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Another Time, Another Life (Fall of the Welfare State #2)

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  651 Ratings  ·  89 Reviews
From the grand master of Scandinavian crime fiction—and one of the best crime writers of our time—a critically acclaimed novel bristling with dramatic intensity and wit, centered around the unsolved murder of Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986.

Stockholm, 1975: Six young people take the entire staff of the West German embassy hostage, demanding that the Baader-Meinhof member
Hardcover, 404 pages
Published by HarperCollins (first published 2003)
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Edward Lorn
Apr 07, 2016 Edward Lorn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of procedural crime fiction and salty licorice
Recommended to Edward by: Thomas Strömquist
This was a buddy read with the incomparable Thomas Strömquist. If you do not know Thomas, I suggest you get to know him. He's well-read and a genuinely good person, which are two characteristics rarely found in guys these days. I consider myself lucky to know him, and even luckier to call him my friend. He was gracious enough to buy me a physical copy of this book for our monthly buddy read. I know I've told him privately, but here's a another thank you, because he deserves to be acknowledged pu ...more
Thomas Strömquist
I'm very happy to be part of a great 2016 project, which is to buddy read a book a month with brilliant author and all around cool guy Edward Lorn. We're only in April, but what a ride this has already been! Books have ranged from highest high to..., let's say demanding patience none of us possessed. Life and it's complications has interfered some with our plans as well. But mostly it's been very rewarding and most of all barrels of laughs!

This time around, I thought I'd surprise him mightily w
Aug 31, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it. It's a solidly constructed and satisfying detective story, which takes place over 25 years. No high speed chases, no shoot'em ups, no daring do -- just good Sherlock Holmesian deduction. "Logical, my dear Detective Chief Inspector Holt," or something like that. Good brainwork and excellent intuition. The author actually engages in the almost forgotten art of storytelling. He has his protagonist reflect

On the subject of the imagination, thought Johansson, it's probably only when tha
Jan 13, 2013 Vilo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A murder mystery by a Swedish crime expert/profiler, this novel gives the feel of a real case with all the complexities, office, national and international politics and their effect on the investigation, and personalities involved. Might be too methodical and slow for some, but fascinating. I will definitely look for more Persson books.
Paul Pessolano
Mar 31, 2012 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Another Time, Another Life” by Leif G W Persson, published by Pantheon.

Category – Mystery/Thriller

This is a far reaching mystery that begins in 1975 when six young people storm the West German Embassy in Stockholm. It continues with a seemingly unrelated murder in 1989, and the conclusion in 2000.

The story is based on fact with the storming of the Embassy by the Baader-Meinhof Group and the unsolved assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme.

Persson brings the facts and the times to lif
Steven Z.
Feb 06, 2015 Steven Z. rated it really liked it
When I first read Leif G.W. Persson’s BETWEEN SUMMER LONGING AND WINTER’S END I was thoroughly impressed with his plot and character development. Now, having completed his second novel, ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER LIFE my respect for his ability to develop a complex story line that builds from the first few pages has been raised to another level. Persson brings back Lars Martin Johannson, now head of a special new operations division within the Swedish Security Police (SePo). He also develops other ch ...more
May 23, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn’t the sort of book I usually read, but something about it intrigued me. A crime story spanning twenty-five years. A mystery with much to say about society and politics. A story told in three acts. A book with strong roots in fact …

It’s the kind of book I would have bought for my father once upon a time.

The first act, the shortest of the three, opens in 1975. Six young people enter the West German Embassy in Stockholm, and a siege begins. I watched events unfold, as the police watched an
Oct 30, 2012 Robert rated it liked it
Another Time, Another Life by Leif GW Persson

This mystery/police procedural novel by Swedish writer Leif GW Persson is another example of how many things from Sweden--from Volvos to Ingmar Bergman to meatballs--can be very good. It lacks the striking characterizations of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but it’s a carefully constructed, historically plausible, cerebral account of how an unsolved murder ultimately brings down a rising Swedish politician, although there isn’t enough evidence to ac
Feb 28, 2011 Bartek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Kontakt z pierwszą częścią "trylogii policyjnej" mógł być nieco męczący: ilość wątków i bohaterów przyprawiała miejscami o zawrót głowy. "W innym czasie, w innym życiu" jest z pewnością pod tym względem lżejsza. Autor prezentuje nam trzy sprawy nie mające ze sobą pozornie związku - zamach na ambasadę RFN, niewyjaśnione zabójstwo urzędnika oraz prześwietlenie przeszłości kandydatki na stanowisko ministra.
To proza z bardzo precyzyjnie skonstruowaną fabułą: nawet przypadek, dzięki któremu wszystko
Jun 09, 2013 Col rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Stockholm, 1975: Six young people take the entire staff of the West German embassy hostage. The long siege ends with the deaths of two hostages and the wounding of several others. Jump to 1989: When a Swedish civil servant is murdered, the two leading detectives on the case find their investigation hastily shelved by a corrupt senior investigator. Ten years later: Lars Johansson, having just joined the Swedish Security Police, decides to tie up a few loose ends left behind by
Apr 13, 2015 Sophie rated it liked it
3 stars, barely. Not what I expected for a piece of crime fiction, and not in a good way. Sections of the book were needlessly complicated and left me utterly confused. I also like a crime novel to have a protagonist to hold the story together, and this didn't have one. Instead, we had about a dozen different viewpoints. This can work if you're George R.R. Martin, but not in Persson's case. I also disliked the way the author would have the characters say one thing out loud, and then immediately ...more
Desiree Zamorano
Sep 08, 2012 Desiree Zamorano rated it did not like it
Holy Smoke!
This book is for people who think character study is about shrugging, mugging, and
thinking about food. Taking place over 25 years, there is a tenuous through-line, connected to a bombing in the opening pages. Early on the reader recognizes who should be the focus of the investigation; unfortunately it takes the cops another decade. And that's how it felt reading the blasted thing. Superfluous details, perhaps pretending a pandering education to the reader. Hey, it's got lots of unpron
May 17, 2014 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strange but gripping, spans 1975-2000 and events in between. It's a bit confusing in that the characters appears in his other novels too, at different stage in their careers: if you've read any of his other works you will recognise them, but it's difficult trying to remember what happened to whom and when across several different novels not treating the subject chronologically. Some interesting ideas: if we change during our lives, how far are we really answerable for what we might have done in ...more
Gary Letham
May 21, 2015 Gary Letham rated it really liked it
The second of the "Story of a Crime" trilogy. Less complex than the first installment, but partly because we have met most of the players before. The book is set in 1975, 1989 and 2000, using the Red Army Faction's hostage siege in the West German Embassy in 1975, an unsolved murder in1989 and the reinvestigation of said murder with connections to the siege. Persson has the background in law enforcement to be convincing and knowledgeable to knot together a tight story thay never veers into thE i ...more
Persson’s follow-up to Between Summer’s Longing and Winter’s End mostly takes place after those events. Many of the same characters reappear, although most have moved on in both their careers and their social lives.

The book starts with the siege of the West German Embassy in Stockholm by the Red Army Faction in 1975. The Swedish authorities have always known that the terrorists must have had local help, but have never identified who was involved. After the collapse of the Berlin Wall, new inform
Apr 01, 2013 Stacia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a difficult book to review. I've read a lot of Nordic crime fiction and most of it translates well, but this particular book was a lot more difficult for someone from a different society/culture to absorb. The author is a well-known Swedish criminologist, and this book interweaves actual events (the occupation and bombing of the West German embassy in Stockholm, the murder of Olof Palme) with a fictional murder. It is the investigation of this murder that ties everything together.

The aut
Sara Townsend
Jan 13, 2013 Sara Townsend rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
1975: Six young people take the staff of the West German embassy hostage, demanding that the Baader-Meinhof members being held as prisoners in West Germany be released immediately. 1989: When a Swedish civil servant is murdered, the two leading detectives on the case, Anna Holt and Bo Jarnebring, find their investigation hastily shelved by an incompetent and corrupt senior investigator. 1999: Lars Johansson, having just joined the Swedish Security Police, decides to tie up a few loose ends left ...more
David Lowther
Jan 13, 2013 David Lowther rated it liked it
I found Another Time, Another Life a very tough read. The opening section takes place in 1975 and you know, when you swiftly move to 1989, you're in for the long haul.
I read and enjoyed a previous Persson novel, Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End. Both that story and Another Time, Another Life were an uneasy combination of detective and espionage fiction. The basic problem with this story is that there is far too much contextual detail, especially relating to the collapse of communism in
Feb 07, 2013 Jan rated it did not like it
Supplied by Random House for review

1975 – German radicals hold the West German embassy in Stockholm hostage, demanding the release of Baader-Meinhof members imprisoned in West Germany. The siege ends with the deaths of two hostage and capture of the terrorists.
1985 – a Swedish civil servant is murdered in mysterious circumstances. The two detectives investigating were hindered by a corrupt, incompetent senior officer.
1999 – the Swedish Security Police look into open case files, two on Swedes wh
Jerry Halberstadt
Jan 28, 2013 Jerry Halberstadt rated it it was amazing
Combining slapstick humor at the expense of lazy cops; international intrigue and espionage at the highest levels of government; and a dose of serious political commentary, the moral of Leif Persson's novel is simple. As Pogo said, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Persson is a psychological profiler and adviser to the Swedish Ministry of Justice, and therefore has had intimate knowledge of the kinds of high crimes and low comedy that he writes about. And there are pointers in the book to how
Eddie Byrne
Mar 29, 2013 Eddie Byrne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book takes us from the (factually real) bombing of the West German embassy in Stockholm in 1975 to a (fictional) murder investigation in 1989, and finally to a revisiting of that murder in 1999 when a link to the 1975 event suggests itself. The book, in making use of a real life event from 1975, and later documenting the establishment of the swedish secret security service in order to contextualise to some degree the fictional story, blends the real with the fictional in a way that serves t ...more
Apr 20, 2016 Nance rated it it was ok
I ploughed through this book hoping the "he thought, he thought, he thought, she thought, she thought....." would end at some point. But no it went on ad infinitum. Just my feeling about, it probably worked well for other readers. The homosexual bashing got to me too. And I couldn't understand why, after any one of the characters said something, the author wrote "he smiled, she smiled..." . Ah well, lots of smiling going on in Sweden I guess, lucky people.
Apr 07, 2014 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second in the trilogy, and a worthy effort. In this one a government statistician is murdered, and we learn more about the impact of the Fall of Communism on the fellow-traveler world. The author has his usual amusing asides and observations on politics. Detective Backstrom enters to muck up the investigation with his insistence on a gay serial killer, which only prompts other detectives to work harder to uncover the real solution. Finally, the novel ends with a scene that portends the subje ...more
Tony Nielsen
Mar 31, 2013 Tony Nielsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leif GW Persson is uniquely qualified to write a thriller like Another Time, Another Life, for he is Scandanavia's Foremsot criminologist. Along with that professional qualification though he has a writing style and plot making ability of the highest standard. The story focuses on two events, the storming of the West German Embassy in Stockholm in the mid '70's and a murder of an unpopular civil servant that occured in 1989. As it turns out the two events are intrinsically linked but it takes qu ...more
Sara Farooqi
Jan 05, 2015 Sara Farooqi rated it it was amazing
I liked learning more abt the life beyond the Berlin wall and the plot was very gripping. I preferred this book more to Linda, as in the Linda murder. I think there is a lot history/fiction that the author interwove well, together with almost academic like details on the crime scenes. However it could have been a bit more concise with less time spent on the comic relief plot from backstrom
Nov 02, 2014 Zoomball rated it really liked it
I listened to the audio version. It was well done. Good police procedural. A note about the audio. An added factor is that the names are pronounced as they should be, not how I would make them up in my hear. A warning on this one is that there are so many characters that it was hard to keep them all straight in this format.
Jul 18, 2014 Cathy rated it liked it
Unlike other Scandinavian authors there is no hopelessly, endless, gratuitous violence in this story. The story unfolds over 25 years which made it difficult for me to keep track of the characters but I was engaged and listened to the end even though the reveal happens before the final page. A good old fashioned detective story.
Feb 15, 2015 Cathy rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, 2015
This book was ideally suited for a narration and, though longish, was easily followed in audio. I lived with it in saga like fashion for quite a while and enjoyed it very much. Had I been reading it, I might have skimmed a lot, but the narration was excellent and carried the fairly detailed, slow moving story (perhaps I should say stories.) Basically a police procedural, it's historically based from the 1975 bombing of the West German embassy in Stockholm through the Olof Palme murder and a loca ...more
May 19, 2012 Melissa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is either poorly written, poorly translated or poorly edited. Either it just isn't very good. The story is weak and it's pretty easy to figure out "who done it". That makes slogging through even more tedious. I counted on one page six "he thought". That phrase was repeated so often I felt Mr. Persson was getting paid by the word. There were occasions were it was used in consecutive sentences. Someone please him a thesaurus. The other really annoying thing was the use of "I understand what y ...more
Mar 01, 2014 Erik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Are you looking for a whodunnit detective story then this book is not for you.
The story is played out over a 25-year period and the pace is slow.
I guess Perssons style of writing is an acquired taste, I read his 3 early books featuring some of the same characters and must say that this book is in my opinion much better.

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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)
  • Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End (The Fall of the Welfare State, #1)
  • Faller fritt som i en dröm (Välfärdsstatens fall, #3)

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