Hardanger’s District Sheriff, Bengt Alvsaker, has taken a two week summer holiday. He wants to spend it with his eleven-year-old son Thomas, whom he has never met before. The following day Bengt’s twelve-year-old neighbour girl Ina asks him for help, as her younger brother Anders has disappeared.
Bengt realizes that he is the last one to have seen Anders alive, in the early morning of the day he disappeared. The boy was strolling along on the main road by himself in his pyjamas. For Bengt, life is turned upside down, but not only for him.
A massive search operation is launched for the boy, and little by little a network of violence, alcoholism, failure of care, sexual abuse and hidden secrets is revealed. In a small community where everybody knows everybody else, packs of lies are as common as seashore pebbles. Adults know the game, know whom to trust. But who protects the children when they are betrayed by the grownups?
originally published by Gyldendal (Norway) 2017
»Skinnet bedrar is a crime novel for those who are bored by foolish hyperboles and bold catchwords. What is offered instead is a sensitive, often poetic description of Norwegian and human nature in all its kinds … Matre is inventing a story that could possibly happen every day. That makes it a very sensitive and tender book … As the first book of a planned series this is a very solid ground to build on.«
– Ingvar Ambjørnsen, Dagbladet