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?
APPEARANCES ARE DESEPTIVE is the first instalment of a new Norwegian crime fiction series, in which the plot is located in the beautiful Øystese in Hardanger. The second novel, ISKALD / ICE-COLD, is planned for release in 2018.
originally published by Gyldendal (Norway) 2017
Rights available for: Worldwide
Agnes Lovise Matre was born and raised in a small village in Hardanger/ Norway and moved to Haugesund, a town on the west-coast of Norway. She has been working as a teacher in secondary school since 1995. Her first novel STRYK MEG OVER HÅRET / STRIKE MY HEAD was released in 2012 and her second novel, KLEDD NAKEN / UNDRESSED, in 2015.
Her novels all deal with issues we do not dare to talk about, about how bad things can happen in seemingly peaceful spectacular landscapes in the heart of Norway. Her novels are social-realistic fiction, full of suspense and interpersonal relationships.
»You are not unmoved after reading this novel. The eeriness is crawling down your neck.«
– Hardanger Folkeblad