‘He'd just learnt to walk,’ she said. ‘He was sitting playing on his blanket, then all of a sudden he was gone.’
A 16-month-old boy is found drowned in a pond right by his home. Chief Inspector Sejer is called to the scene as there is something troubling about the mother’s story. As even her own family turns against her, Sejer is determined to get to the truth.
I would like to thank Random House, Vintage Publishing and NetGalley for approving my request to read this book in exchange of an honest review.
A tragedy... A terrible accident... Every parent's worst nightmare.
Tommy, a sixteen-month-old boy is left unattended at home for just a few minutes while his mother is doing house chores in another room. He is then nowhere to be found. After a frenetic search, his mother Carmen, is horrified to find him face down in the pond at the back of their house. By the time paramedics arrive, it is too late. The boy is dead, he has drowned.
Detective Sejer is called to the scene. Ever the suspicious, his gut tells him that this might not simply be an open and shut case of accidental death. Why is the boy naked? Why does the mother seem so detached from the tragedy? Why is the father so quiet? Is it shock? Different people grief differently... maybe that's the reason. The parents' separate accounts of events are very plausible and the evidence at home tallies with their story. So why does Sejer have this niggling doubt at the back of his mind? Or is it his imagination taking over?
The author skilfully takes us inside the psyche of the characters, namely the mother, the father and Sejer himself. I found myself wanting to slap a certain character hard on numerous occasions and there was another for whom I felt deep sadness and empathy.
The bleak, dark atmosphere of this book kept me quite intrigued till the end. The plot is rather thin with very few characters involved, making it an easy, fast read. However, I was not very happy or convinced by the ending. I felt it was a little far-fetched and was expecting something much more satisfying. This doesn't mean that it's not a good book and I will surely read other books by this notorious author.