Just when you think they can't possibly add another wonderful author to the overflowing buffet of Scandinavian crime fi...moreI'd definitely give this a 4.5.
Just when you think they can't possibly add another wonderful author to the overflowing buffet of Scandinavian crime fiction, better plan on going back for seconds, or even thirds.
Responding to a house-cleaner's call, two people have been killed. The woman who resided there and an unidentifiable man, presumed to be her husband, recently returned from Japan. It's the story of how life can go wrong living in a small community, where growing up with outward appearances not matching the reality of a dysfunctional family life leads to heinous consequences. Maybe it's the isolation, or one man's seeming attempt to control everything around him, but it's up to detective Fredrik Broman to put the pieces together.
This is a novel filled with a lot of wonderful characters, both real and flawed, coping with a harsh landscape and even harsher peoples. The police aren't innocent of rushed speculations, missing pieces of evidence due to theories based on supposition, and it's comforting to see they don't get everything right all the time. Through many man hours and determination the pieces eventually fall into place as the investigation moves towards a close.
The only disappointment was learning that this is actually the fourth book in the series, first one printed in the States. Now I either need to begin studying a foreign language or wait patiently for the previous books to be translated.(less)
I stumbled my way through The Hypnotist, and possibly it was due to the translation, or just the meandering middle section, but the overall story seem...moreI stumbled my way through The Hypnotist, and possibly it was due to the translation, or just the meandering middle section, but the overall story seemed disjointed as if the authors attempted to splice two completely different stories together.
So why did I bother to pick up the next book in the series? Possibly because of the one word title, or possibly the bright orange cover (there's a trend of them this summer), or maybe I'm willing to give folks a second chance. In all honesty, it was the promise I would learn more about the lead investigator Joona Linna that intrigued me, that and my insatiable curiosity when the book jacket hinted at impossible suicides.
Whatever the two authors did this time out, they did right. I had a hard time putting the Nightmare down. From the opening sequence of events when Inspector Joona steps in with his steely, calm, resolve, convincing the powers above there is a lot more going on then what appears on the surface.
A drowning victim found in bed on a boat, but the body is dry. An apparent suicide by hanging in a closed room and no furniture nearby. These are the two seemingly unrelated cases that are presented to Joona at the beginning. Attention to detail, and a dogged approach to following his own instincts keeps the Inspector focused and moving forward.
There is quite a bit of jumping around in the storytelling, but it's like having a large box of puzzle pieces laid out. First you start with the straight-edged pieces and slowly work sections of like colors before the picture begins to resemble the cover artwork. The pieces all come together and there is plenty of action and thrills throughout to keep the reader flipping pages.
A few small drawbacks, tense would change unexpectedly leaving me with a slight feeling of jarring loss to the rhythm, and a few characters a little too over the top that didn't add a whole lot to the story.
Overall, they definitely hit my 'must read' list for the future with this installment, and I would recommend this book as the starting point to anyone wishing to begin the series. (less)
What do a dead bank robber, murderous bounty hunter, animal shelter, Los Muertos (motorcycle gang), and a morning talk show host have in common?
Feral...moreWhat do a dead bank robber, murderous bounty hunter, animal shelter, Los Muertos (motorcycle gang), and a morning talk show host have in common?
Feral hogs. A large population of the swine reside in Sheriff Dan Rhodes jurisdiction of Blacklin County, Texas.
Rhodes finds himself with a murder on his hands, after landing in the middle of a wild hog stampede following a high speed car chase. When a bounty hunter arrives indentifying the deceased as a wanted bank robber, Rhodes teams up with the recovery agent in the search for answers. The two men join a local group of hog hunters and Rhodes is left with fewer clues when another murder occurs.
To keep things complicated, there's a new, opinionated, morning show DJ berating and criticizing the Sheriff's Department, who teams up with a city commissioner in expounding on methods to curb the population of wild animals. Rhodes also comes under fire from a mother and son owned animal shelter.
Following his own advice, ask a lot of questions, the pieces begin to fall into place, but not before he gains a few more bumps and bruises.
I've enjoyed reading this series over the past few months, although I believe there's far too much murder in such a small community, Bill's infused warmth and a dry sense of humor with rich characters and a tenacious Sheriff who always gets his man. Rhodes is a lot more believable than his fictional counterpart. (less)
Alex McKnight and Police Chief Roy Maven, have never seen eye to eye, or agreed on anything other than their mutual dislike for each other. So, Alex i...moreAlex McKnight and Police Chief Roy Maven, have never seen eye to eye, or agreed on anything other than their mutual dislike for each other. So, Alex is taken aback when the Sheriff approaches him asking to help out an old partner from early State Trooper days.
It appears the man's son has committed suicide, hanging himself in a desolate location called Misery Bay, and the father is seeking some type of closure or answers as to why his son killed himself. When the father is discovered murdered, both Alex and Roy team up to chase down leads, and find themselves on the opposite side of FBI agents who claim there is no case.
The reader is treated to an increasingly complex weaving of characters and clues while Alex doggedly pursues the case. Foe becomes ally, and there are plenty of twists and turns to leave the audience wondering right up to the ending.
Steve has done a spectacular job showing how the smallest of decisions in one's past can be perceived differently, and even forgotten as life unfolds. On one hand we are treated to a well rehearsed thriller, executed flawlessly by a master storyteller, and on the other a sad tale of human fallacy and lost hope.
I'm hoping we see a lot more of Alex in the future. (less)