|From a criminal plotting perspective this is probably Läckberg's best novel, incorporating two strong plots. The contemporary plot to determine the murderer of the historian is well thought out and doesn't involve nearly as much police incompetence as the previous novels (though there is still a little). All the small police force play useful roles, including new recruit Paola who seems to fit in well, and the case explores some interesting issues including the rise of neo-Nazi groups in modern Sweden. But perhaps the book's biggest strength is that this storyline links to a second one taking place in 1943-45, involving the recently killed historian, his brother who spent time as a prisoner of the Germans and several other Fjallbacka residents including Erica's mother. Eventually the solution to the present-day crimes is located in the past though the nature of the connection is well hidden until the end of the book.
While the family lives of the characters in this series have always been a feature of the novels that I have enjoyed I do think this instalment went a little overboard with the minutiae of characters' lives. Certainly not all the children are hidden in this novel. In fact the thing is teeming with pregnancies (five), births lengthily described (two), and assorted toddlers and teenagers not to mention yet another love interest for Patrik's romantically unlucky boss Bertil, an encounter with Patrik's ex-wife and assorted other minor dramas. It doesn't feel like Läckberg has held much back for inclusion in the next instalment (aside from several more births I suppose). I do generally enjoy the lighter side of these novels though and it was nice to read a book in which pretty much everyone has a family life in the normal range (i.e. no dramas that can't be sorted out with a good chat and no alcoholic/near suicidal loners lurking underneath the covers). -- Added by billrye on 03/28/2015