WWII created many difficult situations for the Jewish people and led two Swedish civil servants under Scandinavian WII conspiracy. Working assisting a team that was overseeing Sweden’s trade negotiations with Nazi Germany in 1943, Laura Dahlgren has a startling and shocking discovery. A phone call from a friend asking her to find out what happened to her friend, Britta Hallberg near the University of Uppsala where they had both been graduate students five years before, sends her in search of her friend. As she enters the Historical Society she does not expect as she does to find the body of her friend. When speaking to the team of the historians no one seems to know what Britta was working on and said that she refused to share her thesis topic with them. Joining the Nachspiele she never went to parties or bars with this group. She seemed disjointed from them. Laura was asked by her boss to ask questions about her and to try and learn more about what she was doing. The inspector in charge of the case seems to suspect her. She was at work at the trade delegation when Britta was killed but why do they suspect her?
Britta was her best friend and looking and looking backs he tried to find some reason why this could happen. Professor Lindahl’s was the one in charge of this group and now they were asking if Britta had any German friends.
On another note, Jens Regnell, is the secretary to the Swedish minister of foreign affairs and works along with ministry archivist Daniel Jonsson to fill in missing phone call records between Daniel and his Danish counterpart. Daniel calls Jens to come to see him and cannot understand what happened to his phone records and more. Before Britta was murder, she wrote a thesis manuscript that he did not pay attention to.
When Daniel winds up dead, suicide they suspect, Jens is sent into frenzy and becomes suspicious of everyone. Before she was killed Britta reported an agreement between Sweden, Norway and Denmark to make sure they remained neutral. Laura’s apartment is bombed, she loses her job, her boss does not want her at work and things start getting more dangerous. Teaming with Jens they learn about a conspiracy that would tie both deaths together but how? Added in from the first chapter we met the Sami people that leave near an iron mine and many of the miners disappear.
The author goes back and forth between Laura, Jens and then reminds us about the Miners and the dangers they encounter working as the Director is told not to investigate certain events but decides to find someone he can trust.
Jens then realizes talking to his friend Sven that he receives a manuscript that he tossed from Britta before she died why did she send it to him and what link does it have to Laura and the war?
Jens and Laurie meet and then realize that this is not the first time, but they were linked through Britta. Telling her what her thesis was about brings him to realize that there is more to what happened to her then meets the eye. When Jens learns that Daniel is missing and then his friend is waiting outside of his apartment for him what was so important to tell him? Kristina is girlfriend seems to have her own secrets and then he shares some of what he learned with her should he trust her?
Laurie goes to Wallenberg her boss and even though he wants to let her go she demands information from him that might lead her to what happened to Britta. The war plays an important part as the author flashed to the Mountain, the young children working the mines and the dangers they face as some disappear but how and why?
Blackasen Mountain is where the miners work, and the Forman waited a long time after the director left and realizes there were very little people who knew what happened and what happened on the mountain remained on the mountain. It was his code of honor. His mine looking at the men with their black clothes and sooty faces. But things would change, and he made a phone call that would set something in motion that he could not stop. Hoping to get the five historians to help her find out Britta, Matti, Karl-Henrikher boyfriend Erik, Laura and as Laura shares the autopsy results.
Connections are starting to be made with the three-story lines to see how they will all come together. We learn about race and prejudice and the power Hitler had over the people and how bigotry plays an important role in what might have killed Britta, Daniel and the Sami people. What is the link to her thesis that they just found? Why nothing about Finland? Added in how did Daniel’s phone records get deleted and where are the written records? Jens is looking into this with his friend and Laura has enlisted the help of the Historians and will work with Jens.
The State Institute for Racial Biology is at the heart of what they were planning. This deals with race and creating the perfect race using eugenics which they were setting up and the government had to approve it. This is right out of WWII as if it were happening right now. Britta met with Sven head of the SSS and her told her about what the project was that they were planning, and it was vital for Sweden’s future. A vehicle for ?
Added in a young child named Taneli became part of this horrific project and got caught in a web of lies and deceptions that might have cost him his life. The Sami people were people mutilated and their organs you do not want to know what they were being used for as they were trying to create a superior race. When I all fits together and the questions are asked by Jens, Laura and the team more lives are lost, bodies add up, members of the team are killed, and you will not believe who was at the heart of the conspiracy and who ordered Britta’s death. Deceptions, lies, hate, fear, questions that no one should have asked, members of all teams injured or dead and an ending that leaves you wondering if this is over yet. Laura and Jens determined to find the answers and when they do they will not believe who was behind it and who was hiding in plain sight.
A novel that will test your strength, your beliefs and understanding of how some minds work in a devious way as the team of five try to find the answers and we must admire the HISTORIANS. The author takes us back to a highly volatile time, where trust comes at a high price and where she created three story lines that connect, and you will never forget the truth or the ending.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews