Read Missing by Karin Alvtegen Online


Sibylla Forsenstrom doesn't exist. For 15 years she has been one of the homeless in Stockholm and takes every day as it comes. One night she charms a businessman into paying for her dinner and room. His dead body is discovered the following morning and Sibylla is the prime suspect....

Title : Missing
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781841954080
Format Type : Unknown Binding
Number of Pages : 249 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Missing Reviews

  • Barbara
    2019-03-21 00:41

    Born into a life of privilege, Sybilla is now homeless. Sometimes she hangs out at a hotel bar and charms a visiting businessman into paying for her dinner and hotel room. One night Sybilla chooses the wrong man and he's found dead and mutilated the next morning. Of course Sybilla is the prime suspect and her situation only gets worse when more victims are found murdered in a similar manner. Alvtegen does a skillful job developing the character of Sybilla by interspersing scenes from Sybilla's childhood with those of Sybilla's current life on the run. It turns out Sybilla had an indifferent father and a difficult mother, and - it seems - suffered from some mental illness. Moreover, the motive for the story's murders was an interesting surprise and the resolution of the mystery made sense and was satisfying.I'd recommend the book to mystery fans.You can follow my reviews at

  • Lee
    2019-04-01 02:15

    Wow another great Scandinavian novel at its best. This is a story about Sybylla Forenstrom, a 32 year old female drifter. Sybylla grew up in a home with a very protective and painfully obsessive mother, what people thought was more important to Sybylla's mother than anything else, as you can imagine there was not a good relationship between mother and daughter. Always looking for her next meal and bed for the night Sybylla meets a man in a restaurant and dupes him into buying her dinner and then later shouting her a room for the night. Unfortunately this gentleman does not wake up the next morning and all eyes are now on the look out for Sybylla, she is now considered a murderer. Shortly after another murder occurs and again she is top of the police hit list, only problem is that she has committed neither of these murders and will have to find a way to retain her freedom. A well developed story that keeps you engaged all the way through, most enjoyable.

  • Calzean
    2019-04-16 06:40

    Not a very plausible storyline. Maybe it would be better as a film.Sybilla came from a rich but dysfunctional family. Her mother was a tyrant, petty snob and unloving. As a teenager, Sybilla has a rebellious phase, a breakdown and a number of stays in a local asylum.She walks away from her family and 18 years of living on the street has made her tough, cunning and resourceful. In one of her scams her dinner date is found dead and she finds herself on the run from the police. There were a number of scenes which did not seem plausible - her visits to the wives of two of the victims, her 15year old abettor who gets into the police computer records and an ending which is just too good to believe.It's a page turner if you don't question the logic of what is happening,

  • Sheila
    2019-04-04 02:15

    This was my first read of this Swedish author. I read it primarily because it was the winner of the Glass Key award which is the primary literary award for Swedish crime novels. It was told from a different point of view. Generally the books are told from the cops point of view or the killers pov. In this case a young homeless woman is in the wrong place at the wrong time and gets accused of a series of brutal murders. We see the story through her eyes and her helpless condition. Great read. 5 stars. I will definitely seek out further translations of this authors books.

  • Col
    2019-03-22 00:17

    Synopsis/blurb......Sybilla Forsenstrom doesn't exist. For fifteen years she has been excluded from society and, as one of the homeless in Stockholm, she takes each day as it comes, keeping all her possessions in her rucksack - apart from a knife and salami which she stores in a smart briefcase. She is always well-dressed and displays impeccable manners. One night, in The Grand Hotel, she charms a susceptible businessman into paying for her dinner and room. His dead body is discovered the following morning and Sybilla becomes the prime suspect. When a second person is killed in similar circumstances, she becomes the most wanted person in Sweden.A couple of my reading challenges that I set for myself is to read a Scandinavian book monthly and also an Award winning crime fiction book. I managed to kill two birds with the one stone here, reading Swedish author, Karin Altvegen’s debut Glass Key Award winning novel Missing. I believe she won the award in 2001 and the English translation first appeared in 2003.Well how did I get on? I was fascinated by the author’s portrayal of Sybilla’s existence on the fringes of society. We see with flashbacks and frequent references to her past; her difficulties with her mother and as a result at school; her struggle to form friendships. This dysfunctional environment and a lack of support cast Sybilla as an outsider, even before her mental disintegration, subsequent hospitalisation and escape. She was an outsider when living within the structures of normal society and now believing she is still pursued, 14 years after the event she flies under the radar. Until now; with the discovery of a dead businessman with whom she was seen dining with in a smart hotel. Sybilla Forsenstrom - her natural instinct being to evade the authorities – is soon headline news and the prime murder suspect. Life suddenly becomes a lot more difficulty for Sybilla and it’s harder to retain her invisibility. Further murders follow, along with more revelations from her past; until a chance encounter with a schoolboy, similar in some respects to herself when a teenager, marks a turning point in her life. Slowly learning to trust someone, she starts to fight back to get out from under the shadow of being framed for the murders. Overall, I was interested and entertained, though I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the second. I preferred the portrayal of Sybilla’s life as a victim, in the margins than as a semi-sleuth trying to find the real murderer. A little stretching of the bounds of credibility, in my opinion, but not so much that I was annoyed and I was still engaged enough to care about the outcome. Decent characters, a sympathetic protagonist and an interesting setting all contributed greatly to my enjoyment.3 from 5The author has written another 4 books in the intervening period, but with the library shelves already creaking under the strain of the unread tomes, I will take a rain check. I picked up a copy of this second hand earlier this year on e-bay.

  • Yassemin
    2019-04-10 22:36

    Wow.I knew their was a reasom Scandanavian crime fiction was so well renowed. This waa absolutely brilliant.Missing is different from the norm. Usually with your typical crime novel, the story is told through the perspective of some kind of law enforcement official not through the perspective of a suspect and an innocent suspect at that.Sybylla is a homeless woman after having fallen out with the family some time ago. She had lived this existence for some time getting by in several ways. One of those being to obtain a free hotel room for a night by getting the attention of a wealthy guy, pulling the whole 'I've lost my wallet' routine and walah! However on this occasion, it turns out that the guy ended up dead. Not believing herself to be of much importance to the investigation, Sybylla doesn't talk to the Police but then several more murders occur and it is clear she is being.framed. All murders have religious undertones and all persons have some form of organ removed. When the murderer leaves a signed confession in Sybyllas name at one of the scenes, she is well and truly on the run to prove her innocence.Absolutely fantastic plot told through an interesting POV. Characters multi layered and fully developed- no cookie cutouts here and just good simple writing. Reminded me of Laarson a bit.So definitely read this one if you want a crime novel with a bit of a difference Can't wait to read more of her stuff. Brilliant!

  • Emma
    2019-04-18 00:15

    It could be me. I am just not sure I get on with crime fiction. It always seems to me it gives plot an undeserved ascendancy over character, observation, depth and good writing. I'm afraid this was no exception. The prose was flat, and while Sibylla was interesting, there seemed to be little subtlety to her character. I just didn't really believe in her or her rather melodramatically appalling childhood. The serial killer as religious maniac theme also struck me as hackneyed. The news stories were truly awful - has the author actually read any news stories and observed how they are constructed? Or are Swedish newspapers fundamentally different to ours?Worst of all the plot just struck me as plain unbelievable **** SPOILER COMING **** Are we really seriously expected to believe that the police would overlook a connection as obvious as all the victims being transplant patients? Especially given that Sibylla had no discernible motive, apart from a history of mental illness. It just didn't add up - at least in my mind.That said, it's a cut above some of the crime stuff I've read, and being a complete Swedophile, I loved the descriptions and atmosphere.

  • Plum-crazy
    2019-04-05 23:15

    I'm not at all sure what to say about this book as I can't even decide whether I can say I liked it or not! Reading about someone being falsely accused of something always winds me up but in this case I didn't seem to have the concern for Sibylla that I would have expected. The problems faced by the homeless & Sibylla's feelings of persecution seemed plausible but despite her history, I never felt sympathetic towards her situation....although Sibylla's treatment at her mother's hands, well that REALLY had my blood boiling - it breaks my heart to think of a child wanting approval from such a bloody bitch! The idea of Sibylla managing to track down the killer was a bit of a stretch & by the closing chapters I was losing interest...although I did like the final chapter & thought the ending fitting.

  • Minty McBunny
    2019-04-02 01:34

    Sweden & Norway's monarchies must be in a right state if all the book jackets declaring this person or that person 'The Queen of Crime!' are correct. In some cases (Camilla Läckberg, Karin Fossum) I'm not going to argue, but Karin Alvtegen is at best a Viscountess.This book was entertaining enough, it was nice to have a story from the point of view of a suspect for a change from the police inspector's perspective. It was a bit stressful for me, as I have a fear of being wrongfully accused of a crime as well as of being wrongfully committed to a mental institution, both of which happen here. But ultimately I felt like the solution fell flat, I've seen this motive for killing before (done better) and it was all a little too Hollywood ending for me. What started as an interesting story fell into a formulaic by the numbers whodunnit & left me unmoved.

  • Adam
    2019-04-20 22:39

    It doesn't make any sense to me. The first Alvtegen mystery I read, Betrayal, was a good thriller only really marred by an uninspired ending. But Missing is Alvtegen's most acclaimed novel, and it's a mess. For maybe the first quarter of the novel you can buy into the goings-on, but the plot gets increasingly more trite, more convenient, and more unlikely.

  • Melinda Elizabeth
    2019-04-19 03:31

    This book struck me as a poor attempt at fan fiction. Its the only description I can adequately provide. It felt as though someone had attempted to write a novel, tried to put all the usual twists and turns in, but to me it just fell short. The main character was not particularly likable. The 15 year old kid that managed to save the day made me cringe. The ending seemed too convenient. **Spoiler alert!**The start of the book was promising, with feelings of "they are hunting the wrong person!" giving the first part of the book a bit of an edge. But when the flashbacks into the main characters childhood started, the story started to fall apart. The back stories (such as the woman's mental illness)irritated me. Why would she be suffering from blackouts etc as a child, to the point where she needed to be hospitalised, but be perfectly "normal" without any blackouts etc as an adult? She seemed to be functioning well, and that made the whole mental illness backstory like a filler to make the book a bit longer. I was convinced that the redeeming feature of the book was going to be that she had comitted the murders when she was "blacked out", I was a little sorry to see the ending go the way it did.I didn't like the murderer (not that you are meant to) because he was just tacked on the last bits of the book. Why did we spend so much time listening to the main character whinge and whine about losing her child and being mentally ill, when in fact it was someone else who was disgruntled about his gay lover passing away who was the real murderer?Throughout this book I had a permanent grimace on my face. I did not enjoy reading it at all, and was rather pleased that it was short and ended quickly. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.

  • Jan Derksen
    2019-03-26 06:29

    Sibylla Forsenström is op de vlucht, al bijna vijftien jaar. Niet alleen voor haar ouders, maar ook voor zichzelf. Ze is een van de vele daklozen in Stockholm. Maar Sibylla is anders. Als dochter van een welgesteld fabrikant weet ze hoe ze zich moet gedragen om niet op te vallen. Ze wil met rust gelaten worden. Dan slaat het noodlot toe. In het exclusieve Stockholmse Grand Hôtel wordt een man vermoord terwijl ook Sibylla er verblijft. Kort daarna wordt er een tweede dode gevonden, eveneens op beestachtige wijze om het leven gebracht. En weer wijzen alle sporen in de richting van Sibylla, die nu echt op de vlucht moet: voor de politie. Recensie(s) NBD|Biblion recensie Een zwerfster, van goede afkomst, slaapt en eet in goede hotels op kosten van vreemde mannen. Maar dan wordt een van die mannen vermoord en de dakloze vrouw wordt verdacht. Ze ontsnapt en gaat met hulp van en 15-jarige jongen op zoek naar de echte moordenaar. Er volgen nog drie moorden. Origineel gegeven, goed uitgewerkt. Het interessantst is het leven als zwerver, dat neemt ook een groot deel van het boek in beslag. De ontknoping is tamelijk snel en wat gezocht maar wel origineel wat het motief van de dader betreft. Goede detective, blijft boeien tot het einde. Kleine druk.

  • Lucinda
    2019-04-09 02:33

    Missing is the story of Sibylla Forenström, a 32-year old drifter on the streets of Stockholm. Dressed in her best thrift-store suit, Sibylla cons a wealthy businessman into buying her dinner and a hotel room in a fancy hotel. When the police arrive the next morning she assumes the con has been exposed and flees. But the man has been brutally murdered, and the police identify Sibylla’s fingerprints and charge her with the crime, revealing that she disappeared from a mental institution 15 years earlier. Two other murders follow, and Sibylla, whose survival on the streets depends on her anonymity, finds she is now the most wanted criminal in Sweden with her face on every newspaper. A fortuitous encounter with a 15-year-old loner with computer talents provides Sibylla with an ally who is eager to help her track down the real serial killer. Throughout the book, Sibylla’s past is slowly revealed, adding depth to this well-written thriller. Originally published in Sweden in 2000, Missing came out in the US in 2008 and is a finalist for the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Mystery.

  • Icewineanne
    2019-04-01 05:15

    Best Scandinavian author I have read! I loved this book. This novel is not as dark and violent as is the trend with so many other new authors coming out of Scandinavia. Karin Alvtegen uses psychological suspense over violence to tell a good story. This is the second book I have read by her and I'm really pleased that each book so far, is a standalone suspense novel(at least as far as I'm aware). Too many authors write series books (probably spurred on by their publishers), and I'm tired of always having to read books in a certain order, just so you don't miss a reference from something that happened in an earlier book, or at worst, have the ending of an earlier book completely spoiled, when the author refers back to that case. The sign of great storyteller is one that keeps you reading obsessively, which Karin Alvtegen definately accomplishes. I look forward to reading many more of her books.

  • Ineke van Mackelenbergh
    2019-04-04 06:27

    A tightly-knit, fast-paced plot, and well written, but it didn't really all hang together. It was a little obvious to me that the main character, Sybilla, would work out the who-done-it, in the process of clearing herself of falsely being accused of murders she didn't commit. The plot relies heavily and hangs together on an 'unbalanced' psyche... a very prevalent thread of murder mysteries in the present day, if you ask me. That said, the book is also about trust and self-preservation, which were, to me, the more "logical".

  • Monica
    2019-03-24 23:35

    “Missing” is a good psychological thriller book with pages that are easy to turn. This novel wasn’t just about murder, it’s about what goes on in the mind of Sibylla Forsenström who, after a childhood of being tightly controlled, has decided to live her life without anyone telling her what to do. Being falsely accused of murders she didn’t commit, Sibylla finds that she has to let down her guard and trust a little so that she can prove her innocence. This is the first book I’ve read by Karin Alvtegan, and it won’t be the last.

  • Carey Combe
    2019-04-20 00:19

    Can someone please tell me the point of including her mental illness and her parent's cruelty towards her? Yuo only needed a fraction of that information to understand why she was now sleeping rough and even then it didn't add anything to the story at all. And why did she think being 'caught' for scrounging a room was worse than being sought for murder - Unrealistic scenario's to move the plot along is my big bug bear.... Saying all that it could have been worse!!!.

  • Hedoga
    2019-04-06 23:25

    No encuentro aquí el Libro en español "Fugitiva" ... si lo encontrais, leedlo, me ha gustado mucho, de hecho, leeré más de ésta autora, seguro.Un estilo directo, cuidado, sin caer en la tentación de meter páginas de relleno con aventuras/desventuras intrascendentes, realista (a mi parecer), un lenguaje claro, simple ...Y por supuesto, una historia que engancha ...Si queréis el libro, lo tengo.

  • Ellen Keim
    2019-04-15 05:17

    A different take on the wrongly accused suspect on the run meme. The book didn't take very long to read, which was fine, except I think the story would have been better if it had been a bit more detailed. The climax came kind of abruptly and then the book ended. I liked the main character and would have liked the last part of the book to be more about what happens to her after the killer is finally caught and she is exonerated.

  • PuPilla
    2019-03-22 23:22

    Ez volt az első skandináv krimim, de biztos nem az utolsó. :) Nem tökéletes, de nekem nagyon bejött, tetszettek a bonyodalmak, az elején a fura érzés, mire megtudtam, miről is van szó, a karakterek ábrázolása - persze itt főleg csak egy karakteré, Sibylláé, és a hangulat is. A blogon is írok majd róla.

  • Johanna
    2019-03-28 05:40

    Första kriminalromanen/deckaren jag någonsin läst (!), ganska konstigt, med tanke att jag läst en hel del böcker de senaste åren... Nåväl, riktigt bra var den i alla fall - lättläst, spännande, intressant handling och upplägg. Bra karaktärer, fina miljöbeskrivningar, man känner igen sig! Gick lite för snabbt mot slutet men på det hela taget en riktigt bra bok!

  • Leland
    2019-03-25 22:42

    I was a bit surprised by this book. It was far less than I expected. There was something forced in the plot lines, heavy-handed and over-wrought in the scenes, and stylistically, the writing (or perhaps translating) was mainly disappointing. After reading some amazing Swedish crime fiction, I had high hopes. I found mediocrity.

  • Pat
    2019-03-31 06:31

    Loved this excellent thriller by another Swedish author! It is so different, and it grips you from the beginning - quick, GOOD "read". I can't wait to read her other two books, Shame and Betrayal. LOVE to discover a new author!

  • Szeee
    2019-03-27 03:20

    nem szeretem a krimiket

  • WordsBeyondBorders
    2019-04-01 06:14

    When we first see Sibylla, she is dining at the Grand Hotel's magnificent French dining room. She looks the part of the successful executive unwinding after a tough day at office. But why is her suit then having a false label (is she so concerned about appearances that she resorts to such falsehood?), why is the waist button of her skirt replaced by a safety-pin (if she can dine in such a posh hotel, couldn't she have put on a new dress before coming to dinner?), why is she thinking of stealing the towels in the hotel rooms (is she a kleptomaniac?). Because Sibylla is nothing like what seems to be. She is in her early thirties, has been living underground for the past 15 years or so and is now trying to sponge off a costly dinner from another customer. She succeeds in both getting her dinner and also avoiding the advances of her patron. But the next day when he is found murdered, Sibylla is on the run, accused of the murder. Multiple murders occur as Karin alternates events from the present with those from the past, giving us bits and pieces of Sibylla's past life.The concept of living 'on the road' has occurred a legendary status, but it is still a lifestyle that is admired by a lot, but not attempted by many voluntarily. The reason being that it is not as fun as it may seem from the outside (how much fun can one have when he/she doesn't know when the next meal will come and has been living with this uncertainty for years) and Karin gives us a non-celebratory, hard hitting account of the life which leaves us with mixed feelings. While one cannot but marvel at the ingenuity shown by Sibylla in getting by having almost nothing, we keep thinking about the circumstances that would force someone to choose such a lifestyle, voluntarily excluding oneself completely from society. As we get know about events from Sibylla's past, we understand her rationale for renouncing her past life and even empathize with her. It's a creepy account of psychological abuse heaped upon her by own mother Beatrice, with her stony silences, subtle condescending attitude, studied ignoring of her daughter to achieve her ends, which are more painful than a stinging slap across the face (excellent observation of human behavior by Karin). The irony here is that Beatrice wouldn't have any inkling of the damage she was causing her daughter (or at-least not openly accept). From her viewpoint, she would have been doing her best and Sibylla would be the ungrateful creature for not understanding her mother's love. Whatever the motivation of Beatrice, the situation at home makes Sibylla insecure, feeling at fault for even things that are beyond her control, always in a state of tension as to whether she has displeased her mother in anyway, torn between the conflicting feelings of obedience and wanting to break free. All this results in a lot of repressed feelings and as in such cases, the breakdown when it happens is of epic proportions and that's what happens with Sibylla, resulting in her voluntary exile to the margins of society. The irony of the title hits us when we realize that though Sibylla has been living like this for 15 odd years, no one seems to have missed her (until the murders occur and society wakes up to the fact that there is a person called 'Sibylla'). There are so many of these kind of missing people, people who are present and yet not present, visible yet as good as invisible, people whom their immediate kith/kin and society has a whole do not seem to realize that they have gone missing.One is reminded of 'Lisbeth Salander' while reading the novel. Like Lisbeth, Sibylla is spunky, detests authority, doesn't care much for society and looks to lead life on her own terms. They have their points of divergence too as Sibylla is has come from a upper-middle class/rich household, didn't face any physical abuse (though the mental manipulation would more than make up for it). She is not your usual 'super-heroine' who is always ready to kick ass. The shadows of her past are always dogging her, she has her moments of indecision, moments where she feels like just giving up on everything. But she manages to find some inner resource of strength (or hate against society?) to take the next step and proceed further. Karin is her best in these portions where she shows us the dynamics of the interplay in human relationships and when she takes us into the vortex of the human mind. You do have female protagonists in works of 'Helen Tursten', Yrsa Sigurdardottir' etc. Yes, they are a change from the mostly male protagonists of crime fiction, but they conform to the archetype of the working women who struggle to balance their personal and professional lives but manage to do a good job of both. Salander and Sibylla though are nothing like them, they blaze a new trail for female protagonists in crime fiction, in which I hope to see other writers proceeding (before turning the prototype into a cliche). I would have like to know more about Sibylla, but since this is a standalone novel there is no hope for it.The best works in crime fiction (any genre fiction) are the ones that go beyond the conventions of their genre without losing out on the core. While Karin does a great job in the former, it is in the latter that she falters. Sibylla is on the run, multiple murders occur for which she is accused, but none of the tension that should arise from such a situation seeps through to us. This could very well be the result of Karin's masterful evocation of Sibylla's past whereby we are so caught up in that the actual core of the book seems secondary. But whatever the reason, as a genre fiction the book does suffer a bit. The assurance that Karin shows while dealing with relationships/people is in stark contrast to the haphazard manner in which the core of the story ties up, so much so that it wouldn't be much of a surprise to know that 2 different people wrote the different parts. It's not that one expects very professional sleuthing here, after all Sibylla is an amateur and that too without any contact with society for a long time, so one does expect a few missteps in Sibylla's pursuit of the truth. But the hurried manner in which everything gets resolved at the end is so fast that everything seems to happen and end in a flash and requires a giant leap of faith to digest. Contrast this with the relationship between Sibylla and Patrik, a 15 year old who gets acquainted with Sibylla and wants to help her out. With very little real time (as in the novel) to flesh this out, Karin does a first rate job it. Though it is her vagabond lifestyle that initially fascinates Partik, he probably being a nerd (with some hints thrown about it about him not liking sports, more into computers etc) sees a kindred spirit in Sibylla, a person who is also on the outside. Patrik also reminds Sibylla of her past in a certain way, which adds to the bond that Sibylla feels with him. Though the novel ends before it is more fleshed out, you feel that Karin has got a lot from the relationship. Yes, you feel to know how/whether this relationship would progress, but that's in a good way and not like the resolution of the murder where you feel shortchanged. Though the book has some flaws I recommend it, as Karin's is an edgy, assured (in most parts) voice, a voice that cuts through the bland murmurings of conventional crime fiction, one that is not not unduly worried about the norms of the genre (much like her heroine). I for one hope to listen to more of this voice in the future.

  • Kai
    2019-04-10 00:29

    Book club read.This was an interesting story. You start off thinking one thing and within the first few chapters realise that you might well have been wrong.The characters are believable and shockingly the main character is very relatable. You can actually see yourself in her position and how easy it would be to end up there. There's a sticky point which hits home when she meets up with an old 'friend'. I had to put the book down at that point and then pick it up a bit later.All in all, I'm glad this was a book club read because otherwise I would never have chosen it for myself and that would've been a shame.

  • Min Yee
    2019-03-28 22:41 feel like dancing a slow waltz when reading this book. One of my favourite parts of this story is when she meets a 15-year old boy in the school’s attic who wants to experience as a homeless person and later works together with her to track down the real serial killer.The ending was a bit hurried to wrap-up the entire story. There were several plot twists towards the ending and it took me some time to digest what had just happened to Sybilla after reading the quick-paced ending. Surprisingly, I liked the story. Maybe it’s because I just realised that I treated Sybilla as a real character and I felt relieved after I finished the book.

  • Kathleen
    2019-03-31 00:27

    should be a 3.5 and almost 4 .0 rating- will make one reconsider the why of homelessness and how it impacts perception of same; specifically how one becomes homeless mentally and emotionally sometimes way before the actual occurrence. All that wrapped up in a series of murders and the search for the killer.

  • Helena Frisk
    2019-03-23 05:40

    En ok deckare. Tragiskt människoöde, men känns äkta på något sätt

  • Shu Tanaka
    2019-04-21 05:41

    Good: The heroine's thinking is real. Her rage and sadness about her mother in her childhood moves readers. Bad: The trick is too simple. It doesn't have an impact.