Johan Theorin

The Quarry

""...I am sure Theorin will become a leader of the new wave of Scandinavian crime fiction hitting our book stores..." "


Per Morner is living in his cottage inherited from an uncle on the Swedish island of Oland and preparing for his children to visit for their holidays. The cottage is in a beautiful position, next to an abandoned quarry where Per used to play as a child. His daughter is in hospital for tests for an unexplained illness. When his father, Jerry, calls him asking for help Per rushes to Jerry's studio in the mainland woods where he finds Jerry injured in a blazing building. Two more bodies are found in the building.

Jerry abandoned his family years ago to pursue a career in pornography. He retains the power to shock and embarrass Jerry's friends. At the heart of the mystery is Jerry and when he dies after a road accident Per is left to pursue the killer, particularly as he feels threatened. His neighbours on the island are an assorted bunch and their histories intertwine with that of Per and Jerry.

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There are beautiful and haunting descriptions of life on the island of Oland and Theorin conveys his own love of the life there very evocatively. The passing of the old way of life and the inevitable changes to the people is recorded in a gentle and loving way. Superimposed on that is the effect of long ago wrongs on the present; the sins of the fathers coming to haunt the lives of the sons (and daughters). The history is not idyllic. Violence has occurred on the island before and it returns again to strike at Per and his family. I loved the characters in this book. They are original yet completely recognisable. Gerlof is an admirable man, fighting the inevitable ravages of old age and Vendela is a woman emerging from dominance by others to become her own person - albeit with slightly odd views. Jerry is a sleazy old man who very easily infuriates and angers. 'The Quarry' is a cracking good story and with this new novel I am sure Theorin will become a leader of the new wave of Scandinavian crime fiction hitting our book stores around the globe.

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