When a recluse named Lars-Erkki Svanberg is found brutally murdered with an axe, the small town of Kivikangas in the borderland between Sweden and Finland is rattled to its core. Who would do such a thing to a former cross-country ski legend, an elderly man who has kept to himself for years? In a town where everyone knows everyone else’s business, no one wants to imagine that there may be a cold-blooded killer next door.
Thore Palo is a retired policeman who knows everything that has happened in Kivikangas – past and present. He also happens to be a friend of the late Lars-Erkki Svanberg. Though it’s been years since he left the force, the death of his friend prompts Thore to start making his own inquiries about the case.
London-based journalist Katrine Hedstrand has returned to the Stockholm suburb where she grew up in order to care for her aging mother Ingrid, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. When attempting to settle Ingrid’s affairs, Katrine stumbles across a letter from a real estate agent with an offer: someone is prepared to pay an exorbitant amount of money for a ramshackle homestead in the far north of Sweden that Katrine didn’t even know existed. And so opens a door to her mother’s hidden past which hints at the grandfather Katrine never knew by name, and the stern politics of small-town secrets – in which Thore Palo plays a key role. Katrine sets off on an odyssey that will take her from Kivikangas to St. Petersburg in the search for a truth about her roots that has been buried in silence.
As the long-forgotten tale of Katrine’s family unfolds, she uncovers ties that reach across the border and back in time, to the Soviet Union and the young men and women who left their homes to build a new life in the great country in the East. When it turns out that the murdered Lars-Erkki Svanberg also had a mysterious offer to buy his family homestead, Katrine realizes that the tentacles of time stretch into the present, where silence may be worth killing for.
Part nail-biting whodunit, part epic family drama, Buried in Silence is a thrilling tale about the ties that bind people together over borders and generations – despite the forces fighting to keep them apart.
“In her second novel Buried in Silence [Tove Alsterdal] holds her international grip firmly and confirms that she has an impressively strong voice of her own. […] Buried in Silence keeps me mesmerized from the opening scene in the decaying homestead where everything is haunting to the unexpected and bold ending.”
“This is a thrilling, well-written crime novel, but at its core lies a piece of Swedish history that has been difficult to process. […] With this foundation Tove Alsterdal has written a crime novel that recounts the history of the Torne Valley, about the Soviet Union and about Russia today. Do not miss this.”
Lotta Olsson, Dagens Nyheter (SE)
“Tove Alsterdal’s new suspense novel is more than a gripping thriller – it’s a great psychological drama, a contemporary historical novel and a melancholy love song.”
“It’s a thriller, but in my eyes this is so much more. I’ll have to use big words, in my mind she fits in side by side with authors like Dennis Lehane and Ross McDonald. […] With Buried in Silence, Tove Alsterdal confirms that she’s among the best crime writers from Sweden. […] In a skillful way the novel evolves into an accomplished family chronicle, filled with drama both in the past and present.”
“The best suspense novel of 2012 may already have been published. Tove Alsterdal’s new novel has kept me spellbound from the first to the last page. […] A novel that breathes suspense, historical mystery and northern nature imagery. […] This is the best that I have read in a very, very long time.”
Dast Magazine (SE)