Dark Secretsby Hans Rosenfeldt, Michael Hjorth Series: Sebastian Bergman
Published by Grand Central Publishing, Hachette, Hachette Audio on April 23, 2013
Genres: Adult, Crime, Mystery
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It all begins with a call to the police. A sixteen-year-old boy, Roger Eriksson, has gone missing in the town of Västerås. A search is organized and a group of young scouts makes an awful discovery in a marsh: Roger is dead.
Meanwhile, Sebastian Bergman, psychologist, criminal profiler and one of Sweden's top experts on serial killers, is in Västerås to settle his mother's estate following her death. Sebastian has withdrawn from police work after the death of his wife and daughter in the 2004 tsunami.
When the Crime Investigation Department asks Sebastian for his help in Roger's case, his arrogant manner at first alienates the rest of the team. Pushing forward, though, they begin to make disturbing discoveries about the private school Roger attended....
In a small suburb just outside of Stockholm, Sweden, criminal profiler/psychologist Sebastian Bergman has returned to his childhood home to sell his recently deceased mother’s home and settle her estate. He hasn’t worked in a long time, and he mostly wallows in self-pity, moving from each one night stand to the next after his wife and toddler daughter were killed in a tsunami. While going through his mother’s belongings, he discovers a series of letters written thirty years ago between his mother and someone he had slept with who wrote that she was pregnant and couldn’t find Sebastian. Could he have another son or daughter out in the world?
Meanwhile, sixteen year old Roger Eriksson is murdered, mutilated, and dumped in water in the middle of a forest preserve, left for children to discover his body several days after he had gone missing. His disappearance was botched by the local police from the start, so a specialized national murder investigation unit is called in to take over the case. Sebastian sees an opportunity to worm his way onto the investigation to use their resources to track down the woman from the letters and his potential offspring, and he quickly makes a nuisance of himself while becoming a valuable member of the investigation team at the same time.
I really liked the narration and writing style of Dark Secrets. The third person point of view moves from person to person, but you get such deep insight and depth with each character–including the unnamed murderer. The characters are real, emotionally raw, and put in completely believable situations as they go through the investigation, whether they are a part of the investigation team, a suspect, a witness, or a victim. The forensics included in this book were accurate, not too gory, and not too wordy so the average person would have no problem understanding what the experts were talking about.
Sebastian Bergman makes one heck of an interesting protagonist. He’s deeply flawed, arrogant, aggravating, impatient, and quick to judge his coworkers. He’ll also jump into bed with just about any lady, and that leads to some very tense and inappropriate situations behavior on his part in this book. But he’s also a brilliant psychologist and profiler, and maybe working this case is exactly what he needs to get back on his feet.
I give Dark Secrets a four out of five. This crime novel is full of believable characters that are flawed, gritty, and so real-world that you certainly wouldn’t want to run into them in your regular life. The murderer wasn’t easy to guess, and I went through about five different suspects as I was strung along by the authors’ brilliant plotting and story telling. When all of the pieces of the puzzle fit into place towards the end, that’s when I knew just how devious and unfortunately true to real life this book was. An excellent read for mystery and crime fiction lovers. I’d love to continue with this series, if only they’d translate the rest from Swedish into English!
I listened to the audiobook provided by Hachette Audio
Get your own Audiobooks at Audible: Dark Secrets.
I certainly enjoyed narrator Matthew Wolf’s reading, and this book was a bit on the longer side at fourteen hours and forty-three minutes. Since the book was written in the third person, his reading style was a nice fit where he didn’t have to do too many different voices.