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Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End: The Story of a Crime (Fall of the Welfare State #1)

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  1,132 ratings  ·  156 reviews
A riveting new thriller by a writer universally acknowledged as Sweden's leading criminologist.

A young man falls to his death from a window in Stockholm. The police want to write it off as an accident, or possibly a suicide, but superintendent Lars Johansson feels otherwise. Soon it is revealed that the young man was an American journalist, working on a project about his u
Paperback, 560 pages
Published February 21st 2012 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published 2002)
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This novel inspires me to identify a new genre in mystery fiction: the police dysfunctional.

Given the current interest in Scandinavian mystery and my enthusiasm for the Beck series (Per Wahlöö and Maj Sjöwall), the Wallander novels by Henning Mankell, the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson, the Harry Hole books by Jo Nesbø, and books by Kjell Eriksson, the prospect of this book was irresistible. The cover blurbs looked great, the author has a bunch of cred, what's not to like?

Let me list seven:
Steig Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy has made quite an impact on the reading public, but many of the themes covered in those novels appeared first in this earlier award-winning thriller, published in Sweden in 2002 and only translated to English in 2010.
The sly, sarcastic tone of this story leads to a disquieting unease and eventually dread as Persson’s depiction of political corruption zeros in on an assassination. The story unfolds through the viewpoints of multiple characters, distinctly drawn.
For those of you who are looking for new sensational authors from Scandinavia: Leif Persson is a Swedish criminologist and novelist who was a professor in criminology at the Swedish National Police Board from 1992 to 2008. He is known for his crime fiction novels and for his regular appearances as an expert commentator on notable crime cases in television and newspapers in his native country of Sweden. Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End is one of his relatively recent works translated int ...more
Jim Coughenour
It was a rainy weekend in San Francisco, so I finally finished Persson's long, much-heralded ("one of the best Swedish novels of all time") crime novel – more out of a sense of duty rather than curiosity. Last month I'd tossed aside Paul Murray's Skippy Dies because virtually nothing had happened after 300 pages. So I persevered.

The opening is as dark & droll as any fan of Scandinavian mysteries could hope – a doggie out for its walk is bludgeoned by a shoe tumbling after a body tumbling out
Χρήστος Καψάλης
Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End είναι ο αγγλόφωνος τίτλος που αποδίδει καλύτερα τον αντίστοιχο σουηδικό. Πρόκειται για το πρώτο μέρος μιας αριστουργηματικής τριλογίας του Leif Persson που πραγματεύεται τη μετάβαση της πρότυπης σκανδιναβικής χώρας από την αθωότητα στην ενοχή.

Βρισκόμαστε στη Στοκχόλμη, το φθινόπωρο του 1985. Είναι το προοίμιο ενός ατέλειωτου χειμώνα που θα σαρώσει τη Σουηδία. Το Σοσιαλδημοκρατικό Κόμμα κυριαρχεί, η Σοβιετική υπερδύναμη μπαίνει για τα καλά στην περεστρόικ
switterbug (Betsey)
At the center of this Swedish espionage thriller is the death of an American journalist, John P. Krassner, circa 1988. Was it an accident, a suicide, or murder? The facts known at the opening is that first his body and then his boot falls from the 16th floor of a student dormitory. The boot struck and killed a Pomeranian named Charlie. Charlie's owner, Vindel, is trying to recount the seconds between the body and the boot falling from the window.

After this wry and arresting opening, the reader
I really wanted to rate Free Falling As If in a Dream, the final volume in the Story of a Crime Trilogy, to which I would give 4 stars, but could not find the English translation on Goodreads. The crime is the unsolved assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986. For some reason, I remember and have remained interested in this event, perhaps because it seemed impossible at the time that such a thing could happen in Sweden. Almost 30 years later and with the statute of limitations ...more
Before I read Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End I had been thinking of it as a book version of a Law and Order episode. It's the first of a planned trilogy of novels based on a true, unsolved crime, the 1986 assassination of Swedish prime minister Olaf Palme. The author, Leif GW Persson has been an adviser to the Swedish Ministry of Justice, is Sweden’s most renowned psychological profiler and is considered Sweden's foremost expert on crime. So maybe this was going to be the behind the h ...more
Rafal Jasinski
Znakomita powieść, nasuwająca nieodparte skojarzenie, że oto obcuje się z czymś, co mogłoby powstać z połączenia twórczość dość odległych od siebie pisarzy, jakimi są James Ellroy i Stieg Larsson. Zagadka tajemniczej śmierci pewnego dziennikarza jest tylko pretekstem do ukazania kulis politycznych salonów, oraz "gier" między wywiadem, służbami bezpieczeństwa i policją. Autor dość szybko odkrywa karty, natomiast największym smaczkiem jest to, że poszczególni bohaterowie nie wiedzą tego, co wie cz ...more
If your favorite part of Stieg Larsson's trilogy was the last book, The Girl who kicked the Hornet's Nest, the part where they go in to detail about the Swedish secret police and all the layers of secrecy and politics and intrigue, then you will love this book. That is the bulk of this book. I know more about the (fictionalized?) layers and history of the Swedish secret police, SePo, than I will ever know or want to know about the CIA or FBI. The plot is based on the real assassination of Olaf P ...more
As Leif G.W. Persson is a new author for me, I was interested to read the bio in this book:

"Leif Persson is the Grand Master of Scandinavian crime fiction. Over three decades, he has taken a scalpel to the political and social mores of Swedish society in dark, complex and satirical crime novels. His work melds the social realism of a Balzac or a Dickens with the hard-boiled street smarts of a James Ellroy."

Whatever that means..... More importantly, the blurb eventually goes on to note that he is
Steve P
I would probably give this 2 1/2 starts if I could, but I really struggled with this one. Just as I was starting to get my bearings among the large number of characters introduced early on, the author launched into a second, parallel story line with a whole new group of characters. And while I found the original police procedural story line enjoyable, I thought the second, which involved the Swedish Secret Police, a bit of a slog -- too many cryptic conversations and political maneuverings.

Jindriska Mendozová
Autor knihy, Leif GW Persson, je ve své zemi, tedy ve Švédsku, skutečnou celebritou. Policista, kterého ze sboru v sedmdesátých letech vyhodili, protože podněcoval novináře, aby pátraly po případech korupce, jak u policie, tak ve švédském soudnictví.
Po nuceném odchodu od policie se začal věnovat psaní. V devadesátých letech se ale ke své původní profesi alespoň částečně vrátil. Pracuje jako profesor Švédského národního policejního výboru, byl poradcem ministerstva spravedlnosti, pro různé tele
I bailed at page 70.
I think it must be a very poor translation.

The narrative just seems to wander endlessly.

The author takes forever to set the stage and we move back and forth between different policemen and their personalities. It is not easy to follow since the connections between the different characters (mostly cops) are hard to see and I found it hard to connect the dots.

As an aside, one gets the feeling that the Swedish police are not a happy lot. Those that aren't drinking, lying or corr

I do love Scandanavian police procedurals and after reading mixed reviews on Amazon decided to give this one a try... this book offers far more than I would have expected. The author follows multiple characters simultaneously, lending the reader a perspective into the bureaucracy and ineptitude of real world police work, as it truly functions, in any country. His characterizations are excellent. I enjoyed the complexity of the plot and writing as well.

This is the best book I have read in terms
It took me a while to get into this book - just trying to keep the names of all the cops straight was tough - there seemed to be dozens of characters introduced in the first few pages though little snippets of action. The point of view kept changing and you'd suddenly realize (if you were paying attention) that the lummox being derided in one section, was the same fellow you were with a couple of paragraphs previously. I began to wish it had one of those cast of characters lists you find in play ...more
Cynthia Sinsap
If I could give this half a star I would. I found myself racing through the pages trying to find the bits that made this "an award winning Swedish classic"-- "the greatest Swedish crime novel of all time" to quote the blurbs on the book. I've read most of the translated Swedish crime fiction and thoroughly enjoyed the books. Never have a read a book that drug on so badly as this one. I hated the characters-- male dominated abusive language about women-- maybe that was the way things were in the ...more
Just to be clear, I really wanted to like this book. As a fan of Stieg Larsson and a few other Swedish authors, this seemed as if it would be right up my alley. Oh, but how wrong I was. I made it through 105 pages before I finally gave up. The first 10 pages were promising, but after that I got bogged down in the sheer number of characters and the complete lack of interesting or seemingly pertinent action. The only reason I made it to page 105 was because I promised myself I would give it at lea ...more
This is a long book with a convoluted plot and many characters. It took me a while to work out how they related to each other, and also to work out when this is all supposed to be happening, which is never explicitly stated - I think because although the novel is ultimately about the assassination of the Swedish prime minister it is not in fact directly about the real life event of 1986. Perhaps I am wrong about that though! I did place it around that period in the end, but opinions seem to vary ...more
This book is likely a 4 star book, but my preference for it was a 2, so I split the difference with a 3. It's a translation from Swedish, and I think that part of the problem could be a large difference in cultures. A lot of time, characters weren't given a name, but were simply referred to by their job title. This book was supposedly the inspiration for the tv show "Backstrom," which is why I picked it up. I have NO idea how they at all connected this book to the show, other than there is a *si ...more
Pauline Evanosky
This was a complicated book filled with spy action. There were also a large number of despicable employees of both Swedish police departments and other levels of government. As jaded as we get I can almost start believing that the corruption was real. Our own CIA was also involved with the book, and again, I can believe. However, just to make things complicated you get all the self serving people with axes to grind who manage to muck up the system and those I have had personal experience with th ...more
Gary Letham
The first part of a trilogy set against the background of the assassination of the Swedish Prime Minister. Starts somewhat confusingly with many different story threads that gradually knit together to explore the growing dissatisfaction with the socially liberal status quo and the growing migrant influx. A seemingly innocuous suicide starts butterfly wings beating, scooping up right wing policemen, the CIA, the spectre of treachery at the highest levels and off the books secret police operations ...more
I finished this because I am stubborn. Like the little boy who digs though he pile of manure searching for the pony, I sloughed through this tiresome book.but there was no pony, not even a little Dala horse. Perhaps it is the translation, but the writing is wooden and repetitive, filled with throw away inner dialogues. The plot rambles towards a conclusion that I wasn't quite certain I was even eager for, only that the story would end.
The characters seem beyond dark, to down right unlikeable. Ap
This is almost certainly one of my least favorite books that I have ever read. If I hadn't been reading it for a class, I wouldn't even have made it halfway through. Nothing HAPPENS in this book. 85% of the way through, the main character admits that there isn't even enough evidence to open a preliminary investigation into the death. There are too many characters, and most of them are despicable. The only parts I was able to appreciate were the bits that echoed themes prevalent in Swedish crime ...more
H πρώτη ανάμνηση ιστορικού γεγονότος που έχω είναι η δολοφονία του Ούλοφ Πάλμε. Μια εικόνα στις ειδήσεις των εννιά: το ματωμένο πεζοδρόμιο.
Η μυθοπλασία του Persson γύρω από αυτό το γεγονός είναι ένα περίεργο υβρίδιο αστυνομικού/κατασκοπευτικού μυθιστορήματος, με κοινωνικό/ πολιτικό σχολιασμό, κατάμαυρο χιούμορ και βραδυφλεγές φυτίλι. Μέσα σε ένα λαβύρινθο υπηρεσιών της αστυνομίας -στον οποίο χάνεσαι έτσι κι αλλιώς- και ένα σχεδόν ανεξάντλητο μωσαϊκό ανθρώπων και συμπεριφορών, ξετυλίγεται το κου
I guess I may be a bit shallow. I picked up Between Summer’s Longing and Winter’s End because I found the title really evocative. The novel itself was a lot less poetic; more like tense and baffling.

The story deals with the aftermath of a seemingly innocuous incident; a man falls from an apartment block to his death. Investigators quickly reach the conclusion that is it suicide, especially since he has left a note in his typewriter starting “I have lived my life caught between the longing of sum
This book was a hideous beast. I had heard good things about it from various websites, and as the tagline mentions 'Swedish classic' and I love Scandinavian novels, I was excited to finally find a copy in my local bookstore.

Where do I begin? The punctuation and grammar were off throughout about two-thirds of the novel, the names were confusingly similar, there were two different streams of story that only intertwined in the climax (based on a historical event) at about seven-eighths through...

Stephen Hayes
Over the last 10 years or so Scandinavian crime fiction has come to dominate the genre in the English-speaking world. Many of the books in the genre have a gloomy boozy divorced (or about to be) detective as protagonist. This one is different.

There is no protagonist. We are given glimpses into the lives and loves and hates of members of different branches of the Swedish police as they are touched in some way by the apparent suicide of an American journalist who fell from the 16th floor of a stu

The first novel in a trilogy that has become the defining account of the unsolved 1986 assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme - an event that still haunts the collective Swedish memory.

Beginning with the death of an unknown American citizen in Stockholm, Leif G.W. Persson slowly unravels the complex web of international espionage, greed, sheer incompetence, and work by a poorly constructed Swedish intelligence force that in this fiction leads to the murder of the p
La Stamberga dei Lettori
Gli scrittori svedesi di romanzi gialli sono in costante aumento, ma la quantità non è sinonimo di qualità. La Svezia ha in ogni caso una valida tradizione nel campo del romanzo poliziesco: i primi autori ad essere pubblicati in Italia furono, all'inizio degli anni Sessanta, i coniugi Maj Sjowall e Per Wahloo. Essi crearono il personaggio del commissario Martin Beck della polizia di Stoccolma e dai loro libri vennero tratti alcuni film -il più famoso fu quello che ebbe come interprete Walter Mat ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 79 80 next »
  • Frozen Moment (Christian Tell, #1)
  • Unseen (Anders Knutas, #1)
  • The Inspector and Silence (Inspector Van Veeteren #5)
  • Sun and Shadow (Inspector Winter, #3)
  • The Vault (Grens & Sundkvist #2)
  • The Demon of Dakar (Ann Lindell, #7)
  • What Never Happens
  • Studio sex (Annika Bengtzon, #1)
  • La lunga estate calda del commissario Charitos
  • Dregs (William Wisting #6)
  • Happy Birthday, Türke!
  • Outrage (Inspector Erlendur #9)
  • The Fourth Man
  • Broken
  • Midvinterblod
Leif Gustav Willy Persson is a Swedish criminologist and novelist. He was a professor in criminology at the Swedish National Police Board from 1992 to 2008.

He is known for his crime fiction novels and for his regular appearances as an expert commentator on notable crime cases in television and newspapers. Between 1999 and 2009 he participated as an expert commentator on the television show Efterl
More about Leif G.W. Persson...

Other Books in the Series

Fall of the Welfare State (3 books)
  • Another Time, Another Life (The Fall of the Welfare State, #2)
  • Faller fritt som i en dröm (Välfärdsstatens fall, #3)

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