Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Review - Under the Storm

Title:  Under the Storm
Author Christoffer Carlsson
Series:   Hallandsvitten #1
Publisher:   Hogarth
Genre:   Mystery & Thrillers
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   416
Date of Publication:   February 27, 2024
My Rating:   4 Stars

*First published March 1, 2019

A farmhouse mysteriously goes up in flames with someone trapped inside and a community is never the same in the aftermath—both a page-turning whodunit and a deeply touching coming-of-age story by one of Sweden’s top criminologists and “a rising star in Scandinavian crime fiction” ( Reviews)

On a cold November night in rural Sweden, a farmhouse burns to the ground. Inside, a young woman is found dead—murdered. To the people of Marbäck, the fire becomes a before and after. For ten-year-old Isak, it sets in motion something he cannot control, igniting his future into an inferno.

The police immediately focus their attention on Edvard, the boyfriend of the murdered woman and Isak’s beloved uncle. After a quick investigation, Edvard is found guilty and sentenced to life in prison, and Marbäck believes it can return to its innocence. Vidar, the rookie officer who first responded to the fire, prides himself on having helped solve the murder. Little does he know this will become the defining case of his career and that it will drive him to the brink of professional and personal disaster—and link his fate to young Isak’s.

A celebrated professor of criminology, Christoffer Carlsson digs deep into the psyches of ordinary people and shows how one crime can haunt a community for decades. A #1 international bestseller, Under the Storm is already a modern classic of Scandinavian crime fiction and shows why many regard Carlsson as one of the great crime writers of his generation.


When a young woman is found dead after the fire of a farmhouse, her death is quickly ruled a murder. Residents of Marbäck are shaken, but no one more so than ten-year-old Isak. Isak is devastated as his beloved uncle Edvard is arrested, tried and convicted of the woman's murder. At the time there was a rookie cop named Vidar who was one of the first on the scene of the fire. For years, Vidar had strong doubts of Edvard's innocence and this led Vidar to many difficulties over the years. This included Vidar eventually leaving the police force.

Isak's parents were having difficulties while he was young, and Edvard had been a wonderful influence on him. With Edvard's imprisonment, Isak's years as a child and then young adult become wrought with difficulties. Meanwhile, Vidar never once stops looking for answers.

Under the Storm was set in Sweden and written by a brilliant author who truly understands criminology, especially when it came to Vidar's continued investigation of the murder, even up to two decades later. As this is the first book in a series, one translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles. I do look forward to following this series, and hope to see more of Vidar.

Many thanks to Hogarth 
and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

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