Monday, March 18, 2019

Review: Unwanted by Kristina Ohlsson

Title: Unwanted
Author: Kristina Ohlsson
Series:Fredrika Bergman & Alex Recht, #1
Published: November 2012, Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Format: Paperback, 368 pages
Source: Personal copy

In the middle of a rainy Swedish summer, a little girl is abducted from a crowded train. Despite hundreds of potential witnesses, no one noticed when the girl was taken, and, in what seems to be merely a coincidence, her mother has been left behind at the previous station. Inspector Fredrika Bergman and her team of federal investigators are called in and assigned to what at first seems to be a classic custody dispute.

But when the child is found dead in the far north of Sweden with the word "unwanted" scribbled on her forehead, the case soon turns into the investigation team's worst nightmare -- the pursuit of a brilliant and ruthless killer.

My thoughts: A few years ago, I read The Chosen, the 5th book in Kristina Ohlsson's Fredrika Bergman and Alex Recht series, when it was released, and I immediately ordered the previous four books. Of course, they have just been sitting on my shelves, waiting for me to find the time to pick them this year, I am determined to do just that. 

I really liked how this book, the first in the series, is a really good combination of police procedural and psychological thriller. It has many points of view, including the police detectives as well as the criminals - which I always love because these chapters tend to be chilling and twisted, giving us access to the inside thinking of the mastermind behind the crimes. I also like that these parts, the parts narrated by the criminal, are relatively anonymous - our only hint that it is male, given that he is referred to as "The Man." 

The team working on the case is comprised of three investigators: Alex Recht, who is the most experienced, and senior, detective of the three, Peder Rydh, who is a young, ambitious detective, and Fredrika Bergman, who is a civilian investigative analyst. They all bring different strengths to the team and I liked that, as this is the first book of the series, we got plenty of backstory on each of the three characters. They are all complex and well-drawn and I am looking forward to seeing how each of them develop as the series continues. 

The characterization in this novel is fantastic. The author really does a great job making the characters feel relatable and yet you might even find them unlikable at times, but you also can understand their problems. The way they are written, you end up finding out what it is they have to cope with and why it is they act the way they do. Their inner dialogue allows us to see their strengths, weaknesses and even their insecurities. This allows you to get a better feel for them on the whole. 

I liked how the book focuses as much on the mystery as it does on each investigator's approach to the case. They each have a very different take on how to solve this case and I liked this. We see just how different these three investigators are, and we see the case coming together from different angles.

I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to continuing on with this series. This book kept me completely engaged and invested from start to finish and I hope the rest of the books do the same!

Books in this series: 
  1. Unwanted
  2. Silenced
  3. The Disappeared
  4. Hostage
  5. The Chosen   


  1. I haven't heard of this series before! It sounds so tragic.

  2. I read all of these several years ago and enjoyed each one! I've been waiting for another one for a long time.


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! I love interacting with other book lovers and appreciate any thoughts or feedback! If you read a book after seeing my review, please let me know. Come back and leave me a link to your review so I can read it. Thank you!!!

Blogger Template Created by pipdig