I’ve just finished Karin Alvtegen’s novel Missing, and I enjoyed it immensely. The cover of the book compares her to the great Ruth Rendell, and before I read the book, I thought this must be over-praise. But I discovered that Alvtegen is a very good writer, and on this evidence, the tribute is well-deserved.
Sibylla is a woman in her early thirties. She is estranged from her wealthy family, and living on the street. As a means of getting a night in a posh hotel room, she flirts with strange man and then claims to have had all her money stolen. He pays for her room, but she doesn’t sleep with him. Then, in the morning, he is found to have been murdered. Sibylla is the prime suspect.
More deaths follow – and Sibylla remains in the frame. The police start to close in on her. What is going on – why are the murders being committed, and who is targeting Sibylla. Bit by bit, we learn her tragic backstory, and gain some insight into life on the street.
This is a tense, atmospheric and extremely readable novel, with a clever and (to the best of my knowledge) original motive. Recommended.