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Murder in the dark: The Eighth House, by Linda Segtnan, reviewed

Motherhood prompts Segtnan to research the cold case of Birgitta Sivander, a nine-year-old found murdered in a Swedish forest in 1948

20 April 2024

9:00 AM

20 April 2024

9:00 AM

The Eighth House: A Murder, a Mother, a Haunting Linda Segtnan, translated by Elizabeth Clark Wessel

Ithaka Press, pp.304, 20

It takes a Scandinavian mother to write like this: ‘Why murder a nine-year-old girl? She wasn’t raped. Rape is the only motive I know of for the murder of little girls, unless the killer is a close relative.’ Linda Segtnan’s The Eighth House benefits from this bluntness. Its author, a historical researcher based in Stockholm, was browsing through a newspaper archive in 2018 when a photograph of nine-year-old Birgitta Sivander caught her attention.

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Jim Lawley


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The girl lived in a village called Perstorp in southern Sweden until one...

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