Bengtsdotter, Lina
Swedish title
The Charlie Lager Series
Fiction \ Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date
Jun 27, 2017

Winner of the 2017 Crimetime Specsavers Award for Best Debut!

Best selling debut of 2017, over 70 000 copies sold

It is a hot summer when seventeen-year-old Annabelle disappears from the small community Gullspång, right on the border of Västergötland and Värmland, in the deep forests in the middle of Sweden. Her parents are frantic with worry, the local police are helpless and Missing People looking in vain.

Detective Inspector Charlie Lager is sent there, along with her colleague. She is a highly skilled police officer, and it is by working that she finds the routines that her chaotic inner needs. This specific case she doesn’t want to take on, but eventually she does like she always do: follows orders. For Charlie Lager it is a journey back in time. She is forced to return to the place she left when she was fourteen, a past and a childhood that she has done the best to escape from. Once there, memories are brought to life. The ones of growing up where choices are few and the dream of leaving strong. Of the mother, who was all that Charlie is afraid to become, an alcoholic and ill.

While she tries to find out the truth about what happened to Annabelle, Charlie makes frightening discoveries about her own past. And she is forced to face her worst memory: the time when she let another person die.

Jury Motivation for the Crimetime Award for Best Crime Debut

‘A dense and intriguing portrayal of the small town, and a thriller that engages the reader from the first to the last page. The author writes realistically about the small society, and her complex heroine reminds you of Gillian Flynn’s celebrated characters. The jury agreed with the readers: This nuanced thriller is something extra, and has layers of secrets that slowly become exposed…A real page turner with an unexpected ending, and probably just the beginning for our new Swedish Queen of Crime.’

'A story written with verve, that feels authentic and engages the reader.'


'Lina Bengtsdotter's debut is a brilliant, dense crime novel...Everything is here, even though it may not be obvious at a first glance.'

- Dagens Nyheter