1970: In an overcrowded Stockholm subway station, a harried father and his two boys are late for their train. Joel, the youngest, is howling in his stroller and his seven-year-old brother, Kristoffer, refuses to take the elevator.
A woman approaches and helpfully offers to lead Kristoffer up the stairs. Reluctantly his father agrees, but when he arrives on the platform Kristoffer and the woman have vanished without a trace. The kidnapping becomes a national sensation, but the boy is never found . . .
Today: Joel, now an adult, goes missing in suspicious circumstances. His frantic wife turns to Danny Katz--an old friend with a troubled past--for help. A brilliant computer programmer and recovering heroin addict, Katz is also the divorced father of two young girls. Katz begins to dig behind the digital veil in search of Joel, even though the investigation quickly interferes with his duties as a parent. Before long, Katz discovers he isn't the only one trying to find Joel.
The deeper Katz digs, the more upsetting the secrets he uncovers about the wealthy and powerful family at the heart of the investigation. Chillingly, the case takes a violent turn that reveals a disorienting connection to Katz's own troubled childhood--soon there will be no backing out of his unofficial investigation.
About the Author
Carl-Johan Vallgren is one of Sweden's most loved writers. He has been awarded the Swedish August Prize for Best Novel of the Year, and has been translated into 25 languages. He's also a talented musician with Warner Music.
Rachel Willson-Broyles is a freelance translator based in Madison, Wisconsin. She received her BA in Scandinavian Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2002 and her Ph.D. in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. Her other translations include Jonas Hassen Khemiri's novel Montecore and Jonas Jonasson's The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden among many others.
"Impressive . . . grittiness abounds till we reach the pinnacle--a deliciously scary,
bloodthirsty climax I defy anyone to read without all the lights on"—The Bookbag
"A brilliant debut thriller: well-written, thought-provoking, smart and terrifying." —Dagens Naeringsliv (Norway)
"An impressive debut in the crime genre, written in a style as spectacular as Lars Kepler's books." —Dagens Nyheter (Sweden)
"A thriller with an offbeat, personal edge, this crime debut bodes well for future efforts in this genre by the author. Vallgren makes a strong entry into crime fiction."—Kirkus Reviews
"This is the crime-novel debut for award-winning author Vallgren, known for his fantastic fiction, and it successfully raises suspense and shines particularly with its cast of flawed characters. Add Vallgren to the list of the top purveyors of Nordic noir." —Booklist (Starred Review)
"For fans of Scandinavian thrillers, this new novel from Carl-Johan Vallgren is the perfect summer read . . . [A] gripping thriller." —Bookish
"The Boy in the Shadows is terrific . . . The common thread to Carl-Johan Vallgren's books is the strong literary craftsmanship that he brings to the table. Vallgren is known as an author's author, one who is studied by others to see how the job is properly done."—Bookreporter
"A hell of a read that will keep readers guessing."—For the Love of Books
"Perfect crime drama; great plot and with an emotional coldness to the characters that provides the correct chill, Vallgren's new, strange hero and his helpmate, Eva, seem to be about to provide a series worth reading. Gritty, real, creepy and wonderfully tight, The Boy in the Shadows gives us a new crime writer to adore: Carl-Johan Vallgren"—The Review Broads
"[The Boy in the Shadows] offers a number of twists and much action, including a gripping climax. Vallgren's book is highly recommended"—PCA/ACA Mystery & Detective Reading List