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Cover image for The truth behind the lie : a novel
Format:
Title:
The truth behind the lie : a novel
Uniform Title:
Sanning med modifikation. English
ISBN:
9781250300072
Edition:
First U.S. edition.
Publication:
New York : Minotaur Books, 2019.
Physical Description:
278 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
When a six-year-old girl disappears and calling the police isn't an option, her desperate mother Pernilla turns to an unlikely source for help. She finds a cryptic ad online for a private investigator: "Need help, but can't contact the police?" That's where Kouplan comes in. He's an Iranian refugee living in hiding. He was forced to leave Iran after news of his and his brother's involvement with a radical newspaper hated by the regime was discovered. Kouplan's brother disappeared, and he hasn't seen him in four years. He makes a living as a P.I. working under the radar, waiting for the day he can legally apply for asylum. Pernilla's daughter has vanished without a trace, and Kouplan is an expert at living and working off the grid. He's the perfect PI to help ... but something in Pernilla's story doesn't add up. She might need help that he can't offer ... and a little girl's life hangs in the balance.
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Library
Call Number
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Lovestam, S.
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Lovestam, S.
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FIC LOVESTAM
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M LOVESTAM Sara
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Lovestam, S.
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Summary

Summary

The Truth Behind The Lie is Sara L ö vestam's award-winning and gripping novel about blurred lines, second chances, and the lengths one will go to for the truth.

When a six-year-old girl disappears and calling the police isn't an option, her desperate mother Pernilla turns to an unlikely source for help. She finds a cryptic ad online for a private investigator:
"Need help, but can't contact the police?"

That's where Kouplan comes in. He's an Iranian refugee living in hiding. He was forced to leave Iran after news of his and his brother's involvement with a radical newspaper hated by the regime was discovered. Kouplan's brother disappeared, and he hasn't seen him in four years. He makes a living as a P.I. working under the radar, waiting for the day he can legally apply for asylum.

Pernilla's daughter has vanished without a trace, and Kouplan is an expert at living and working off the grid. He's the perfect PI to help... but something in Pernilla's story doesn't add up. She might need help that he can't offer...and a little girl's life hangs in the balance.


Author Notes

Sara Lövestam is a Swedish novelist, born in 1980 and living in Stockholm. She writes in many genres -- historical novels, Y/A, crime -- but her books all deal with deeply human struggles, such as challenging perspectives, dealing with alienation, and being true to oneself. Lövestam worked for many years as a Swedish teacher for immigrants, and says a lot of her inspiration comes from her students. She enjoys music, carpentry, and learning new languages. Her book Wonderful Feels Like This (2017) was also translated to English.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Swedish children's author Lövestam (Wonderful Feels like This) makes her adult debut with a delightfully quirky mystery. When Pernilla's six-year-old daughter, Julia, vanishes in a Stockholm shopping mall, she hires Kouplan, a mysterious Iranian refugee who calls himself a PI but has no actual credentials. As Kouplan repeatedly questions Pernilla, he realizes she won't reveal why Julia is unregistered with Social Services or why there are no photos of her. It's not even clear who her father is. As for Kouplan, who's undocumented, hiding from the police, and mourning his long-missing brother, he has all the right instincts for sleuthing with zero clues. Doggedly, he grills those at the kidnapping scene about child smugglers. As Pernilla's story fails to add up, Kouplan comes closer to uncovering a possible human trafficking ring--complete with a lone little girl staring from an apartment window. In Lövestam's remarkable hands, this enigmatic pair lures readers in, slowly, one detail at a time. Hopefully, Pernilla and Kouplan will be back soon for another adventure. Agent: Marina Penalva, Pontas Literary & Film Agency. (Aug.)


Booklist Review

This mystery, translated from the Swedish, first appeared in 2015 and was awarded both the Swedish Crime Writers' Academy Award for Best Debut Crime Novel and the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. The central mystery, involving the sudden disappearance of a six-year-old girl, while absolutely compelling, takes a back seat to the plights of the two main characters. The mother, whose daughter was holding her hand one moment in a Stockholm shopping mall and vanished the next, faces wrenching anguish and recrimination going forward. For equally agonizing reasons, she cannot summon the police; instead, she contacts an Iranian refugee who's posted an online ad for private-detective work. He's 25, has never done investigative work before, and lives in daily fear that the police will find and deport him. It's fascinating to watch him, on his first case, piecing together an investigation, traveling far from his safety zone in order to find the woman's child. The first-time PI lives by a motto: As long as you are standing, hold out a hand to those who have fallen. This mystery has a moral center, with a growing bond between two beautifully realized characters, and a gut-clenching depiction of what it's like to live in constant fear. Lövestam's first novel, Wonderful Feels like This (2017) made YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults list.--Connie Fletcher Copyright 2019 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Kouplan is desperate to make ends meet in Stockholm, Sweden. The undocumented Iranian refugee risks everything by placing an ad. "Private detective. If the police can't help, call me!" Pernilla calls immediately, saying her six-year-old daughter, Julia, is missing. She can't go to the police, though. Kouplan is used to hiding from authorities, so, despite his own fear of the police, he returns to the scene where Julia disappeared and questions a number of people about the vanished girl. He fumbles through his first assignment as a private detective, learning on the job. But, as he studies Pernilla and looks for the missing Julia, something in Pernilla's story doesn't ring true. The suspenseful tale slowly unfolds through the eyes of Kouplan, Pernilla, and the vanished child. Each character reveals pieces of the truth, bit by bit, until the stunning final sentence turns readers' beliefs upside down. VERDICT Swedish author Lövestam's (Wonderful Feels Like This) pitch-perfect book is a character study of two needy people who find unusual strength in each other, despite their secrets. Readers who appreciate complex Nordic mysteries that unfold carefully will appreciate the twists in this story. [See Prepub Alert, 2/4/19.]--Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN