Day 128: Echoes from the Dead

Cover for Echoes from the DeadEchoes from the Dead is another terrific book by Johan Theorin. It is his first book, and reading it explained a few minor points about The Darkest Room for me.

Julia’s young son Jens disappeared on the island of Öland in 1972, but her father just received a package containing the little boy’s sandal. After Julia’s father takes his friends Ernst and John along to look into what happened to her son, Ernst is found dead.

For years the island’s inhabitants have heard rumors of the return of Nils Kant, a notorious murderer who disappeared just after World War II. We readers know that these two stories are connected, but not how.  Although we also know who took Jens, we don’t understand what really happened to him until the very end of the book.

Julia returns to Oland to try to figure out what happened to Jens, if she can. After years of depression, she begins to take more of an interest in life and maybe to fall in love with Lennart, the island policeman.

This novel is not as atmospheric as The Darkest Room, but it is full of characters that you begin to know. The plot is complex, interleaved with the story of what actually happened to Nils Kant back in the past.