The Shadow Hunter
Stockholm, 1944. Young police secretary Elsie Svenns is struggling to find her place in a professional world dominated by men. After having lost her fiancée in a tragic accident she is forced to give her newborn daughter up for adoption. Elsie is alone in the world, fulfilled only by her job. When a woman is brutally murdered in the squalid slum of Stockholm – an area known as the swamp – Elsie is called to the crime scene to assist the investigators. But the murderer is still at the scene, and Elsie gets in his way…
30 years later, the 70’s are roaring, and the child Elsie was forced to give up, Britt-Marie Odin, has decided to follow in her birth mother’s footsteps. She prides herself in becoming one of the first female police officers in Sweden, but as a woman, she is not taken seriously. On the contrary, she is constantly put down and given duties that are far beneath her. Until one day when her female intuition is needed to help interrogate a traumatized rape victim. The crime scene sends shivers down Britt-Marie’s spine: it bears unmistakable resemblance to a case she’s had nightmares about all her life: the one that led to her mother’s death all those years ago. Only this time the victim survived.
Ten years later, we meet young police profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schön. It is the 1980’s and she is fresh out of university when she is asked to consult on a murder case. It quickly becomes apparent that this is the work of the so-called Swamp killer who has eluded the police for so long. Or could it be someone inspired by his work? As Hanne digs deeper into the investigation from the 70’s, she learns that a young policewoman working on the case, Britt-Marie Odin, disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Hanne suspects the disappearance was connected to the case. Had the young policewoman come too close to the killer?
Present day. Investigators Malin Brundin and Manfred Olsson are called to a Stockholm suburb where a body has been found under the remains of a demolished building. The victim is identified as Britt-Marie Odin who disappeared in the 70’s. Malin and Manfred make the connection to the case of the Swamp killer. More women have lost their lives to his brutality, from the 1940’s until present day, and Malin and Manfred now have to reach out to their former colleague Hanne Lagerlind-Schön one final time to see if she can break the case.
The Shadow Hunter is a stand-alone continuation of Camilla Grebe’s internationally bestselling thrillers, with recurrent characters readers have come to love. In this skillfully woven narrative depicting four generations of female police, masterful crime writer Camilla Grebe sheds light upon the struggle and evolution of women in the force, while portraying an exhilarating hunt for a phantom serial killer spanning from the 1940’s until today.
The Shadow Hunter was named Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year by the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy in 2019.
“It’s not unusual for a crime novel to use different timelines, in fact it’s a rather common approach. But Camilla Grebe tells her story chronologically, which makes for a completely different effect, and she constructs detailed snapshots to portray a changing society. The signifiers of time are things like clothes, food, buildings, and tv programs, but above all a female role where a lot has happened in the past fifty years. It’s worth reading The Shadow Hunter purely to get that perspective of Sweden, but it’s also an astoundingly thrilling crime novel.”
Dagens nyheter (se)
“This is so damn good in its setup where the hunt for a rapist spans over several decades, and at the same time it chronicles the conditions for female police officers during the 20th century. So smart and so well-written. And thrilling!”
skånska dagbladet (se)
“I never cease to be impressed by crime writers and their ability to juggle many things at the same time. Just think: the plot has to be perfect. The clues subtle. The suspense ever-increasing, and the characters need to have depth and life and be more than just vapid chess pieces. […] When all the pieces are in place this is simply brilliant, as in The Shadow Hunter – Camilla Grebe’s new hit that starts out in 1944 and spans over 70 years without ever losing pace. […] Devour this one and be impressed by this incredibly competent suspense writer.”
M MAGASIN (Se)
“With this book, it is clear that Camilla Grebe ascends from being a skilled crime writer to the position of one of the greatest of the genre. […] This is a fantastic and irresistible crime novel. […] Apart from being an incredibly thrilling story, this is also an eye-opener to how women have been treated, and also how far we may or may not have come. So there are many reasons to read this book, but it is quite enough if you just want to be entertained. One of the best books of the year!”
DAST MAGAZINE (SE)
“Once more, with The Shadow Hunter Camilla Grebe shows how brilliant she is at renewing herself […] This is so incredibly well-done, superbly written, cleverly constructed, unbelievably thrilling, historically rewarding, and so much more.”
“It’s obvious that Camilla Grebe has done a lot of research and the result is a first rate crime novel. In my opinion, The Shadow Hunter is the best one in the suite that includes The Ice Beneath Her (2015), After She’s Gone (2017), and Inertia (2018).”
“An elegantly composed police novel with a perspective on women’s history.”
The Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy