Easter, 1974. A family vanishes without a trace from the island of Valö outside of Fjällbacka. The dinner table has been exquisitely set, but everyone except the one year-old daughter Ebba is gone. Are they victims of a crime or have they voluntarily disappeared? Years later Ebba returns to the island and the old summer camp where her father ruled a boarding school with an iron hand. She and her husband Tobias have recently lost their three year-old son, and in an attempt to overcome their grief they have decided to renovate the house and open a B&B. Erica Falck’s interest is piqued – she has researched the tragic and mysterious history of the family, and looks forward to meeting Ebba. But the couple have barely settled in before they are subjected to an attempt of arson. And when they begin to remove the floor boards in the dining room, they find dried blood underneath…
This was probably one of my favorite books by Camilla. It’s not as good as The Hidden Child, but still. I think I liked it so much because I couldn’t guess anything. Almost everything that happened was unexpected and that was a nice surprise.
The mystery was really interesting and I really liked how it progressed: the disappearance of an entire family was intriguing from the very beginning. What happened to them? Are they still alive? Why was the younger kid left alone in the boarding school?
Anna’s (Erica’s sister) storyline was pretty great this time (although she continues to be the most depressing character ever) but Gosta was without doubt my favorite part of the book. I love how Camilla manages to give every major character a storyline in each one of the novels. You can’t help but love them all.
Flashbacks were good, but not my favorite, I think because of Dagmar, whom I found quite annoying: she was crazy, but in a fascinating way. Still, the structure was compelling and I loved to see how every scene added details to the main story.
If you haven’t read any Camilla books, I recommend that you start from the first one (this is the 8th) and that you keep in mind that she has great books and others that aren’t as good. But it’s impossible not to become addicted to the series and to wish you lived in Fjällbacka with all of them.