Review | Monday 23 April 2012
Scandinavian crime books thrive on the needs of more equatorial readers to hear about carnage in the cold weather: bodies in frozen rivers, decapitated snowmen, and visually striking covers with blood splashed against icy white. What May’s crime book of the month reveals is that Scandinavian countries occasionally have summer too, and that higher temperatures don’t keep serial killers at bay.
Detective Malin Fors and the few remaining colleagues who aren’t at their holiday cottages are sweating it out in their Linköping office, at the base of a mountain searing with forest fires, almost wishing for a crime to distract them. Then a teenager is found in a park, naked and scrubbed clean, with no memory of what happened to her. The police are already grappling for any hold on the case when another girl is found, naked, scrubbed clean – and dead. So it begins: a killer is out there in the university town, and the fact that Malin’s 14-year-old daughter Tove is away from the killer – in Bali with her father – offers Malin little respite.
With the heat making everyone sluggish, including the police themselves, whose bodies and airconditioning are unprepared for the record-breaking heatwave, Malin has limited time and resources to chase all possible leads and find the killer before they strike any closer to home.
Fiona Hardy sells books and talks too much to customers at Readings Carlton, and puts together Dead Write for the Readings Monthly. She blogs haphazardly about movies and books (and sometimes music) and you can follow her on twitter - @readwatchtweet.