After eighteen-year-old Samuel finds himself in the middle of a drug deal gone wrong, he is forced to leave home in a hurry. Heading south, he finds refuge in a sleepy coastal town, working as a live-in assistant to the son of a wealthy family.
When the body of a young man washes up in Stockholm’s southern archipelago, investigator Manfred Olsson is called in to work the case. With his two-year-old daughter in a coma, he is reluctant to leave her bedside – but once another body is discovered, his search for the killer intensifies.
As Samuel adjusts to life under the radar, he begins to feel safe, even with a gang out for blood and the police on his trail. But it isn’t long before he realises that his sanctuary may be home to a deadly secret.
My thoughts: first off, Samuel is a bit of an idiot – he gets involved with criminals and he keeps turning the phone they gave him on, clearly he doesn’t watch many crime dramas! But he does find somewhere supposedly safe to hide out from them. Unfortunately it’s the home of a completely disturbing situation. And he’s lined himself up to be the next victim.
The cops are on the case, Manfred might have a lot going on at home, with his young daughter in a coma, but he still manages to commit himself to the case and starts to put together the clues. The bodies and then the information Samuel’s loving if conflicted mother, Pernilla, gives them. She and her friend go off on their own investigation, almost jeopardising Samuel’s life. Not the most helpful thing to do, but a worried parent will do whatever they can.
I liked Pernilla, especially when she grew a backbone, told the creepy pastor off, and set out to save her son. She worried about being a bad parent, but she loves her son and lets nothing stop her in her quest to find him. I also liked Manfred and his team, they were smart and funny, working through the evidence and gathering information as they hunted for the killer leaving bodies wrapped in chains.
This was really clever and compelling, the reveals shocking and horrifying, a real “who would do that?” feel. The role of social media was interesting and smartly done, especially the way it connected Rachel and Afshana, the fact Manfred was so ignorant of it. A very enjoyable, twisted thriller.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.