The foreign child by Olle Lönnaeus Review

Topics: OtherSweden

The journalist Olle Lönnaeus, born in 1957, received several awards for his investigative reporting. For his debut novel “The Strange Child” he was awarded in 2009 by the Swedish Crime Academy with the prestigious award for best Swedish crime debut. Soon you will be able to place him in the ranks of the renowned Scandinavian crime writers to Henning Mankell, Hakan Nesser so. These writers for quite a few years undermine the ideal world picture of Sweden, which emerged in my childhood by Astrid Lindgren’s books and since then through tourism promotion and Ikea style has consolidated: lovely countryside, small villages, fresh colors, healthy self-esteem, intact we experience family life together in solidarity …

In the Mystery – as well as from the media – that the idyll is deceptive.

The decades praised as a model welfare state has produced not necessarily better people. As everywhere here expires morale, violence and brutality are increasing, and the xenophobia increasing. Also in the Swedish population, there were not only supporters of Hitler, but enthusiastic, dedicated supporters who actively participated in cleansing and acts of violence, and their ideals have now found new breeding ground “foreigners out” is the battle cry of dangerous groupings


also Olle Lönnaeus’ crime pervades the issue of exclusion of everything foreign, and it sets in 1968 one when Konrad, a “Polackenkind”, is seven years old and his mother Agnes disappears. He is too young to understand what that means whispering about the “Polackenhure”. Dark he can not remember that she had tattooed on the arm of a combination of numbers, and he loved her beyond measure.

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The social welfare office puts him at Signe and Herman Jönsson under. Who see in the assumption of the task of supplying the boy the chance to atone for a great debt. But in their narrow-minded desire for forgiveness, they will not admit, is suffering what a cruel childhood Konrad. From the beginning he harassed his much older brother Klas. But her womb would never punish the parents, nor it came to their minds, Konrad before him or other insults to which it is exposed in the community, especially in schools, to protect. As Polack he holds not one of them …

When Konrad seventeen years old, Klas steals the love letters written by the Konrad secretly, but never sent. As Klas and his three buddies sitting in the shed, gloating at his most intimate desires, bawl, laugh and unmistakable scream discharges at Konrad, the pent-up anger: He grabs a hammer and strikes with full force on Klas in until it is painful at ground winds.

Signe has already packed his bag. Konrad family and Tomelilla, the little backwater where he was nowhere at home leaves. First he hires on a ship, then go as a journalist in war zones and finally tried in Berlin a normal life with his wife and child to lead. However, with its unresolved past the unanswered questions (What is then done with my mother Agnes? Why did she leave me? …) he is unable to enter into a partnership. His character and psyche have been damaged. He sinks into alcohol and slept his time …

Although it is unimaginable Konrad, ever go to Tomelilla to return the location of the small mind and malice, there is after thirty years a reason for this: His foster parents Signe and Hermann were murdered after they had won the lottery. So true Konrad all the people again, who were then disposed to him hostile – and they are still unabated. Konrad learns of hapless walks of life: Klas is unemployed, shops are closed, over everything hangs a dark atmosphere. old for the investigating commissioners Eva Ströhm and Björn Bernhardsson sixty years, “a poisonous lizard on the hunt for prey” (p 109), the suspicion falls rapidly to Konrad – a simple solution, and a foreigner comes to them as perpetrators straight Law. But Konrad goes before he is imprisoned, even on the trail.

This substantial crime clarifies not flat a few bloody murders, but is interwoven with social criticism. Olle Lönnaeus captivates the reader through a strategy of small bites: In time jumps between past and present We track very slowly to the resolution. In the end, Konrad finds his mother as well as a perfidious murderers, who had been granted the right to Nazi times to decide on life and death of others.

We will certainly get even more to read by Olle Lönnaeus.

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The foreign child by Olle Lönnaeus Review. (2019, Nov 18). Retrieved from

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