Mari Jungstedt


"...another interesting novel from this excellent Swedish writer."


On the Swedish island of Gotland a once successful photographer, now debilitated by alcoholism, is found dead in his apartment. His recent winnings from the racetrack also have disappeared with the murderer and point at a possible motive.

Also on the island, the body of lonely teenager Fanny Jansson, is found murdered. Her dysfunctional home life yields little motive for the killings although there are rumours of a possible affair with an older man.

Gotland police chief, Anders Knutas, investigates both killings, although initially there appears little to connect the two cases. He is helped in his investigations by Johan Berg, a journalist from Stockholm. Johan spent the previous summer on Gotland and embarked on an affair with the married Emma Winarve. Despite attempts to finish their relationship for the sake of Emma's marriage, Johan eagerly embarks for Gotland to report on the murders and see Emma again...

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Following on from Jungstedt's last book, Unseen, this is another interesting novel from this excellent Swedish writer. The island of Gotland is little known outside Sweden, and the writer gives excellent descriptions about the way of life there in both the town and the countryside. Anders Knutas is a good solid detective and the glimpses into his domestic life are very interesting. The relationship between Johan and Emma, which was so integral to the previous book, I found more wearying in this novel. This could partly be a result of the narrative, where, towards the second part of the book, Emma makes a personal decision which readers might find it difficult to relate to. The detective element of the book is well written and I enjoyed discovering how the case was solved.

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