By Camilla Grebe
Winter’s chill has descended on Stockholm as police arrive at the scene of a shocking murder. An unidentified woman lies beheaded in a posh suburban home—a brutal crime made all the more disturbing by its uncanny resemblance to an unsolved killing ten years earlier. But this time there’s a suspect: charismatic and controversial chain-store CEO Jesper Orre, who owns the home but is nowhere to be found.
To homicide detectives Peter Lindgren and Manfred Olsson, nothing about the suave, high-profile businessman—including a playboy reputation and rumors of financial misdeeds—suggests he conceals the dark heart and twisted mind of a cold-blooded killer. In search of a motive, they turn to brilliant criminal profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schön. Once a valued police asset, now marooned in unhappy retirement and a crumbling marriage, she’s eager to exercise her keen skills again—and offer Lindgren and Olsson a window into the secret soul of Jesper Orre.
But they’re not the only ones searching. Two months ago, Emma Bohman, a young clerk at Orre’s company, chanced to meet the charming chief executive, and romance swiftly bloomed. But almost as quickly as the passionate affair ignited, it was over when Orre inexplicably disappeared. Then one staggering misfortune after another followed, leaving Emma certain that her runaway lover was to blame and transforming her confusion and heartbreak into anger.