptic message to store the documents for safekeeping. Something is wrong, she knows it. Harboring both panic and their child inside her, Ally boards a plane to Paris. Now she must follow the meager clues she has in order to trace Patrick’s footsteps, which lead her from the corridors of powerful men to rundown safe houses for African migrants being held as modern-day slaves, and finally to a truth more devastating than she could ever have imagined.

Beautifully written and breathlessly paced, The Forgotten Dead is a complexly woven puzzle of a story that exposes the sordid underbelly of our globalized world, where human lives are nothing but commodities to be bought and sold and where dark forces will stop at nothing to earn profit.

“A pace worthy of Dan Brown. […] this is at the high level of Henning Mankell. This year’s best crime novel.”
EXPRESSEN (SWEDEN)

“An impressive debut.”
WDR5 (Germany)

“A complex topic is condensed into this book with great finesse. Nothing is missing and nothing can be added. The balance is perfect. This first novel by Tove Alsterdal is a total success and the translation of her second book is already eagerly awaited.”
HUFFINGTON POST (CANADA)

“Tove Alsterdal’s The Forgotten Dead is a harrowing and well-founded thriller about modern slavery. […] For a debut, The Forgotten Dead is astoundingly profound. […] She really knows how to write. And she knows her facts. The story is extremely well-researched and despite the fictitious setting it gives a  thought-provoking and important glimpse of the darkest alleys in Europe.”
POLITIKEN (DENMARK)

The Forgotten Dead will keep you engrossed from beginning to end. Take a step in to the darkness, will you be able to escape?”
NUDGE BOOKS (UK)

“A captivating debut!”
Der standard (germany)

“Alsterdal is a gift to lovers of suspense novels.”
søndag (denmark)

“If you’ll only read one Swedish crime novel this summer, make it The Forgotten Dead by Tove Alsterdal.”
Berlingske (denmark)

“A thrilling, insightful and incredibly well-written tale.”
Göteborgsposten (Sweden)

“Without a doubt , she is one of our best crime writers right now. Or rather, in short, one of the best writers right now.”
Skånska dagbladet (sweden)

The Forgotten Dead has all the characteristics of the Scandinavian crime novel – the suspense, the literary quality, the critical view on society – but with a global perspective. The Swedish critics are right: this is an international thriller of the highest standard.”
Liza Marklund

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