One of my favorite crime fiction bloggers, Dorte Hummelshoj Jakobsen, turns out to be a very fine crime fiction writer, as proven by her book Anna Märklin’s Family Chronicles.
The book contains the stories of two characters; first, a young woman named Anna Jensen, whose intriguing neighbor Karin gets into a number of interesting and perhaps dangerous situations, and second, Anna’s farmor (father’s mother), Anna Märklin. Current day Anna doesn’t know much about her farmor and, despite her father becoming quite ill, no one seems willing to talk about her. REcognizing there’s a family secret buried here, Anna decides to investigate.
She begins with a trip to Småland with her boyfriend Lars — a man who is not entirely what he seems — where she learns that her farmor’s brother had been murdered. Obviously she was right: something deep and dark lurked in her family’s past. Later, when she finds some family papers, Anna begins to read her farmor’s life story in her own words and illustrations. What begins as a charming story of a pre-World War II childhood, however, begins to turn with the arrival of an older half brother and his friend, home from the university for vacation.
In the meantime, Anna’s neighbor Karin disappears, is featured in a scandalous news story, and reappears, only to disappear again. Like Lars, Karin is not all that she first appears, in both instances because Anna chooses to see and think of them in particular ways. Unwinding the story of her grandmother and eventually figuring out what happened to Karin gives her the strength to face what she’s kept hidden from herself. Although she goes through several difficult situations, Anna emerges a stronger and better person at the end of the book.
Finding a good book is always fun, but finding one written by someone you know (even if it’s just virtually) is even better. You can find Dorte’s e-book on Amazon.com.