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The Crow Girl (Victoria Bergmans svaghet #1-3)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  3,658 Ratings  ·  633 Reviews
It starts with just one body – tortured, mummified and then discarded.

Its discovery reveals a nightmare world of hidden lives. Of lost identities, secret rituals and brutal exploitation, where nobody can be trusted.

This is the darkest, most complex case the police have ever seen.

This is the world of the Crow Girl.
Hardcover, 768 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by Knopf (first published 2010)
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Paromjit
This is an ideal read for Halloween although I have to add warnings that there is disturbing and distressing material with child abuse, paedophilia, torture, rape and murder that will be too much for many readers. It is a translated Swedish novel that comes in at nearly 800 pages, so be prepared for this long read. This is a serial killer thriller that begins with the discovery of a mummified boy in Stolkholm, closely followed by other bodies. Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg has a dif ...more
Susan
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first thing that strikes you about this book (assuming you buy this as a book and not on kindle of course) is how hefty it is at over 750 pages. The novel was written by Erik Axl Sund, which is actually the pen name used by Jerker Eriksson and Hakan Sundquist. This Swedish duo originally published this as an award winning trilogy: Crow Girl, first published in 2010, Hunger Fire in 2011 and Pythia’s Instructions in 2012. Now it has been translated into English and republished as a single volu ...more
Karl
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book “The Crow Girl” written by Erik Axl Sund a pseudonymously written book by a couple of guys who look more like some fans of the group The Cure, crossed with some Swedish Death Metal fans, is a difficult book to read because of all the depravity, deviant sex and violence contained within. Regardless of one’s resolve, this book will impact you beyond simple horror or shock.

The book primarily concerns three women, a female police detective, a psychologist, and a patient of that psychologist
...more
Doug Bradshaw
The Crow Girl is a long complicated story written by Swedish authors, set in both Denmark and Sweden. The primary characters both are strong and interesting females, a homicide detective and a psychologist who specializes in child abuse. The chapters are short and jump back and forth, sometimes into the past, as we ferret through bizarre killings of children and witness the behavior of pedophiles, corrupt officials and evil old men.

It's a psychological thriller revolving around child abuse, bot
...more
Janet
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't even remember how I came across this book I just remember that one look at the cover and I was drawn.

What can I say about The Crow Girl? That I read a 768 page hardback novel in two days finishing at 5 am, so reluctant I was to put it down. That it drew me in completely though it was a tale of darkness it could almost break the heart. Young boys are being found in a state of mummification and the case is given to Detective Superintendent Jeannette Kihlberg to work on. She meets psychothe
...more
Liz Barnsley
Whilst a fuller review will appear upon publication, I wanted to drop in my first thoughts about “The Crow Girl” now and absolutely encourage crime fans to read it when they can.

Translation by Neil Smith is superb, I cannot imagine that any nuance was missed this read beautifully all the way through.

The Crow Girl is a dark and violent tale, a psychological mish mash of brilliantly drawn characters following a deeply disturbing and hard hitting narrative that digs deep. It took me a few chapters
...more
Abby (Crime by the Book)
Jul 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It goes without saying, I consider this book a 5++++/5 read. An incredible, shocking, thoughtful story. Starting with a traditional police procedural structure, the story (in the English edition containing all 3 Victoria Bergman novels) moves seamlessly into parts 2 and 3: part 2 focusing on emotional trauma, and part 3 the catharsis. At its core, this is a story of human darkness and its root cause. Where does a cycle of violence start? Are abusers sometimes also the abused? Can redemption be f ...more
Emma
Feb 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I struggled all the way through this and if it hadn't been a review copy, I probably would have left it. 700ish pages are a lot to push through when you aren't that enthused.

The plot is complex, depraved, and inventive; it was, by far, the best part of the book. Yet the trilogy cried out for a good editor. If it had been tighter, it would have been truly thrilling. As it is, everything felt over-explained, filled with extraneous detail. It was just too long and too stilted.

Thanks to Erik Axl S
...more
Sean Smart
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very long dark book full of twists, murders, child abuse and torture. Not easy to read in places and quite complex in others, at least for me. Started well but lost me in places
aPriL does feral sometimes
'The Crow Girl' is a very dark fictional psychological drama and a Swedish police-procedural mystery about connected cases of extremely depraved child abuse, torture and murder. The novel was not written originally in English nor was it first published as a single 700-page book. In Sweden, 'The Crow Girl' was an award-winning trilogy. Plus, Eric Axl Sund, the supposed author, is actually a pseudonym. The real authors are Jerker Eriksson and Håkan Axlander Sundquist.

I wish I could give the novel
...more
Sumaiyya
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Utterly stunning.
This book was written SO well that over 750 pages did not feel like a task at all. The story is grotesque, dark, and shocking. Full review later!
Ashley Corbett
Jan 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
***Spoilers In Review***

I don't think there is a way to review this book without including spoilers. What a disappointing read. The first 300 pages were great - very interesting, a true murder mystery, gruesome, gory and gripping, but it all went downhill after that.

This novel didn't really make a lot of sense. It became very confusing, and there were so many different elements to it that I was frequently going back through chapters to compare characters that I'd forgotten or weren't explained
...more
Bruce Hatton
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: swedish-crime
My, this is a long book; almost 800 pages in small typeface. The Crow Girl is, in fact a compendium of three novels by two authors, Jerker Eriksson and Håkan Axlander Sundquist - the nom du clavier is obviously derived from an abbreviation of both names.
Unsurprisingly, there is a broad historical and geographical sweep to the novel and the usually short chapters jump back and forth in time between numerous locations. The discovery of mummified bodies in Stockholm leads back to horrific cases of
...more
Claire
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2017
The Crow Girl is an exceptionally well-plotted crime novel- one of the darkest I've read in a long time. Structurally, the novel is led by the police investigation into a series of murders and child sex crimes (this is not for the faint hearted). To compliment the complex plot, these writers have also crafted some deeply complex characters- the line between hero and villain is ever blurred and highly fluid throughout. At its heart, this is more than a procedural crime novel- it is a meditation o ...more
Mary
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
Dear Reader,

This has to be one of the must disturbing and horrendously gripping books that I've ever read!

While subjects like child abuse,pornography and mental illness are never easy to discuss, never mind read about,I found myself totally enraptured by the masterful storytelling and choice of beautifully scripted sentences that weaved a web of horror,pain,torture,revenge and for some characters,closure,if such is possible under these circumstances.

Tasked with discovering the perpetrator of a
...more
Amanda
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

This book is extremely disturbing. In fact, it might be the most disturbing book I've ever read. But it is also a very well crafted dark and twisty police procedural.

I'm not always a fan of trigger warnings but this book requires it. There is devastating sexual child abuse. There are disturbing images. It's one of those books that you feel changed when you finish it. I found it completely fascinating and am glad I read it despite the images I'll never get out of my head.
Vanessa
I requested this book from Harvill Secker in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to the publisher for sending me this copy.

The Crow Girl is one of those books, much like A Little Life, that I have mixed feelings about. I enjoyed the reading experience for the most part: it was definitely a page turner, and I never felt the urge to put the book down. I was interested in the characters, and wanted to know how to story would resolve. However, there were a lot of issues that I had with this b
...more
Valyssia Leigh
The most bizarre circumstance this Swedish writing duo could come up with to show their big bad was deranged was to make them gender queer.

Nicely done boys. I'll be skipping everything else you'll ever write.
Mahima
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am so emotionally drained. I don't have it in me to review this book.

Is it flawless? No.
Is it unlike anything I've ever read before? Yes.
Is it for everyone? No.
Would I still recommend it? Yes.


Disclaimer: If sexual abuse is a trigger for you, you might want to stay away from this book. Contains graphic descriptions of sexual violence against children including, but not limited to incest.
Portal in the Pages
May 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
The rant is coming. Soon I will drain the anger. Soon...
Rob Twinem
I am a big fan of Nordic/Scandi Noir, both in movies (The Killing, The Bridge) and in the written word. There is a certain style in the crime writing; very descriptive very character driven with a plot line always developed in an articulate and thoughtful way. I was therefore very excited when "The Crow Girl" recently reduced to £5 (kindle) became available to UK readers. I expected the same attention to detail and exciting storytelling that I have become used to in the writings of Henning Manke ...more
Sarah
4 stars

Huge thanks to Erik Axl Sund, Random House UK, Vintage Publishing and NetGalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review.

I started this at the beginning of February and got 14% through before my brain just gave up and got terribly confused so I decided to start it again, to reboot my brain and give it another go, this time it worked.

This book was originally released in Sweden as a trilogy and, obviously, the copy we have is the bind up, all 700+ pages of Swedish crime goodness!

It's
...more
Brenda Ayala
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: borrowed
I thought this would be one that would blow me away. It had all the makings for an awesome detective thriller—cold climates, gruesome murders, unreliable narrators, and plenty of red herrings to keep anyone occupied. The problem is that there was TOO much going on. Mutilated young boys, a giant pedophile ring, one person who’s positively delusional but apparently no one sees it, another one that is basically a phantom and not a person for all that anyone knows about that person, a hermaphrodite, ...more
Leah Bayer
3.5 stars

This is a dark, dark book. Before you consider reading it, I'd add heavy trigger warnings for child abuse, rape, and incest. If any of these are upsetting topics for you I'd definitely proceed with caution. While none of the violence is gratuitous and most of it happens either in memory or off-screen, a lot of the details are hard to get through even if you have a strong stomach. Though this does work against the book in some ways: by the time you get to the end and the final reveal of
...more
Jo Chambers
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gripping but brutal Scandi-crime. Very long - but I believe it was originally published as three books. Apart from the crime story, the book is a masterly exploration of the effects of child abuse on an adult survivor. This, for me, made up for the gruesome aspects.
Jody
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I first heard of this book at Book club, where the decision was made that at over 700 pages, it was probably not going to suit most of the members. I get excited when I hear a book is that long, because it means I can immerse myself into the story and have it last longer than the usual 3-4 days. The title sounded dark and cool, and with promises of the Larsson tone I was hooked. So I sat down with glee to start this novel.

It wasn't until about halfway through that I started feeling disappointed.
...more
Jessica Sullivan
At 768 pages, this Swedish crime thriller is quite the undertaking, but I'm happy to report that it reads very quickly.

Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg is tasked with investigating the gruesome murder of a young immigrant boy, and soon finds herself immersed in the most disturbing case of her career. There's a serial killer at large who appears to be involved in a secret cult of men and women running a decades-long child pornography and human trafficking operation.

During her investigat
...more
Pia
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a very difficult book to read, the themes of sexual abuse, children and incest are something that will give you the shivers. Add a component of mental disease and an unreliable narrator and you are set for a very dark book, even if it is a very good book.

On one side we have a police investigation looking into the deaths of very young boys, led by Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg; an explanation into the mind of the killer by psychologist Sophia Zetterlund; and a dive into the w
...more
Kelly Furniss
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is a hefty book at over 750 pages but it really is a good investment of your time.
You can not help but become immersed in this very dark world of abuse and violence which you are thrown in to straight from the beginning when a child's body is found.
The narrative switches often so you need keep focussed as you flick between characters and Countries.
The characterisation is well thought out and from the very beginning I was routing for Detective Kihlberg as she constantly tries to prove herse
...more
Andy Weston
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had been saving this for a while as its quite a big book and wanted a few long reads of it. The flight up to Scandinavia seemed appropriate.

Sund's book is a landmark in crime mystery writing, stronger I believe than Larsson's Dragon Tattoo. The subject matter of the crimes is hard reading at times and it is of great credit to the novel that it remains so readable, even in the most explicit scenes. In fact there is a touch of de Sade at several parts.

The novel is complex, as are the character
...more
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Play Book Tag: The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund - 4 stars 1 13 Sep 11, 2017 05:08PM  
Crow Girl discussion 5 38 Aug 12, 2017 02:22PM  
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Erik Axl Sund is the pen name of Swedish author duo Jerker Eriksson (b. 1974) and Håkan Axlander Sundquist (b. 1965). Håkan is a sound engineer, musician and artist. Jerker has been the producer of Håkan's electro punk band iloveyoubaby! and currently works as a librarian in a prison. Erik Axl Sund is the author of three novels so far: Crow Girl (2010), Hunger Fire (2011) and Pythia's Instructions ...more
More about Erik Axl Sund

Other books in the series

Victoria Bergmans svaghet (3 books)
  • Kråkflickan (Victoria Bergmans svaghet, #1)
  • Hungerelden (Victoria Bergmans svaghet, #2)
  • Pythians anvisningar (Victoria Bergmans svaghet, #3)

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