A new star is born in Swedish crime fiction.
Elisabeth Norebäck is a new, worthy addition to the top Swedish crime fiction writers and Tell Me You're Mine is her debut novel that was recently translated into English. I enjoyed the book though I believe that it would be better if it was about 100 pages shorter. That doesn't mean that it is a tedious read as Norebäck's prose is flowing naturally and the characters are three-dimensional and convincing. The dialogue is also unforced and the descriptions of the protagonists' thought processes are intriguing and plausible, even though a bit melodramatic in some parts. The plot is coherent with some nice twists, especially near the end, and keeps the reader on the edge the whole time.
The story is narrated mainly through three different points of view (Stella, Isabelle, and Kerstin) and revolves around a middle-aged psychoanalyst, Stella, who is deeply traumatized by her one-year-old daughter's, Alice, disappearance 20 years ago. The body of the little girl was never found and Stella never lost the hope that she may be alive. When a young woman, named Isabelle visits Stella in the clinic where she works, everything will come upside down to the lives of both women as Stella is certain that Isabelle is her long-missing daughter. This is a psychological thriller with a touch of good old mystery as far the genre categorization is concerned.
The storyline is not original or innovative, but Tell Me You're Mine is a novel that is based on the quality of the author's writing style and the strong characterization. This book reminded me somehow of the Norwegian Alex Dahl's work, and more specifically of her recently published novel titled The Heart Keeper both in terms of plot and characters. To be fair and precise, my actual rating is 3,5/5 and I am eagerly awaiting more books by Elisabeth Norebäck, a name that I am certain that we will hear more and more for years to come.