It is 1938. A corpse is found in a peat bog in Schleswig-Holstein, a tiny but hotly contested fragment of Europe's coastal landscape between Germany and Denmark. The body is that of a nineteenth-century soldier bent double underneath his coat - a disquieting reminder of old ferocious battles just when a new world war is about to begin. Three men - a Danish policeman, a young German-Jewish refugee and a German professor - venture out into the quagmire to find clues to the mummified soldier's identity. Soon afterwards, the professor disappears. It is the year 2000. Esme Olsen, a cleaner in the Institute for Historical Studies in Copenhagen, stumbles upon documents concerning the find in the bog while cleaning up after a party. A quirky amateur historian, she can't resist 'borrowing' the documents to read. Thus begins a many-layered journey into the past, both real and imagined. Esme's childhood, her relationship with her eccentric father, the particular opulence of 1960s American automobiles, a packet of letters to the writer J.D.
Salinger, the young soldier's drunken rape and the discovery of the German professor's body down a well are subtly interwoven to create a multivalent tale of mystery, memory and remembrance.
Eva-Marie Liffner was born in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1957. After studying, among other things, archaeology and the history of ideas, she became a journalist, later deciding to write fiction. Her first novel, Camera, was awarded four Swedish literary prizes, among them the Flint Axe for the best historical crime novel of 2001. Imago, Liffner's second novel, was nominated for the August Prize 2003.
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