After She's Gone

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 21 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

My first impression was that the opening chapters posed some interesting questions, and I hoped that the author would manage to pull all the threads together, which, in conclusion,  I think she did, with some great twists along the way..
I am intrigued and enjoying reading lots of Scandi Noir at the moment, but hadn't come across anything like this novel previously. The story confronts many uncomfortable contemporary issues, but in a subtle way.
The unforgiving bleak landscape builds up tension , with references to the weather and lack of light serving as an uneasy backdrop to a chilling story. The characters are interesting and complex. I found Malin, the female detective particularly appealing, and liked the technique of using Jake’s chapters in the book to reveal more information from Hanne’s diary.
This is not a fast paced thriller, but regardless, I found it hard to put down, and the issues raised have stayed with me.
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'After She's Gone' was a fascinating, bleak read that really drew me in and leaving me wanting more. I loved the intensity of the plot and the inflections of desperation in a beautiful but desolate landscape. There were many different elements to the plot and I liked how they all combined together as the story progressed.

This book was written from different perspectives - a police officer, Malin and a young teenager, Jake. I thoroughly enjoyed discovering the plot through their viewpoints, They both offered different slants but were equally intriguing. Whilst not all of the Camilla Grebe's characters were necessarily all that likeable, they had valid contributions to make to the overall story.

 I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to other readers. 

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Bonnier Zaffre via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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#AfterShesGone #Netgalley.
I found this story really odd. The characters were strange and the setting didn't feel right. I'm sorry to say I didn't like it.
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It took me a long while to get through this book, and in the end I just ended up skimming through. The plot was interesting enough, but I think the writing style was just not to my taste. I would still recommend if you like a dark, gritty novel.
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I really enjoy Nordic Noir and after reading The Ice Beneath her I just couldn't wait to get started on this. The authors writing is just so addictive that I struggled to put this book down. This whole plot was really well executed and I loved reading it.
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I found After she’s gone to be a very atmospheric read. It was full of drama and many, many pot twists, as soon as you feel like you know whats going on, the writer throws another twist. I really liked how the author alternated the chapters without confusing you and wasn’t afraid to politically and socially aware. Due to the atmospheric nature of the book, I found it left me feeling drained, but in a good way.
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*taps mic*

villains can be straight, white, able-bodied males, you know? you do not have to sign-post the villain (every damn time) by making them a minority
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A new twist on the ever-popular Scandi-Noir.
When I read the synopsis for this book I was intrigued by the idea of a criminal profiler with all the answers to solve a crime, if only her dementia wasn’t preventing her from remembering them. The second half of book was a lot pacier than the first and the action picked up. Grebe used atmospheric and descriptive prose used by the author to portray how bleak yet beautiful this small rural town in Sweden was. I think this is what makes Scandi-noir so mysterious and intriguing.
Enjoyable read.
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Psychological profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schön and her partner, investigator Peter Lindgren are invited to the small, sleepy industrial town of Ormberg to investigate a cold case: ten years earlier a five-year-old girl's remains were found in a cairn near the town. But when a recurring memory problem resurfaces, Hanne struggles to keep track of the case. She begins keeping a diary, noting down everything she is likely to forget to keep up appearances so she doesn't lose her job. When the body of a woman is found at the cairn and one of Hanne's shoes is found nearby covered in the victim's blood, can Hanne's diary hold the key to what happened? How does this new murder connect to their old one?

This is a deliciously dark, devious and twisted tale. Grebe sets this in the fictional town of Omberg and it works perfectly as a backdrop to the plot that Grebe weaves. All the danger and intensity is reflected in the town we find ourselves in, it is both bleak and beautiful and the perfect setting. 

I found myself gripped by this read, now it is not the most thrilling book but there is something about it that is compelling and addictive. I tell the truth by saying I could not put this down and would not have wanted to do so anyway. There are a lot of different elements to this plot and I loved how they all combine to form one complicated but intense plot.

Grebe writes this through the eyes of a police officer, Malin and a young teenager, Jake. I thoroughly enjoyed discovering the plot through their eyes, they offer different perspectives but are equally intriguing. They are likeable characters as well, and I really enjoyed learning about them, their quirks and life story. This goes for the rest of the characters; they are likeable, interesting and I enjoyed my time with them. 

'After She's Gone' is a dangerous, bleak read that will pull you in and leave you desperate for more. I loved the intensity of the plot and the reflection of desperation in a beautiful but bleak landscape. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Bonnier Zaffre for an advance copy.
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If you like crime thrillers, whodunnits, Scandi-noir then this is the book for you. Filled with action and plot twists, told from different perspectives, I found this a fast paced, keep you guessing book full of action.
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Very slow to start with and some what predictable but still an enjoyable read.       .                 .               .            .
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Most of the time, I get advance copies of books through services such as Netgalley or Edeilweiss.  So I was surprised when I got a request directly from a publisher to review this book.  I looked up the description on Goodreads and was intrigued.  I've been wanting to read more crime mysteries.  This book had some of the same elements that hooked me on the novels of Louise Penny: a flawed police detective, a small town full of interesting characters, and of course, a murder.  Even though this is a darker version of the crime novel, I was still thoroughly entertained and excited to find out who the murderer was. 

What I Liked:

Setting:

No one would want to live in the fictional village of Sweden known as Ormberg.  A once thriving small town, the area is full of shuttered factories, and unemployed townspeople.  The abandoned buildings are used as a refugee center, first during the Bosnian conflict, and now to aid people fleeing the violence in Syria.  The townsfolk are bitter about the government helping these recent immigrants, while ignoring the suffering of the long-term residents.

Characters:

The book is filled with memorable characters that fall into two groups:  The police officers investigating the murder, and the local townsfolk.  

I liked the main character, Malin, a young woman who grew up in Ormberg, but left to find a more exciting life in Stockholm.  She clashes with a small town cop named Andreas.  His boring life of sitting at home and watching television after work represents everything she is trying to flee.  But, there's something about him that attracts her, as well.

Malin's colleagues, Hanne and Peter, are older (in their fifties), and involved in a passionate affair.  But as the book progresses, we learn that Hanne is suffering from the beginning stages of dementia.  Through her diary, the reader sees how scared she is about her future.  It would be terrifying to be such a capable, confident professional and realize that you are going to lose all of that.  And will Peter stick around?

The townspeople are equally interesting.  Jake, is a teenager struggling to understand their gender identity.  Jake's sister, Melinda, is an older teen who has stepped into the role of parent after their mother dies of cancer.  Their father, Stefan, is an alcoholic who blames the Muslim refugees for his misfortunes.  He's a mess, but could he also be a murderer?

As Malin is forced to stay with her mom, we meet a host of locals, including her aunt Margarita, and her cousin Magnus.  Each character knows their place in this village, and each of the villagers look out for each other.

Narrative Style:

I liked the way the book was set up.  Jake shows us the perspective of the tiny village, with all of its strengths and faults.  The diary of Henne shows us the perspective of the police, who are outsiders.  But most of the action is seen through Malin, who is both a local and an interloper.  All these perspectives add up to a full picture of a complex society.

What I Was Mixed About:

The Ending:

The ending was exciting and wrapped up the plot points nicely.  But then the author added one more twist that I felt was unnecessary.  It was like when someone adds just one more side dish to a perfectly balanced meal.  It throws everything just a bit off.  I get that the author did this to make the some of the characters more relatable to the reader.  But it was really more of a distraction.
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This was my first Scandi-noir novel and it certainly lived up to my expectations. I’ve heard so much about The Ice Beneath Her that I was very excited to read this book!
We meet Malin who is investigating a cold case of a dead little girl - whose remains she actually found in the woods near the cairn 8 years earlier as a teenager.  We soon find out that two of the people she worked with on the case have gone missing - Hanne is found soon, but she can’t remember anything about the circumstances of her disappearance. Peter, however has not yet turned up.  
There are certainly more questions than answers surrounding the night they have disappeared - especially when a woman’s body is found in the cairn. 
We also meet Jake, a troubled teenager, who has “The Sickness” and an alcoholic father. Jake is the one who finds Hanne first, along with her diary that he keeps and starts reading. 
The story is set in a small town of Ormberg, in Sweden, in the middle of the woods in the winter. There is nothing here, no stores, no jobs, just a camp for Syrian refugees. 
I certainly liked how other than the obvious murder investigation, the author handled a few uncomfortable issues delicately - like Jake’s desire to dress in women’s clothes, Hanne’s battle with dementia and the refugee crisis.  
The story definitely had some surprises, and unexpected turns and even though it was a little slow at first, I am glad I carried on reading as it was worth it! 

Thank you NetGalley, Camilla Grebe and the publishers for my free advanced copy to read and review!
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My thanks to Bonnier Zaffre for an eARC via NetGalley of Camilla Grebe’s  ‘After She’s Gone’, originally published in Sweden and translated by Elizabeth Clark Wessel. It won two awards for Best Nordic Crime Novel when originally published in 2017.

This novel is the second in her ‘Flickorna och mörkret’ series and a number of characters are carried over from ‘The Ice Beneath Her Feet’ (which is on my TBR list). However, this novel worked fine on its own.

Profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schön and her partner, investigator Peter Lindgren have traveled to the small Swedish town of Ormberg to reopen a cold case involving the skeletal remains of a young girl discovered under a cairn ten years previously. Hanne has been experiencing memory issues and has been extensively using a notebook to assist her though she is concealing this from her colleagues.

The cold case becomes hot when another body is found in the same spot and Hanne and Peter go missing. Then Hanne is found wandering in a confused state by Jake Olsson, a local boy with a secret life. He also discovers Hanne’s notebook and rather than turning it in, reads it.

This is quite a complex novel with three interweaving points of view. The main narrator is Malin Brundin, a recent police academy graduate and native of Ormberg, who was reluctant to return there on this temporary assignment. Malin was a likeable yet complex character whose views were not always palatable though these were challenged by her colleagues and events.

Other chapters feature Jake, Hanne, as well as entries from Hanne’s notebook. The formatting of the ARC made these shifts a little hard to follow at times but I expect that this will be resolved in the published version.

As with many Scandinavian crime novels, contemporary social issues are included as part of the plot. Here it is the resettling of Syrian refugees in the town and the memory of Bosnian refugees during the 1990s that informed the narrative.

‘After She’s Gone’ is an intelligent and thought-provoking crime novel that focuses on its characters as much as the plot. Certainly one that will appeal to lovers of Nordic Noir and hopefully attract new readers.

I certainly plan to read ‘The Ice Beneath Her Feet’ and look out for other works by Camilla Grebe. I rather hope Malin is featured again as there is potential there.
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After She's Gone is another terrific thriller from Camilla Grebe. There are so many great elements to the story - a boy with a secret, a detective returning to her hometown, a missing police officer, a small town with a refugee centre, and a decade old mystery. There is also a missing journal written by someone with short term memory loss. All of this is put together into a very compelling story.
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It was a general read for me.  I liked it, but I didn't love it.  I liked the author's writing or was that the translator's words.  While reading this book, it just got me thinking would I like this book better if I was reading this in its original texts.
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A case as cold as the season. A profiler who can't remember. A killer ready to strike again.
Psychological profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schön and her partner, investigator Peter Lindgren are invited to the small, sleepy industrial town of Ormberg to investigate a cold case: ten years earlier a five-year-old girl's remains were found in a cairn near the town.
But when a recurring memory problem resurfaces, Hanne struggles to keep track of the case. She begins keeping a diary, noting down everything she is likely to forget to keep up appearances so she doesn't lose her job.
When the body of a woman is found at the cairn and one of Hanne's shoes is found nearby covered in the victim's blood, can Hanne's diary hold the key to what happened? How does this new murder connect to their old one?
How can you put together what happened when the pieces keep fading away?

This novel is a Scandi Noir set in remote Sweden.  It takes place in a depopulated area, in rocky woodland, in a remote area of Sweden, called Ormberg. 
The story is told by three narrators, we start with Malin, the main protagonist - a female police officer who has to return to the tiny town from which she felt she had escaped - Ormberg - to participate in a murder investigation. The second narrator is Jake - a young man with his own secrets who uncovers a diary crucial to the investigation and finally Hanne - another female police officer whose memory is starting to fail.
There’s a lot of threads to this and characters pop in and out so don’t read it too fast and once those threads start to tie up…it paints quite the picture.
There’s a body, a missing policeman, a characters with memory loss and a traumatized young boy. Plus someone found wandering around in her bare feet. There is something very strange going on in this town of Omberg.
This is very well written with a strong plot. The characters have been excellently written. There are some deep insights into what people think and often don’t say and captures the insidiousness of anti-immigration sentiment.
Excellent book.. highly recommend!

Many thanks to NetGalley, Bonnier Zaffre Publishing and Camilla Grebe for a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I felt the book was quite easy to read despite the dark storyline and adult themes.

For a thriller I found the pace a little slow and I definitely enjoyed reading Jake's views rather than Malin and Hanne's. At times it felt forced and I don't personally think the first person added much although I did like the then and now flashbacks.

To me it felt like the author was trying to add in lots of different crime/thriller tropes which meant it was a little unbelievable. 

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC.
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A really good read. Wonderfully atmospheric with descriptions that had me transported there. The story is really well written and I was gripped from the start.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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This is the first thriller I've read this year and it has certainly left me wanting to read more. It was creepy and atmospheric and had me happy to be indoors under a warm blanket! 

Malin, the main protagonist, is a police officer returning to the town of her childhood to help solve a crime and unknowingly uncover old ghosts along the way. Jake, a boy struggling with his identity has a life-changing decision to make and Hanne, another police officer, is struggling to catch a killer in a town she doesn’t know while battling secrets of her own.

I really enjoyed the way the lives of these three people intertwined. The story tackled many serious issues and didn’t shy away from portraying them in an honest and unflinching way. Sometimes it was uncomfortable reading. 

I found Malin to be likeable but deeply flawed. The book posed many thought-provoking questions – is who we are rooted in the blood that runs through our veins or are we a product of our environment? Jake’s journey was the most compelling for me. The author really challenged him. His development was heart-wrenching and I couldn’t help but root for him. 

The story had lots of twists and turns. It was fast paced and hard to put down. There were some real spine-chilling moments -- the author was great at building tension. But there were also gentler moments and I thought the author did a great job of showcasing different family dynamics. I did find myself wishing that the racism had been challenged more, but having said that, in some way it was what made the story and characters more real. Humans aren’t perfect and even good people have prejudices they are blind to. Overall a really enjoyable read. 

Many thanks to NetGalley, Bonnier Zaffre Publishing and Camilla Grebe for sending me a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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