For The Dead by Lina Bengtsdotter

Today I pass the baton back to Mandie who is reviewing book two in Lina Bengtsdotter’s Charlie Lager series, For The Dead. Here’s what the book is all about:

Source: Netgalley

About the Book

She must find the truth about Francesca.
Before the past catches up with her…

The page-turning sequel to FOR THE MISSING from the new Swedish queen of crime fiction – DI Charlie Lager returns to investigate a long-buried disappearance.

Thirty years ago, the body of a teenage boy was found in Gullspång’s lake, and his best friend vanished from her home. Paul Bergman’s death was ruled a suicide; Francesca was never found.

Drawn back to Gullspång, Detective Inspector Charlie Lager is haunted by the strange house she knew as a child, and by the missing girl who once lived there. Convinced that the original investigation was flawed, Charlie is determined to uncover what really happened all those decades ago.

But her interest in Francesca’s disappearance begins to stir up long-hidden resentments, and half-forgotten memories. And if the truth is revealed, what will it mean for the living – and FOR THE DEAD?

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Mandie’s Thoughts

For the Dead is the second book in the Charlie Lager series. Having been able to read the first book at the beginning of 2019 and thoroughly enjoying it, I was really pleased to be able to start 2020 by tucking into book 2. At the time I got hold of a copy of the book I had not read any of the blurb, so actually had no idea what it was about and if I am totally honest that didn’t bother me one bit.

Still reeling from the revelations from the case that took her back to her hometown of Gullspång, Charlie finds herself drawn back there and to the unsolved case of a missing girl. The original investigations had Francesca down as a runaway after her best friend Paul Bergman had drowned in an apparent suicide. Intrigued why the case had never been mentioned when she was last in town and by how quick the original case had been closed Charlie starts doing some digging, a fact that is not very popular with quite a few people.

The book is told in part from Francesca’s viewpoint in the past and via Charlie’s investigations in the present. Whilst it took me a little time to get used to this as with each change of viewpoint there was also a change of pace, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book. The more I read about Francesca’s life before she disappeared, the more I felt her frustration with her family and her school about how none of them believed her and put her down as being troubled and disruptive. These days her behaviour would probably be put down to something like ADHD and would be managed differently.

This case also opens up more of Charlie’s past and she slowly starts to understand the dreams that have been plaguing her and she finds that she has links to the missing girl that will have repercussions in her future. You start to get a real insight into what makes her tick and the reasons behind some of her actions. The more she digs into the past the more she (along with me) has to find out why everyone is against her digging into the case.

Normally I would say that most books could be read out of sequence in a series, however in this case I would recommend that you read For the Missing before reading For the Dead as otherwise some references may not make sense and you may be left a little confused. Overall I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more about Charlie Lager in the future.

About the Author

Lina Bengtsdotter grew up in Gullspång, Sweden. She is a teacher in Swedish and Psychology and has published a number of short stories in various newspapers and magazines in Sweden and the Nordic countries. She has lived in the UK and in Italy and today resides outside of Stockholm with her three children.