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“The Historians blends a fascinating historical intrigue with the quick pace and excitement of a thriller.”  — Ellen Keith, author of The Dutch Wife The Secret History meets The Alice Network in this riveting tale of murder and conspiracy in Sweden during WWII by critically acclaimed author Cecilia Eckbäck. It is 1943 and Sweden’s neutrality in the war is under pressure. Lau “The Historians blends a fascinating historical intrigue with the quick pace and excitement of a thriller.”  — Ellen Keith, author of The Dutch Wife The Secret History meets The Alice Network in this riveting tale of murder and conspiracy in Sweden during WWII by critically acclaimed author Cecilia Eckbäck. It is 1943 and Sweden’s neutrality in the war is under pressure. Laura Dahlgren, the bright, young right-hand of the chief negotiator to Germany, is privy to these tensions, even as she tries to keep her head down in the mounting fray. However, when Laura’s best friend from university, Britta, is discovered murdered in cold blood, Laura is determined to find the killer. Prior to her death, Britta sent a report on the racial profiling in Scandinavia to the secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jens Regnell. In the middle of negotiating a delicate alliance with Hitler and the Nazis, Jens doesn’t understand why he’s received the report. When the pursuit of Britta’s murderer leads Laura to his door, the two join forces to get at the truth. But as Jens and Laura attempt to untangle the mysterious circumstance surrounding Britta’s death, they only become more mired in a web of lies and deceit. This trail will lead to a conspiracy that could topple their nation’s identity—a conspiracy some in Sweden will try to keep hidden at any cost.


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“The Historians blends a fascinating historical intrigue with the quick pace and excitement of a thriller.”  — Ellen Keith, author of The Dutch Wife The Secret History meets The Alice Network in this riveting tale of murder and conspiracy in Sweden during WWII by critically acclaimed author Cecilia Eckbäck. It is 1943 and Sweden’s neutrality in the war is under pressure. Lau “The Historians blends a fascinating historical intrigue with the quick pace and excitement of a thriller.”  — Ellen Keith, author of The Dutch Wife The Secret History meets The Alice Network in this riveting tale of murder and conspiracy in Sweden during WWII by critically acclaimed author Cecilia Eckbäck. It is 1943 and Sweden’s neutrality in the war is under pressure. Laura Dahlgren, the bright, young right-hand of the chief negotiator to Germany, is privy to these tensions, even as she tries to keep her head down in the mounting fray. However, when Laura’s best friend from university, Britta, is discovered murdered in cold blood, Laura is determined to find the killer. Prior to her death, Britta sent a report on the racial profiling in Scandinavia to the secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jens Regnell. In the middle of negotiating a delicate alliance with Hitler and the Nazis, Jens doesn’t understand why he’s received the report. When the pursuit of Britta’s murderer leads Laura to his door, the two join forces to get at the truth. But as Jens and Laura attempt to untangle the mysterious circumstance surrounding Britta’s death, they only become more mired in a web of lies and deceit. This trail will lead to a conspiracy that could topple their nation’s identity—a conspiracy some in Sweden will try to keep hidden at any cost.

30 review for The Historians

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lexi

    With a DNF, there is always a build up for me. You start out by wishing the story would move faster- and at this point, everything slows down for you. So you start skimming, waiting for the interesting stuff....but it never comes, so you keep skimming, and then realize you are waisting your time. I am rating this 3 years because this is meant for someone, but not me. I did give it the college try and made it 200 pages, a little under half the book. The Historians is fine, but it is VERY slow. Th With a DNF, there is always a build up for me. You start out by wishing the story would move faster- and at this point, everything slows down for you. So you start skimming, waiting for the interesting stuff....but it never comes, so you keep skimming, and then realize you are waisting your time. I am rating this 3 years because this is meant for someone, but not me. I did give it the college try and made it 200 pages, a little under half the book. The Historians is fine, but it is VERY slow. The author of the book is clearly very passionate about Swedish history so theres a huge push in it to really comb the fine details of that- as well as talk a lot about Swedish government agencies and such. Basically, this is a history nerds book. The characters are not the strong suit here- interesting as they are on the surface. Theres good bones, but development of the characters and mystery were a snail's pace. The Historians is meant to provide an atmospheric world war 2 experience- and it does this very well. Patience is a virtue and I am not patient.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Guylou (Two Dogs and a Book)

    📚 Hello Book Friends! THE HISTORIANS by Cecilia Ekbäck was a revelation and taught me so much about the position of Sweden during WWII. The story is intriguing, and the author keeps you on your toes from start to end. A young woman is discovered tortured and murdered, and this is the start of an investigation to find out why. Three people not related, work together to investigate, and will stumble on a conspiracy that could overthrow the Swedish government and change Sweden forever. They will en 📚 Hello Book Friends! THE HISTORIANS by Cecilia Ekbäck was a revelation and taught me so much about the position of Sweden during WWII. The story is intriguing, and the author keeps you on your toes from start to end. A young woman is discovered tortured and murdered, and this is the start of an investigation to find out why. Three people not related, work together to investigate, and will stumble on a conspiracy that could overthrow the Swedish government and change Sweden forever. They will encounter many obstacles, and many will try to stop them from uncovering the conspiracy. Will they be able to succeed? Cecilia Ekbäck delivers a strong historical novel with all the elements of a great investigative novel. This is a must-read for any WWII story lovers. #bookstadog #poodles #poodlestagram #poodlesofinstagram #furbabies #dogsofinstagram #bookstagram #dogsandbooks #bookishlife #bookishlove #bookstagrammer #books #booklover #bookish #bookaholic #reading #readersofinstagram #instaread #ilovebooks #bookishcanadians #canadianbookstagram #bookreviewer #bookcommunity #bibliophile #bookphotography #thehistorians #ceciliaeckback #bookreview

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ken Fredette

    I can't praise Cecilia Ekbäck enough for her story. You have to read her author's note and historical background to get where she's coming from after you read the story. You start out in 1943 with Laura, then Jens, and then Blackåsen Mountain in that order. We start out with Laura working for Jacob Wallenberg, who was Sweden's chief negotiator with Germany. Then we learn of her best friend being killed. We find in her previous life Britta, Laura, Erik, Matti, and Karl-Henrik were all in as Histo I can't praise Cecilia Ekbäck enough for her story. You have to read her author's note and historical background to get where she's coming from after you read the story. You start out in 1943 with Laura, then Jens, and then Blackåsen Mountain in that order. We start out with Laura working for Jacob Wallenberg, who was Sweden's chief negotiator with Germany. Then we learn of her best friend being killed. We find in her previous life Britta, Laura, Erik, Matti, and Karl-Henrik were all in as History majors with Professor Lindahl in a group that met in Laura's rooms. Jens was the secretary to Christian Günther, who was the Minister of Foreign Affairs. And Jens had a friend who was the archivist, Daniel Jonsson, who was later a suicide. At Blackäsen Mountain Taneli's older sister went missing over hundred days before, they were both Sami. These are the three stories that lead to the same conclusion and the reason for this story. Cecilia has us on pins and needles throughout the book and we have many killings to offer. I've given you what the players there are now you need to read the story to find out what happens. Like me you'll find it a book you can't forget.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    I don't know what exactly I was expecting from The Historians, but it was kind of too noirish for me. I love it when a novel has a wonderfully atmospheric feel to it, and The Historians has that in spades. I also like reading books based on Scandanavian countries, I am very interested in the different cultures and yes, I am NOT a huge fan of the deluge of books during WWII but when it's in a Scandinavian country I also take exception to it. Okay, I did like it but I didn't love it. There was som I don't know what exactly I was expecting from The Historians, but it was kind of too noirish for me. I love it when a novel has a wonderfully atmospheric feel to it, and The Historians has that in spades. I also like reading books based on Scandanavian countries, I am very interested in the different cultures and yes, I am NOT a huge fan of the deluge of books during WWII but when it's in a Scandinavian country I also take exception to it. Okay, I did like it but I didn't love it. There was something that to me was missing, and what that was I am not sure about that but I didn't or wasn't able to connect to any of the characters, except maybe to Jens Regnell, who is drawn into the mystery of Britta Hallberg's murder by receiving her Ph.D. on Scandanavian supremacy without understanding why. It did keep me coming back for more and but I wanted more depth to the characters. The concept was good but to me, it was missing something.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    I'll be the first to admit that I've read a substantial amount of World War II historical fiction in my day. However, The Historians takes on a perspective I have never before experienced as a reader - from the eyes of politically neutral Sweden. Told from three different perspectives, this novel centers around a series of disappearances and murders that ultimately gives rise to a dark secret the country has been hiding. With tensions from the Second World War raging around them and Nazis casual I'll be the first to admit that I've read a substantial amount of World War II historical fiction in my day. However, The Historians takes on a perspective I have never before experienced as a reader - from the eyes of politically neutral Sweden. Told from three different perspectives, this novel centers around a series of disappearances and murders that ultimately gives rise to a dark secret the country has been hiding. With tensions from the Second World War raging around them and Nazis casually roaming the streets and riding the rails, two strangers join forces in an attempt to dismantle a disturbing truth buried in the mountains of Sweden. This novel is a perfect addition to the library of fans of The Alice Network, City of Thieves, and Between Shades of Gray.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachelle

    I'm a little wary of WWII stories, since so many seem to be repeating the same story. The Historians, though, is unlike any other WWII story I've read in the best possible way. The Historians takes place in Sweden, following several different characters who are all connected in one way or another to a history student who was found tortured and murdered. While at first it's unclear how the characters are related to each other, eventually, everything ties together and I was racing to see what would I'm a little wary of WWII stories, since so many seem to be repeating the same story. The Historians, though, is unlike any other WWII story I've read in the best possible way. The Historians takes place in Sweden, following several different characters who are all connected in one way or another to a history student who was found tortured and murdered. While at first it's unclear how the characters are related to each other, eventually, everything ties together and I was racing to see what would happen next. This is really a book about a conspiracy, with a very noir feel. Unlike most novels set during this time, there's no fighting and no concentration camps. Instead, Sweden is trying to remain neutral and balance the needs of its citizens with the demands of the outside world. This book does not tie up every loose end, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I was also a little disappointed to realize that the book is based on more of an idea that existed than on actual events that happened (just because I expect the broad strokes in historical fiction to be true, not because I wanted any of these things to have really happened). 4.5. stars, rounded up. Thank you to Harper Perennial for a copy of this book!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cori

    A great historical fiction book that felt like a thriller (in a great way). After a college student is killed for sending her thesis to a secretary of the Minister of Foreign affairs in Sweden, I didn't know who to trust. I had my suspicions with a few other characters and I didn't predict how the story unfolded and yet I enjoyed the ride it took me on. I also liked the dual stories of what was happening in Stockholm and what was tragically happening in Blackensen Mountain as well. Just as the mo A great historical fiction book that felt like a thriller (in a great way). After a college student is killed for sending her thesis to a secretary of the Minister of Foreign affairs in Sweden, I didn't know who to trust. I had my suspicions with a few other characters and I didn't predict how the story unfolded and yet I enjoyed the ride it took me on. I also liked the dual stories of what was happening in Stockholm and what was tragically happening in Blackensen Mountain as well. Just as the momentum in one timeline built up we jumped to another place to build more. Reading about Sweden's neutrality in WWII was new to me and I liked the different location of this book. I also liked learning about a smaller indigenous population (the Sami people) that I hadn't read about before in a Historical Fiction book. Thank you to HaperPerennial for a copy of this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Watson

    It’s crazy to think of the things that people do to others simply because they think they’re superior. The Historians tells of such events. I liked the way the author told the story from different perspectives. I had an idea of who one of “the bad guys” was from early on, but was surprised by the revealing of another. The reason for the 14A rating is the multiple uses of the f-word, along with other mild profanity, along with some graphic violence.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Charisma D

    Technically, this book gets 3.5 stars from me. While I normally don’t read historical fiction, this was a great book! The ultimate reason for the rating of 3.5 stars is for the following below: - Their are 4 POV in different chapters, which surprisingly went in order everytime which made it easy to follow but within one of the POV it was about 4 different characters we would follow which ultimately made it confusing for me until we got towards the last 100 pages. - Laura praised her friend Britta, Technically, this book gets 3.5 stars from me. While I normally don’t read historical fiction, this was a great book! The ultimate reason for the rating of 3.5 stars is for the following below: - Their are 4 POV in different chapters, which surprisingly went in order everytime which made it easy to follow but within one of the POV it was about 4 different characters we would follow which ultimately made it confusing for me until we got towards the last 100 pages. - Laura praised her friend Britta, but their was no back story behind the praise so it made it questionable. - Their was barely any back story behind Laura and her group of friends.. for example, why there fall out, what made them that elite group, etc etc. - A lot of the characters had pieces of other people like Jens girlfriend, or Lauras dad and they were confusing because of course, backstory. Lol - The way she ended the book was as if she is going to make a second book... I hate that but I hope she does, lol. - The book in the beginning is confusing and slow, but if you stick through it, it is well worth it. Other than that, I truly enjoyed the book. I was fully engaged, I had a sense of who one of the villains was but did not see the second villain is. The writing was amazing and the history behind it was very interesting. Thank you Harper Perrenial for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sherrie74

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I am surprised more people haven't read this or given reviews .... this book was a serious mind-blowing experience. Sweden ... who knew? With all the books on WWII I have been reading I am getting more interested in what happened in other countries in Europe before, during or after the war besides France and UK. This book came up in " Other books you may be interested in". Who knew Sweden was one of the first countries to be involved in the racial profiling of other nationalities and only wanting I am surprised more people haven't read this or given reviews .... this book was a serious mind-blowing experience. Sweden ... who knew? With all the books on WWII I have been reading I am getting more interested in what happened in other countries in Europe before, during or after the war besides France and UK. This book came up in " Other books you may be interested in". Who knew Sweden was one of the first countries to be involved in the racial profiling of other nationalities and only wanting "pure" bloodlines in their country to the effect of forced sterilization of those that were not. FACT: This went on until the 1970's ... WTF?? Okay .. yes this is in fact what this is about .... some of the characters are real you will find out who in th Authors Notes at back. Storyline involves 3 people, all living separate lives until a murder of a close friend of one of them takes place. This starts a ball rolling where no one is safe and all their lives are at risk. GREAT story and very enlightening. Makes you wonder what would have happened if Sweden had not stayed Neutral during the war and had actually sided with Germany. WOW

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    My Thoughts: I’ve gone back and forth on whether to give this book a good or very good rating. I’m not usually a half-star reviewer, but technically this book is 3 1/2 stars. What I love most about the story is the location. I’ve since bought 3 Scandinavian historical fiction books. These books are Gunnar’s Daughter by Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavrandsdatter by Sigrid Undset (3 books or volumes in this edition), and The Half-Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker. A 2nd reason I love this story is the tim My Thoughts: I’ve gone back and forth on whether to give this book a good or very good rating. I’m not usually a half-star reviewer, but technically this book is 3 1/2 stars. What I love most about the story is the location. I’ve since bought 3 Scandinavian historical fiction books. These books are Gunnar’s Daughter by Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavrandsdatter by Sigrid Undset (3 books or volumes in this edition), and The Half-Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker. A 2nd reason I love this story is the time period-World War II. A 3rd reason I love this story is it taught me about a period in history and a country I knew little about. What tipped the review to 3 and 1/2 stars is I feel it took too long to make it where the book came together in a form I enjoyed reading. A 2nd point is I don’t understand the heightened affection for Britta. Britta is characterized as beloved (several times) and even idolized by Laura. Is there a background story I missed? I also noticed the group of 5 friends had overlapping relationships where they became more than just friends. This is another background story that is not developed. The relationship between Laura and her father is complex. Their conflict and the themes going along with it could make an excellent standalone story. My last points made the story feel undeveloped and distracting. Source: I received a complimentary uncorrected eBook copy from NetGalley, I was not required to write a positive review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nelda Brangwin

    When I picked up this novel, I quickly realized it wasn’t your standard World War II novel. Taking place in Sweden, a country walking a tightrope with the Germans and fearful of having the Soviets as neighbors, I knew I would find it interesting. When a woman working on her master’s thesis is brutally murdered, those trying to figure out what happened find a secret Swedish program promoting Scandinavian racial purity. Characters including the Sami people who are most in danger from this program. When I picked up this novel, I quickly realized it wasn’t your standard World War II novel. Taking place in Sweden, a country walking a tightrope with the Germans and fearful of having the Soviets as neighbors, I knew I would find it interesting. When a woman working on her master’s thesis is brutally murdered, those trying to figure out what happened find a secret Swedish program promoting Scandinavian racial purity. Characters including the Sami people who are most in danger from this program. While the loose ends were not tied up by the end of the book, what I learned about Sami culture and Swedish history make up for it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mary Scanlon

    Sweden in 1943 was a very trying time as the country deemed itself neutral whereas those around it had chosen sides. Under the surface, there are those who believe some of Hitler's ideas such as racial supremacy. Those who believe in a pure bloodline will do anything to make it so - including kidnapping and murder. I desperately wanted to enjoy this book as it covers my favorite period in time and has comparisons to other amazing World War II historical fiction but I found the story slow and lack Sweden in 1943 was a very trying time as the country deemed itself neutral whereas those around it had chosen sides. Under the surface, there are those who believe some of Hitler's ideas such as racial supremacy. Those who believe in a pure bloodline will do anything to make it so - including kidnapping and murder. I desperately wanted to enjoy this book as it covers my favorite period in time and has comparisons to other amazing World War II historical fiction but I found the story slow and lacking. I hoped the story would pick up pace and excitement but sadly, it never did. There were moments of interest that reignited my hopes only to release them to a slower timeline. I found the premise to be interesting as it was a new area of historical fiction that could be very interesting.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lee

    Thanks to the publisher and to Swamp Fox Books for allowing me to read an ARC. I loved this book! It follows a group of university friends as Sweden tries to stay “neutral” during WWII. It was a fairly good mystery and a good historical fiction about the Scandinavian countries during this period. I loved how the author studied and described history, religion and the role of charismatic leaders during troubled times. A good reminder for all of us.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dolank

    This is the type of book that you don't realize how hooked you are until the last dozen or so chapters, by then, you can't stop, you need to know..... However, when I did finish, I was left lying awake, unable to stop thinking about it, unsatisfied. It's not that the ending was bad, I just wanted more from it. I guess, I am just greedy for a good story. 🤷🏻 This is the type of book that you don't realize how hooked you are until the last dozen or so chapters, by then, you can't stop, you need to know..... However, when I did finish, I was left lying awake, unable to stop thinking about it, unsatisfied. It's not that the ending was bad, I just wanted more from it. I guess, I am just greedy for a good story. 🤷🏻

  16. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I loved the Sweden setting of this WWII historical fiction. As I love WWII history my knowledge of the Scandinavian countries is a little lacking. The authors note in the beginning was super helpful with a quick lesson on what the countries were doing. This started out a little slow for me, but it is incredibly detailed and gives off the dark Nordic Noir style a little bit. But the details and in depth history are what make this book. If you're into a mystery WWII thriller I think you'd like this I loved the Sweden setting of this WWII historical fiction. As I love WWII history my knowledge of the Scandinavian countries is a little lacking. The authors note in the beginning was super helpful with a quick lesson on what the countries were doing. This started out a little slow for me, but it is incredibly detailed and gives off the dark Nordic Noir style a little bit. But the details and in depth history are what make this book. If you're into a mystery WWII thriller I think you'd like this.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    Not your typical WWII historical fiction - much darker, noir-ish/Scandinavian in tone (think Stieg Larsson). It moves a bit slowly but the mystery does build to a pretty good climax. More of a mystery/suspense book than the usual historical fiction/romance type WWII story that I generally enjoy best.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mallee Stanley

    This was a side of WWII that I had never read about before. See my full review on my readandwriteblog on wordpress

  19. 4 out of 5

    Audrey Lawrence

    Very intriguing and suspenseful account about happenings in Sweden during WWII. See full review at https://freshfiction.com/review.php?i... Very intriguing and suspenseful account about happenings in Sweden during WWII. See full review at https://freshfiction.com/review.php?i...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gillian Burles

    Wow. Loved this book. Subject matter was fascinating and she has a nice tight writing style. The mystery was logical and well laid out too. Worth your time

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    This was a very good read, I truly enjoyed it and certainly recommend for a very exciting read . Lots of suspense and scary at times . It is a must read .

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ataque Funtenna

    genial

  23. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

    I just received this book in the mail and as soon as I finished When by Victoria Laurie, I AM PICKING THIS UP!!! So grateful for being able to read it before it is released/published. I don't know really how or why I got it in the mail, did I enter a giveaway!!??!?! But either way it is totally up my ally and I cannot wait until I can read and review it! :) I just received this book in the mail and as soon as I finished When by Victoria Laurie, I AM PICKING THIS UP!!! So grateful for being able to read it before it is released/published. I don't know really how or why I got it in the mail, did I enter a giveaway!!??!?! But either way it is totally up my ally and I cannot wait until I can read and review it! :)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Craw

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  26. 4 out of 5

    Arlene Kuntz

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cyn_city

  28. 4 out of 5

    Barb

  29. 4 out of 5

    Connor

  30. 5 out of 5

    Books and tea

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