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The Hand That Trembles: A Mystery
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The Hand That Trembles: A Mystery (Ann Lindell Mystery #8)

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  640 ratings  ·  124 reviews
“Kjell Eriksson’s crime novels are among the very best.” Henning Mankell

A Swedish county commissioner walks out of a high-level meeting and disappears. Many years later, one of the town's natives is convinced that he's caught a glimpse of the missing man while traveling in Bangalore, India. When the rumors reach his hometown, a veteran police officerstumbles across a seem
ebook, 320 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Minotaur Books (first published 2007)
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Mary Gilligan-Nolan
My sister put me on to this book and as she has never let me down yet with recommendations, I got it from the library and gave it a go. I only discovered afterwards, that she had bought it, but had not actually read it. The books starts out in 1956, with the story of Sven-Arne, then a fourteen year old and tells of his relationship with his uncle, Ante. Then, it moves forward to 1993, where Sven-Arne is now a county Commissioner in his hometown and one night, in the middle of a meeting he is att ...more
Eriksson, Kjell. THE HAND THAT TREMBLES. (2011). **.
With books that are difficult to read or get into, I have what I term the 100-page sniff test, i.e., I read to 100 pages (or so) and decide whether or not to finish it. This one is the first to fail my new 50-page sniff test. I have never encountered a novel that had a beginning quite this bad. Maybe it was the translation. I don’t know since I don’t speak or read Swedish. Maybe it took the author 51 pages to get started. I’ll never know.
Look, Kjell Eriksson, I get it. You're Swedish. A lot of your names all sound sort of the same. I myself am marrying a Swede, so I recognize it can get confusing with all the Johans and Fredriks and Olofs running around.

But seriously?

Let's take a look at a brief excerpt from the first few pages of your book.

Page 3: "Sven-Arne's parents, Erik and Lisbeth, were there."

Page 4: "Clearly the trio of men, Erik, Emil, and Edvin, had been involved in a discussion."

Page 4: "For it could not be Eric's ge
The Hand that Trembles has so many trembling hands that it seems at first as if one is reading several very sad novels critiquing Swedish society. Here are a die-hard commie from the Spanish Civil War who is writing his memoirs, a local politician who without any apparent reason leaves Sweden for Bangalore, an unsolved murder, a small, stray female foot without a body, a hypersensitive woman artist who lives alone among a set of odd couples and lonely bachelors on a sparsely populated Northern p ...more
Nancy Oakes
The Hand That Trembles is really three stories woven into one. The first strand is the story of Sven-Arne Persson, a county commissioner who in the midst of a deep depression, takes a break in the middle of a meeting, and that's the last anyone sees of him. Some years later he is declared dead, but in reality, Sven-Arne has been in India, where he lives a very simple life tending plants in a botanical garden. Once a year he returns to the same restaurant in Bangalore, takes the same seat and pon ...more
Huge disappointment. As a Swedish crime fan I had high hopes. The book succeeds in creating the bleak, quiet and somehow small word of the north of Sweden. But the character of our heroine, Anna Lindell, is too wooden, the story is too disjointed and the case resolution too weak. The mystery just kind of ends, like a beach balloon slowly losing air. There is no dramatic conclusion, no real twist at the end, no blaze of glory. Anna doesn't solve the case as much as outlast it --which was kind of ...more
This wasn't a bad mystery, but it wasn't great, either. This is actually two (and a half) mysteries: the years-old murder of Nils Dufva, a woman's severed foot found on a remote beach, and the years-old disappearance of a politician, Sven-Arne Persson. The link is the detective squad, with Ann Lindell being the prominent tie.

Set in Uppsala, Sweden (and even remoter areas near the Sea of Aland) and - for a while - in Bangalore, India, these stories unfold rather slowly. The severed foot is our f
When Sven-Arne Persson—a leader in Uppsala, Sweden’s city politics—walked out of a council meeting and disappeared twelve years ago, people generally believed he had committed suicide even though no body was ever found. But twelve years later Jan Svensk, on a business trip to India from Uppsala, has no doubt whatsoever that the man he passed in the street and saw later at a restaurant is, indeed, the “the county commissioner who went up in smoke.” And, when Sven-Arne recognizes his former Uppsal ...more

A Swedish crime novel in translation with a strong character-driven focus and a VERY slow start. I will give this author another chance because I did eventually get rather engrossed in the crime novel/mystery aspects, especially of certain characters (especially, Sven-Arne and his uncle Ante), but I have several ferocious hesitations.

Kjell used a large number of quite unnecessary minor characters (with those sometimes unfamiliar Swedish names to confuse things even more.)

I was not sure who t
I've read and enjoyed several of Eriksson's previous books featuring Swedish detective Ann Lindell but, alas, this was my least favorite of the bunch. The problem for me was that Lindell doesn't appear into about a third of the way into the book; instead, we are treated to an extensive description and interior monologue of a Swedish expatriate living in Bangalore. Sven-Arne abruptly abandoned his life as a local politician in Sweden, resettling in an Indian as a landscaper/gardener. I felt that ...more
Somewhere someone must be planning a course to be titled "Murder in Scandinavia in the Early 21st Century." I believe I am inadvertently reading my way through the course list. I have learned that snow and cold play a large part in the lives of Norwegians, Finns, and Swedes, and that the long dark winter days cause them to go slightly crazy. Whether or not this insight is in fact true, it has become a basic premise of Scandinavian murder mysteries.

I have enjoyed my earlier ventures into this ge
Oct 04, 2011 Richard rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who needs depressed.
Recommended to Richard by: I read a review.
Look carefully at the book cover illustration. No, no, look very carefully. That tells you everything you need to know about this book except it is primarily driven by sex...who is celibate and hates it; who is having it; had it; wants more; or is taking matters into their own hand.
Despite that, this is a bleak novel that should have been a novella. Here is another book that goes on and on when it should have been long gone.

Everyone is suspected of murder except the two primary police; the villa
It made a change to read a (very) slow paced crime novel. This is a very sombre mix of four stories (including the lead character's own) which starts incredibly slowly and gradually speeds up to moderate pace. This is definitely not a gripping read but it held my interest, albeit a bit loosely at times.
The UK publication of Scandinavian crime novels seems to be a bit random; according to the Good Reads titles this is the eighth book in the Insp. Ann Liddell series, but the first to be published
Carole Tyrrell
This was my first introduction to Inspector Ann Lindell and is a Scandi-crime set in Sweden. I pick up a lot of crime books at charity sales which is often a great way to try new authors. I read this in one sitting as I just couldn’t put it down.
It begins in 1993 with a disappearance. Sven-Anne, an influential Swedish politician in Uppsala, walks out of a boring council meeting and simply vanishes. We follow his life afterwards on another continent and in another way of life until one day he’s r
Deborah Ideiosepius
A very readable crime novel which starts out in the past, introducing a major mystery which then serves as an axis for events and crimes in the present. The scenes are set using reminiscences and a solid, vivid, descriptive style which I suspect is very Swedish, (that’s going out on a limb, as I have not read that many Swedish books, but that is the feeling I get from it) in any case, whatever else it may be this style is very readable.

The main investigating character is inspector Ann Lindell an
I'm always torn on Eriksson's books - I read a lot of Scandinavian crime, and feel that he's one of the weaker popular writers in the genre. But, compulsively, I keep going back.

Some of the draw is Anne Lindell. The theme of loneliness is very strong in this book, and I wish more was moving forward with her. I keep hoping something will happen in future books. The actual mystery is kind of intriguing - it's solved rather neatly at the end, but you are kept guessing until that point.

There's a lot
The Hand that Trembles is the fourth in Eriksson’s Ann Lindell series, but I felt pretty comfortable reading it without having read the previous installments. There are multiple story lines in this crime novel - mainly the reappearance of a Swedish county commissioner in Bangalore, India, who was presumed dead and a mysterious severed foot found near the remote community of Bultudden. Ann Lindell is responsible for solving the case of the severed foot. Eriksson develops interesting characters an ...more
Melanie Coombes
So this book was not so great for me. It was just okay. It was the first book I have read in the series. It takes place mostly in Sweden and partially in India. It begins with a county commissioner just walking out on his life and disappearing into India. The more I read, the more I wanted to find out why a normal, upstanding citizen would feel the need to run away.
There is also another mystery. A severed foot turns up and Ann Lindell is assigned to the case. Then there is her colleague who is
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I received this book a Goodreads First Reads give away, but just got a chance to finish reading and recently and review until now.

This is my first Kjell Eriksson novel, and so probably could have benefitted from having read at least one of the others to get some background on his detective protagonist, Ann Lindell. Story-wise, I feel this can certainly stand alone.

This is a well-constructed detective story, starting off a bit disjointed as several different characters were introduced and motivat

THE HAND THAT TREMBLES is three stories that merge into one statement about society and the ties that hold people to a communal past as well as a personal one.

Sven-Arne Persson is a married man, a county commissioner, an active member of the Socialist party. One day, he leaves a high level meeting and disappears. Twelve years later, he is recognized by another Swede who sees him in the streets of Bangalore, India.

Detective Ann Lindell is given the responsibility of investigating the circumstance
I received this book via Goodreads Giveaways (First Reads - free). I was not familiar with the author or any prior writing, but the short description seemed to catch my interest. I slowly made my way through this book. The writing is good, the parallel stories intersect with some surprise; it is anticipated, but one is not quite sure how. The characters are so artfully portrayed that you can almost feel what they are feeling; quite a gift for an author to be able to articulate feelings so clearl ...more
I had a hard time with this one. It was interesting enough when I was reading it, but as soon as I put it down, I found myself never picking it back up. In fact, I started it nearly a year ago (I remember reading it during the weird hurricane we got in CT right after I moved here), and only just finished it now because I realized I needed to review it for LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program (which is where I got it from) and it's been ages since I started it, and it felt wrong to leave it unf ...more
This book was somewhat different from the mysteries I normally read in that the mystery itself was not totally obvious. There seemed to be several plots, with two of the characters at least peripheral to two of the plots. However, the characters were interesting and generally likable, and the plot(s) flowed smoothly and began to intertwine. I found the ending(s) satisfying and surprising. I intend to read more books by this author. It fit well within the Nordic Noir genre ...
A severed foot, a missing county commissioner, and a cold case murder are all on Detective Ann Lindell's mind. While she concentrates on the severed foot case the other cases seem to start solving themselves. Can they possibly be connected? Work is not the only thing on her mind as she starts to discover the personal mysteries raging in her own psyche.
With so much going on in this novel; I can't say much without giving spoilers.
This is the first of the series that I have read and I cannot wait
Andy Plonka
This one is a little more uplifting and less gloom and doom for Sacandinavian mysteries. It is basically two stories loosely related through detective Ann Lindell. The first involves the socio-political angle so beloved of Swedish writers. In this part a county commissioner leaves a meeting never to be seen again or at least for many years. Eventually a childhood friend thinks he sees him in India which causes all kinds of repercussions among his family and friends in Sweden. The other tale invo ...more
Having read a few of this authors Books I had to read another. You see I remember the first Kjell book I read and it has one of the finest scenes I have ever read in a crime novel. The beautiful and sensitive depiction of that particular moment in the lives of these characters has had me reread it over and over. Seeing the reviews of the story surprised me so I opened the first page hoping it wasn't as bad as some said. You know I was soon swept up in the book. Yes it doesn't move along at the u ...more
Another strange, weird, and disappointing mystery from Scandinavia. I'd read the other mysteries by Eriksson and enjoyed Detective Ann Lindell, a single mother and not your typical police detective. She is in this one but not enough as the author has two parallel plot lines going and you wonder and even hope they will converge into something that can reward you for your effort in ploughing through this weird book. I still can't figure out the title as what started Ann Lindell's investigation was ...more
Debbie Canfield
I liked the parts with Lindell and the investigation into the foot, but was bogged down by the parts with Sven-Arne. I even skipped over the narrative right before he returned to Sweden. It was just dragging for me. This is the second book in the Lindell series I've read (not all are in English yet) and I loved the Princess of Burundi, but this one fell a bit short on the long narrative parts.
Came across this by accident when I ran out of books and had to borrow one from my son. Another dark Swedish mystery, with two separate storylines, one concerning a murder and the other a local politician who disappeared twelve years earlier. Ann Lindell, cop, is involved with both. This author is new to me, but I will certainly look for some others in this series.
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Karl Stig Kjell Eriksson is a Swedish crime-writer, author of the novels The Princess of Burundi and The Cruel Stars of the Night, the former of which was awarded the Swedish Crime Writers' Academy Best Swedish Crime Novel Award in 2002. They have both recently been translated into English by Ebba Segerberg.

* Ann Lindell Mystery
More about Kjell Eriksson...

Other Books in the Series

Ann Lindell Mystery (10 books)
  • Den upplysta stigen
  • Jorden må rämna
  • Il giardino di pietra
  • The Princess of Burundi (Ann Lindell, #4)
  • Nachtschwalbe
  • The Cruel Stars of the Night (Ann Lindell, #6)
  • The Demon of Dakar (Ann Lindell, #7)
  • Black Lies, Red Blood (Ann Lindell Mystery #9)
  • Öppen grav
The Princess of Burundi (Ann Lindell, #4) The Cruel Stars of the Night (Ann Lindell, #6) The Demon of Dakar (Ann Lindell, #7) Black Lies, Red Blood (Ann Lindell Mystery #9) Kjell

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