Like her previous two novels, Cecilia Ekbäck has set The Historians partially on the fictional Blackåsen Mountain, a stand-in for the Kirina Mine in far northern Sweden. This novel is set during World War II.
In Lapland, a Sami girl goes missing. She is not the only one. Near Blackåsen, a miner decides to find out what is going on in the secret mine, the one that is supposedly out of bounds. He hopes to find members of the Norwegian resistance there, so that he can help them against the Germans, Sweden being neutral. Later, he is found dead.
In Stockholm, Laura Dahlgren is approached by her best friend Britta’s Sami friend Andreas. He tells her Britta has disappeared, and he is worried. Britta and Laura were part of a group of special history students studying with Professor Lindahl at Uppsala University. After the others took up careers, Britta remained, working on her thesis. Laura thought Britta wanted to tell her something the last time she saw her, but she did not. Now not only is Britta missing, but so is her thesis.
Jens Regnell, the secretary of a government minister, is perplexed when the ministry archivist, Daniel Jonsson, asks about some phone calls to the Danish and Norwegian foreign ministers that were not logged. In fact, he doesn’t know how one could circumvent the logging. When he tries to find out about the calls, he is shut down and then Daniel is replaced, reported to be ill. Next thing he knows, Daniel is dead, a supposed suicide. Oh, and Jens receives in the mail a thesis by a student named Britta Hallberg.
This novel is genuinely thrilling, as Laura reconvenes the friends in her study group to find out what happened to Britta and what was in her thesis. I started out reading this novel when I had to take a break from reading another novel on my iPad because it needed a charge, but I ended up putting that one aside completely, even after my iPad charged, until I finished this one.