- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Trapdoor (1 January 1960)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 184744573X
- ISBN-13: 978-1847445735
- Boxed-product Weight: 503 g
- Customer Reviews: 138 customer ratings
Sebastian Bergman Paperback – 1 January 1960
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From the Back Cover
Our darkest secrets will never stay buried.
Our darkest fears will force them back down.
Someone has a secret darker than them all.
Sixteen-year-old Roger has vanished. Days pass and Västerås Police do nothing, blaming his disappearance on teenage antics. Then Roger's pale, mutilated body is found floating in a shallow pond, his heart missing, and the experts descend.
They need Sebastian Bergman. Top criminal profiler and angry, self-destructive mess, Bergman is no stranger to secrets. Desperate for access to police files, he plays along, until the brittle web of lies and deception seizes his full attention.
But Roger had his own secrets - dark secrets that are tearing apart the very fabric under which they all survive . . .
The electrifying Swedish international bestseller to rival the very best of Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson.
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Top international reviews
In parallel with Sebastian's story, a murder has taken place. Sixteen-year-old Roger Eriksson has gone missing. Because of the incompetence of the local police, nobody begins to look for the boy for a few days, whereupon his body is found in a lake - and drowning was not the cause of death. Internal police politics ensure that a small specialist team from Riksmond, led by Torkel Hoglund, is bought in to take over the investigation.
It turns out that Sebastian is an old colleague of Torkel, and that the two men have helped each other through some difficult personal times in the past. Sebastian isn't in the least interested in helping with the murder case, but calls in favours to get himself on the team and, he hopes, access to the police computers which will help him track down some shocking information he's discovered.
The juxtaposition of the police investigation, which brings up more and more nasty secrets of small-town life, and the unwelcome Sebastian's contributions, make an interesting and unusual tale. Sebastian himself is a fascinating character, as he gradually becomes drawn into the investigation despite himself, and finds some degree of rehabilitation in doing so. In the end, he's left as a bit of a frustrating enigma, doubtless to be explored further in future books. I look forward to reading them, not least because of Marlaine Delargy's characteristically excellent translation.
This book does have a tough constitution. The central character is probably as self destructive as any you'll ever find in a detective novel (and that does take some doing) - Although most of the time he is as much a hindrance to the investigation as a help, he does have an important role in holding out for more when everyone else wants to wrap things up. The murders in the story are very well plotted and ring true as six peoples motivations clash and lead inexorably to four deaths. The final twist does stretch coincidences a lot but is very necessary for the second "The Man Who Watched Women"
Sebastian Bergman is a psychologist and criminal profiler. He is in the area of the investigation to sort out his parents home following his mother's death. Bergman is acquainted with some of the experts. In order that he can glean information regarding a letter he found in his parent's home, he wrangles his way into the ongoing investigation.
Bergman is a very clever man but totally dislikeable. He is egotistical and abrupt. He is addicted to seducing women to assuage his personal tragedies and as woman, I would describe him as a creep but so, so realistic.
Various suspects are identified and the impact of Bergman's involvement keep the storyline going as a 'page turner'. I look forward to the next book in the series.
This is a little sharper and I think and confrontational on its subjects and especially the main character, with plenty of flaws to get your teeth into!
A great storyline, it took a little time to get going as the characters were being introduced. hopefully the next book will be great from the start.