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Down for the Count

(Harry Kvist #2)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  25 reviews

'Holmén has created a brutal anti-hero quite unlike any seen in crime fiction before' Express

Harry Kvist walks out of the gates of Langholmen jail into the biting Stockholm winter of 1935. He has nothing to his name but a fiercely burning hope: that he can leave behind his old existence of gutter brawls, bruised fists and broken
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 15th 2017 by Pushkin Vertigo (first published September 1st 2016)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  100 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fr, ng, suspense
Darker and grittier.

'You can't get away from a promise', I remind myself. 'It's always honour and glory all the bloody way, but when you think about it, those are the only things the poor have.'

Harry Kvist just can't catch a break. It's enough to make you believe in curses. Yes, much of his problems are self-inflicted, but there's an undercurrent that keeps tugging him down. This time we see him pushed to the edges. Kvist is not a good man, but he has a code and compassion. As bad off as he
A true noir ....... dark, dirty and bruised

As always our Kvisten leads with his fists than sometimes follows with his brain. But like a pitbull when he locks jaws into a target he will not open them until the target is down.

A magnificent use of language to create such a noir, dirty, bruised Stockholm, I had such a feeling of pervasive foreboding whilst I was reading. Holmen's sure hand builds this up with each and every word. Sinister darkness all around and then the occasional rays of sunlight
A Swedish noir par excellence. Bravo.

Martin Holmén turned this finest piece of prose into a small work of art.

Stockholm, November, 1935.
After one and half year Harry Kvist is released from prison. He has something to look forward.
He is in love. He is full of hopes and...butterflies. His Doughboy whom he got to know in the jail has just one week left. Kvist has to wait exactly seven DAYS and then he'll wait for his lover outside the gates of Langholmen jail. To start a new life. With his Doughb
Emma Sea
Jun 11, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

I just put the release date in my planner
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Down for the Count is the second book in the Harry Kvist trilogy by Swedish author and teacher, Martin Holmen. It is flawlessly translated from Swedish by Henning Koch. It’s 1935, and the National Socialists are making their presence felt in Sweden. When Harry Kvist walks out of Langholmen after an 18-month sentence, he has plans. Life is going to turn around for him.

But metres from the prison’s gates, he learns that a good friend and neighbour has been murdered. Laundress Beda Johansson was ap
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
" Harry Kvist in a magnificent comeback "

This is one of those books that don't make me think of how much research the author has done to describe the 1930s well.
No- it feels like it was actually written back then. No out of place phrases, vivid descriptions of the setting and character traits. In some moments I even felt I could smell the streets and its inhabitants.
Martin Holmén and his translator Henning Koch have done a great job.

They say every cynic was once a disappointed idealist.
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nordic-noir
Harry Kvist... what can I say? This is 5 amazing stars for me. I loved 'Down for the count' even more than I loved the first book in this trilogy, 'Clinch' because I felt like I really got to know Harry more deeply, his grit, honour, conflict, heartache, loneliness, longing, determination and strength. I'm actually quite taken with him. I love it when an author can do that for me - give enough of a character that I can identify and connect with, without giving me everything and still letting me ...more
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, ebook
The second in the Harry Kvist series, DOWN FOR THE COUNT follows CLINCH, with the third book, SLUGGER, now available in Australia as well. Think deepest darkest dirtiest noir, of the hardest possible bitten variety, and this series fits the definition perfectly. Add longing for love, and a touching sense of loyalty as well. Harry Kvist is an unlikely hard man, although his initial description would seem to fit the bill. He's a boxer, a brawler, a heavy and a hard man. In DOWN FOR THE COUNT he's ...more
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, h

The second hard-hitting Harry Kvist thriller - fresh out of prison, Harry is determined to avenge a friend's murder, and expose a police cover-up protecting people in high places...

Harry Kvist walks out the gates of Langholmen jail into the biting Stockholm winter of 1935. He has nothing to his name but a fiercely burning hope: that he can leave behind his old existance of gutter brawls, bruised fists and broke bones.

But the city has other ideas. Nazis are spreading their poi
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-tysm
You can also find this review on my book blog.

This book is a second in a trilogy called the Harry Kvist Trilogy and what attracted me to this book is that it has a bisexual main character. I usually see a lot of straight main characters in mystery/thriller genres so this is what immediately intrigued me and made me request it. I haven’t read the first one in the trilogy called Clinch but that didn’t ruin my experience with it and I appreciate that because I had some concerns. It’s safe to sa
Martin Holmén
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
By far the best second novel I've ever written!
Stockholm noir. Andra delen om Harry "Kvisten" Kvist. Lite svartare och lite obehagligare än första delen. Ser fram emot 3:an!
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Det är otroligt att svenska förlag ger ut så mycket dynga när det finns böcker som den här som visar att man faktiskt kan skriva riktigt riktigt bra på svenska. Noir är egentligen inte min favoritgenre, men jag skulle läsa vad som helst om det är Martin Holmen som skrivit det!
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

16/20 - Un plaisir assez intense et violent dans ces retrouvailles avec Harry !
Alex Morra
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Harry Kvist is not a nice man. So you know. But he is complex. We meet him in the last hour of his eighteen-month imprisonment--one of many--with his lover, Doughboy, a youth who shares a cell with fleas and a wood louse. And with whom Kvist is in love.

Within a few hours, Kvist learns one of his good friends has died and it makes no sense. Over the next week, he gets to work, digging up the real, yet a highly improbable story. And each time he is about to do something unwise--or to recover from
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jag älskar den hårdföre Harry Kvist. Att få kliva in i hans värld, hans tankar och hans förmåga att se detaljer som målar upp en levande om än karg bild av Stockholm 1935.

Det är en brutal historia som berättas i meningar som glider fram som över sammet. Varje mening sitter som en smäck. Dialogen känns autentisk.

De sista 30 sidorna av boken är snudd på ett perfekt slut.

Gillade du del 1 måste du läsa denna, del 2.
Ross Cumming
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second in the proposed trilogy of Harry Kvist novels by Marten Holman and proves that the first novel 'Clinch' was not a flash in the pan. This novel is every bit as good, if not better than the first.
Harry has been released from prison after serving a sentence for intimidation and he has a week to get his life back in order before his prison lover is released. Harry returns to his old flat above Lundin's the undertakers, which Lundin has kept for him along with the amount Harry is
Elaine Aldred
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It’s winter 1935, Stockholm. Former boxer, Harry Kvist, leaves prison. All he wants to do is begin a new life with the lover he met in jail. But his past dogs him. It is a time seeing the rise of Nazi ideals, which is beginning to make life uncomfortable for many people, even in Sweden.
Before Kvist can leave Stockholm and his underworld life behind he must first find a killer. One who is linked to the very highest levels of society. Life it seems is not going to be far from easy for Kvist.
Dai Reading
I don't appear to have liked this book as much as the other reviewers on here. I can't fault the writing or the story but somehow I could not engage that much with it. When I won it as a 'giveaway' I became aware that it followed on from the author's earlier book 'The Clinch', and I made a note to get hold of this to read after I finished 'Down for the count'. However, whilst reading 'Down for the count' I became less bothered about wanting to read the earlier novel. I guess it was because Kvist ...more
Justin Sarginson
The sequel is wonderfully dark and morbid, with a plot that swirls and feints before concluding brilliantly. All the characters (new and old) are wonderfully realised and come together to make a fantastic story.
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, scandinavian
What's not to love? Gay, ex-boxer, hard-boiled detective story set in Stockholm in the 1930s. Though this is the middle book of a trilogy and the title sort of reminds you that middle books in trilogies often don't end well. Can't wait to read the next one to see how Kvist gets out of this mess.
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: murders
Further adventures of the super macho, super smart Harry wandering the streets and prisons of a wintry, grimy pre-war Stockholm.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
I am a Harry Kvist fan. He's a great noir protagonist-can't help but help people but nevertheless always disappointed by people and disappointing other people-with the added grit of being gay. And he reads an authentic gay man in such a closeted age in such a rundown Stockholm. The mystery is full of actual detecting and also full of stupid decisions-it's good.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Despite a lack of geographical knowledge, this is a thriller of some consequence.

An excon returns home to discover an old woman murdered and her son not only blamed but institutionalised. None of which makes any sense to Harry Kvist.

So harry, in need of employment, goes to work for the local undertaker whilst trying to solve the murder and open a cigar shop whilst awaiting the release of his lover from prison.

The story ebbs and flows - shadow-boxing - ducking and weaving as the boxer does, as Ha
Mar 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kvist on the ropes!

Didn't quite reach the heights of the first in the series but still an entertaining and enjoyable read. Kvist was definitely on the ropes, both physically and emotionally and it will be interesting to see if he can beat the count and come out fighting for the next round.
Jane Scadding
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Dan Regan
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Apr 17, 2018
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Basic information: Swedish writer, based in Stockholm. Born in 1974. Teaches History, Swedish and History of Culture and Ideas at an upper secondary school in Stockholm two days a week. Author of the Harry Kvist trilogy (Sweden) or the Stockholm trilogy (UK/USA) or the Metropol series (France).

The first installment CLINCH is set in 1932 when the economic depression hits Sweden. It has been describ

Other books in the series

Harry Kvist (3 books)
  • Clinch (Harry Kvist, #1)
  • Slugger (Harry Kvist #3)

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