Fiction. Translated from the Swedish by Laura A. Wideburg. “In the disturbing second tale of revenge to feature tormented and twisted Justine Dalvik from Swedish author Frimansson (after GOOD NIGHT, MY DARLING), Justine is still battling demons, both real and imagined, while living in her family home in Haesselby. The tall, forbidding manse was the last place married, mother-of-two Berit Assarson was seen alive. Seven years have passed since Berit’s disappearance, and her husband, Tor, and her best friend, Jill Kylen, are trying to move on with their lives. Both harbor lingering, foggy suspicions about Justine, just like young Micke, whose father, Nathan, vanished while traveling with Justine. In spare prose, Frimansson skillfully weaves themes of darkness and light, guilt and innocence, life and death. Not for the faint of heart, this bleak mystery will linger in readers’ minds long after the last page is turned”-Publishers Weekly.
Inger Frimansson (born November 14, 1944 in Stockholm) is a popular Swedish novelist and crime writer. Having previously worked for 30 years as a journalist, her first novel The Double Bed (Dubbelsängen) was published in 1984. Since then she has written around twenty-five books including poetry, short stories, and books for children. Her breakthrough was with Godnatt, min älskade in 1998. Her crime novels are best described as psychological thrillers. http://www.frimansson.se/
Other translated works
- 2007 Good Night, My Darling (Godnatt, min älskade, 1998), Pleasure Boat Studio, translated by Laura A. Wideburg
- 2009 The Island of Naked Women (De nakna kvinnornas ö, 2002), Pleasure Boat Studio, translated by Laura A. Wideburg
- 2013 The Cat Did Not Die, (Katten som inte dog), Pleasure Boat Studio, translated by Laura A. Wideburg
Maddy, Goodreads –
One of the worst things that can happen is the disappearance of a loved one. Over time, the uncertainty about their well being erodes the psyche. When someone dies, there is at least a sense of closure. Tor Assarson has been tormenting himself for over six years since the time that his wife, Berit, vanished without a trace. Unfortunately, they had been experiencing some difficulties in their relationship. But he still can’t believe that she would willingly leave and not contact him. He never gives up hope that she is still alive, although that seems an unlikely outcome. His life is one long downward spiral as a result…
In one way or another, most of the characters in THE SHADOW IN THE WATER lead quite tortured lives. Justine in particular has many layers to her personality.
Frimansson excelled at building tension all throughout the narrative, while creating an atmosphere of uncertainty. There are many sub-plots in the book, but the author has skillfully woven them together into a cohesive whole.
Amazon customer –
Nordic noir with twists. Odd locations and characters.
The Shadow in the Water is the second part of an earlier novel Good Night My Darling which also won the Best Swedish Crime Fiction Award in 1998. The book is about a character named Justine Dalvik. years have passed since Justine killed Berit, a 40 something year old mother of two living in a small town near Stockholm. Her life has since then taken a calmer direction, she is in a new romantic relationship and the risk for being discovered should be over. However, the past threatens to catch up with her.
In her nightmares, however Justine still sees the dead body of Berit. Meanwhile, friends and relatives of Berit have started to dig into the past. Also, a stubborn policeman with violent tendencies is becoming interested in several of the already closed investigations. The rest of book is dedicated to the emerging relationships between all these characters and the central mystery of Justine and what she has done.
Again a great book with strong character development: This novel is told from multiple viewpoints that range from a weird teenager to an abused wife and I found this amusing. I suggest the readers to read the first book before jumping into this one as both novels are tightly linked. The tense situation and the fear of Justine have been brought to life by beautiful translation and though the first few chapters are a bit slow at least for my taste, the suspense in the story keeps the reader absorbed. Highly recommended read for lovers of Scandinavian Crime fiction.
Patricia, Goodreads –
So many lives are entangled in this novel of suspense and I could not stop reading until I found out how the characters reached a conclusion to their various problems….The Shadow In The Water is an exciting book, full of suspense and wonderful characters. The Shadow In the Water can be read as a sequel to Good Night My Darling but is also a wonderful stand-alone.
Ted Feit –
About six years after the disappearance of Berit, a 40-ish mother of two living in a small town near Stockholm [in the author’s prior book, “Good Night My Darling”], life goes on. The reader knows that she was murdered by Justine, of whom she was one of several girlhood tormentors. Enough time has passed and the likelihood of her discovery as the culprit should be de minimus, especially since the body was never found. Meanwhile, Justine, to some degree, has settled down, formed a new romantic relationship, but there remains the threat that her past will catch up.Now, friends and relatives begin raising questions about Berit, and a policeman begins a new inquiry. The novel is really a study of the various personalities inhabiting it. And they are a fascinating lot. And while there seems no relationship to each other or the central mystery surrounding Justine, such connections develop subtly.”The Shadow in the Water” won the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award for Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year in 1998. It now appears here in an excellent translation by Laura A. Wideberg. Written with a broad stroke, the story is incisive. Recommended.