- this edition published by Penguin Group Australia in 2014
- first published in Sweden as Mamma, pappa, barn in 2008
- translated from Swedish into English by Paul Norlen 2012
- ISBN 978-1-4059-1786-5
- 361 pages
- source: my local library
- #2 in the Hammarby series
Three-year-old Hanna wakes up to find she has been abandoned. Her family is gone. The house is locked. She is trapped.
Meanwhile, a teenage girl has been found murdered aboard the Cinderella, a cruise ship that sails between Sweden and Finland.
Detective Chief Inspector Conny Sjöberg visits the girl's home to deliver the tragic news. But as he investigates it becomes chillingly clear that the girl's younger sister will meet a similar fate - unless the police can crack the case and trap this elusive and vicious killer.
And all this time, somewhere in Stockholm, a little girl waits to be found and rescued. . .
I recently read the first in this series, THE GINGERBREAD HOUSE, and if anything CINDERELLA GIRL makes better reading. This is certainly shaping up to be a good police procedural series. I read somewhere that Gerhardsen has been working on #7 so I hope we get a few more translated into English.
There are three main strands in the plot: the murder of a teenager on an overnight ferry from Sweden to Finland; the apparent abandonment of a three year old in the flat where she lives with her parents; and the rape of one of the female members of the police team.
The reader knows why Hanna's mother has not returned to the flat, but the police are not aware of Hanna's existence. Hanna herself begins to make random phone calls and contacts an elderly lady called Barbro who initiates her own search for her.
As the blurb says, this book makes compulsive reading. Will Barbro find Hanna in time? Who murdered the girl on the boat and why? And who is Bjorn who rings Hanna and promises to visit her with food?
The internal workings and relationships in the police team get a lot of focus too, and things are not as harmonious as they seem. There is some overlap from the first in the series and I think these are books that should be read in order. Certainly at the end of CINDERELLA GIRL things are not neatly tied off, and so reading this one will be important for best appreciation of the next.
My rating: 4.8
The next in the series is THE LAST LULLABY - blurb from Fantastic Fiction
Inspector Conny Sjöberg and his police colleagues are perplexed by the brutal killing of a family in their Stockholm apartment.
With no clues, the murder inquiry starts with working out how was it possible for the mother, who worked as a cleaner, to afford a multi-million dollar property?
Despite a heavily reduced team, with experienced officers ill, injured or mysteriously missing, Sjöberg struggles to keep the investigation on the rails. But Conny has problems of his own - from a woman he cannot get out of his head, to a shocking revelation about his own past - all of which threaten to compromise the hunt for this heartless killer...