A man disappeared and is later found dead. Murdered. And the man's three closest friends receive anonymous threatening letters. One of them, Christian Thydell, is the mentee of crime writer Erica Falck. Curious, she investigates the letters and Christian's past. At the same time, her husband, detective Patrik Hedström, leads the murder investigation. The three friends seem to know more than they tell the police...
I enjoyed The Drowning with its two storylines: one in the past laying the foundation for the other. The beginning is relatively slow, with a lot of character development due to the many characters. The story then picks up speed and finally ends in a way I didn't expect. And while the mystery itself is resolved, there is also a cliffhanger involving the main characters. That's something I don't like. Another thing I didn't like is the overuse of withholding information from the reader while the characters already have them...
Quotes from the book
"All we can do is twiddle our thumbs and hope that someone finds him. Either dead or alive. Because I have no idea what else to do."
[...] if Louise held a grudge against everyone who had slept with her husband, she wouldn't have been able to carry on living in Fjällbacka.
"I thought she'd grow out of her pink phase sooner or later, but instead it just seems to have escalated. Now it ranges from pale princess pink to a shocking neon." Patrik blinked his eyes. Was this how Maja's room was going to look in a few years? And what if the twins turned out to be girls? He was going to drown in pink.
Suddenly she felt a kick that was so hard she had to gasp for breath. One of the babies, or maybe both of them, seemed to have a talent for football.
"Everybody has something to hide. It's just a matter of digging it out."
What energy she had left, she saved for the hours when Kenneth was at home. All for the purpose of convincing him that she was doing better than she actually was, so that he'd let her stay home a little while longer. So she could escape the smell of the hospital and the feel of the starched sheets against her skin.
"I drive better when I'm drunk than you do sober."
"It's one thing for you to behave like a drunk here at home in the daytime. As long as you can stay on your feet when the girls are around, I don't care what else you do. But I bloody well won't have you coming over to the office."
Erik looked at her with distaste. Without make-up and without the disguise of expensive clothes, she looked ghastly.
"He was out running this morning, and someone had set a trap for him. A cord that tripped him so he fell headlong on to a bed of broken glass."
"What's for dinner?" - "You look like you've already eaten enough for the rest of the year. No dinner for you today. You can just live on your fat."
"Can you find your dick when you have to piss, or does your stomach get in the way?"
"Get out of here, you disgusting fatso! If you hurry up and take off now, you won't get a beating today."
She had always liked Louise. She just hadn't liked her enough to stop fucking her husband.
"Christian tried to drown his little sister, and you didn't tell your wife?"
"My wife is going to think that I ran off to Rio with some buxom blonde if I don't get home soon."
He was so fucking stupid that he thought she was equally dumb.
"You bullied him?" - "We wouldn't have called it that back then. But we made his life miserable as often as we could." - "Why?", she asked, and the word seemed to hover in the air for a moment. "Why? Who knows? He was different, and he wasn't from here. He was also fat. People always have to have someone to kick around, someone to look down on."