I have been really getting into crime novels in the past year and was perusing Wimbledon’s Waterstones when I found several copies of this on their ‘Waterstones Recommends’ shelves in the crime section and I thought ‘why not’ it was also double points and that always helps, plus the quotes and the blurb sounded really good. I have just realised I am prime marketing fodder, I take it all in and buy, buy, buy!
Mari Jungstedt is a name not known over here though in her homeland of Sweden (I so hope I have got that right) she is big news and extremely successful. Now her books are being translated and coming over to the British market. Currently we have ‘Unseen’ shortly ‘Unspoken’ will be following and then ‘The Inner Circle’. All feature Inspector Anders Knutas who, this being the first instalment, is introduced in this novel and is a straight forward ambitious detective. All novels also feature reporter Johan Berg who I found a much more complex interesting character and who falls in love with a possible future victim who is married, all this makes the book that much more real.
The setting is Gotland a picturesque island used in the summer as a very popular tourist resort. Jungstedt knows her territory very well as she actually has a summer house there so the pictures she sets are perfect and painted with precision. The body of a mutilated dog is found which leads to the discovery of the body, pretty soon there is a row of murders and Knutas realises that they may just have a serial killer on their hands.
Jungstedt is a good writer and this novel is very believable like a lot of authors she not only gets us into the mind of the killer she also creates victims with a background, I do feel that authors like Kate Atkinson and Susan Hill are at the top of the game for this and Jungstedt isn’t quite there yet. She lays on the gore, which I know some people aren’t fans of (I don’t mind a good bit of gore) but not to extremes. I do really look forward to eventually reading ‘Unspoken’ however it will be from the library not from the bookshop next time.