Mari Jungstedt’s debut novel starts brilliantly. A gathering of a group of friends, a falling out and soon one of them is dead. Simple, but perfectly executed.
Inspector Anders Knutas and his team then enter. He is, I am pleased to report, a gimmick free detective. A professional with a wife and family who just happens to be a policeman
At first it seems like a simple case, but soon another woman dies. It seems that a serial killer is at work. Media interest grows and the investigation steps up a gear.
Perspective shifts between police, reporters, witnesses, victims and their killer, something that works very well.
Mari Jungstedt creates a tense and very real atmosphere and her characterisations and her sense of place are wonderful.
But there are problems. The unravelling of the plot is a little too straightforward with no real twists and turns and the final denoument is rather too predictable and melodramatic.
But, that said, this is by no means a poor book, just one that doesn’t quite meet the high expectations created by the opening chapters.
And there’s certainly more than enough promise to make me want to pick up the next book in the series…
Translated by Tiina Nunnally