SR09 Review: Echoes From The Dead by Johan Theorin (Black Swan)


Echoes From The Dead by Johan Theorin
Published by Black Swan and out now

Echoes From The Dead is one of those books, which grabs you from the opening pages. And then as you get deeper and deeper you think you know what happens only for it to click too late. At least that’s what happened to me. It’s not action packed. The story slowly unfolds in both the present and the past.

In the present a child’s mother, Julia, is still struggling to come to terms with the death of her child twenty years ago. That is until her father calls with news that has her finally facing her years of grief. In the past Nils Kant is being shaped by events and these leads him to a meeting with her child. But what actually happened is only now being slowly pieced together by Julia and her father.

There is a lot to like about Echoes From The Dead. It follows the same thread of European crime fiction as Arnaldur Indridason, the past and the present interweaving and colouring each other. The further into the story you get about this small Swedish island and the people that live there all year round the more you get to understand that even small communities can have very big secrets.

It’s the pieces that are important and how they are slowly revealed to Julia and the reader though at at times the reader knows more than Julia does, it doesn’t make the mystery any clearer.

As absorbing as it is. I have a feeling that those who like more direct events with a hunt for killer are going to be disappointed. What there is the exploration of events and characters who could live and breath. And it shows that killers are humans too. No matter how twisted they appear to be.

I want to say that it did sag a little in the middle only because I thought I was going up a quite predicable garden path but I really wasn’t looking where I was going. I got caught out in an enjoyable way.

For a debut Johan Theorin has been studying from some masters and might be a master himself very soon. I wanted to keep reading even when I should have been doing other things. What else do you want?

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