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Another Time, Another Life: The Story of a Crime Hardcover – March 13, 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“A dark, politically charged thriller . . . Red herrings—perhaps better, Red Brigades Herrings—ensue, as Persson unfolds a carefully plotted story . . . A practiced, Larsson-worthy procedural.”
“Exceptional . . . Persson writes with a sure hand and sharp insight. His detectives are human, interesting, and fallible . . . Another winner from Persson. If anything, it’s even better than the first book. Fans of Scandinavian crime fiction will eat it up.”
Library Journal
“While the documentary-style narrative is a bit of a departure from what Scandinavian crime fans have come to expect, it works quite well here (better than in Between Summer’s Longing and Winter’s End). In fact, this may be just what fans of Jo Nesbo and Stieg Larsson are looking for.”
Booklist (starred review)

“An astonishing novel. Once again, Persson has written a masterpiece of a crime novel. Spectacular and thrilling, arrogant and titillating, entertaining and well written.”
“A whopper of a thriller.”
“A masterly political thriller that plays in a league of its own.”

About the Author

Leif GW Persson has chronicled the political and social development of modern Swedish society in his awardwinning novels for more than three decades. Persson has served as an adviser to the Swedish Ministry of Justice and is Sweden’s most renowned psychological profiler. He is a professor at Sweden’s National Police Board and is considered the country’s foremost expert on crime. He lives in Stockholm.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; Tra edition (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307377466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307377463
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,329,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the second book of Leif GW Persson to be translated and published in English. The first was "Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End". Each book is, in its way, at least as good as any crime/state secret type book written in years, and way better than all but a few. Much as I like the Larsson trilogy, Mankell, Nesser, Nesbo, etc. from Scandinavia, and Steinhaur, Flynn, Silva and others, these two books are as compelling, thoughtful, believable and well-told stories as the very early works of le Carre, McCarry, and WT Tyler. They are as good as it gets.

"Another Time, Another Life' takes place in Sweden between 1975 and 2000. It refers to two primary crimes -- very briefly, the bombing of the German Embassy in Stockholm, and subsequently a murder in 1989, one clearly political, the second not. It appears to be a primarily police procedural. The police officers, and other characters, are frequently flawed, interesting, and act and think in ways that reflect human nature to a very sharp degree. As the story progresses, events relating to the Berlin Wall's termination, the availability of Stasi files, and possible questionable activity of other security services, brings the Swedish state security police into the story in the year 2000, thus revisiting both crimes. As the security police themselves are all former policemen, with some common background, it flows and flows.

In truth, these books require a long article.
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Format: Hardcover
Some spoilers
This is a complex murder mystery set in Sweden over a 25 years period. In 1975 leftist radicals capture the German embassy in Stockholm and inadvertently blow up the embassy. Several of the radicals are killed and many are gravely injured. While the radicals are all German the police suspect that they had help from Swedes. A decade later a seemly unconnected murder of a civil servant is investigated by police officers Bo Jarnebring and Anna Holt. The investigation is headed up by an incompetent supervisor, Evert Bäckström and despite the best investigative efforts of the police the murder is unsolved and lumped into a series of homosexual sex crimes. Ten years later the murder case resurfaces and the investigation leads right into the prime minister's cabinet.

This is a very good mystery. It is translated from Swedish and has a clinical documentary style to it. I'm unsure if the author intended this style or it came from the translation but it works well for this story. The majority of the story deals with the murder investigation and the techniques used by the Swedish police. This section is very interesting and as good a police procedural as you'll read. The character development of the major characters is well done and the author gives them enough of a back-story to make you care about them. The section of the book that deals with the investigation of a potential government minister reads like an investigative journalist report. You can really imagine this stuff happening!

I'd highly recommend this book and look forward to more from this author.
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Format: Hardcover
Did not know this was the second of a trilogy. Very complex story set over a number of years. Lots of Swedish history and politics.
Very well done. A nice bit of humor too.Looking forward to reading more of his books.
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Format: Paperback
Stockholm, 1975: Six young people take the entire staff of the West German embassy hostage. The long siege ends with the deaths of two hostages and the wounding of several others. Jump to 1989: When a Swedish civil servant is murdered, the two leading detectives on the case find their investigation hastily shelved by a corrupt senior investigator. Ten years later: Lars Johansson, having just joined the Swedish Security Police, decides to tie up a few loose ends left behind by his predecessor: specifically, two files on Swedes who had allegedly collaborated on the 1975 takeover of the West German embassy, one of whom turned out to be the murder victim in 1989. Johansson reopens the investigation and follows the leads--right up to the doorstep of Sweden's newly minted minister of justice.
Well after a month's break from this author having oscillated between enjoyed/endured/enjoyed/endured for Between Summer's Longing And Winter's End, I saddled up on got back on the horse for another trip in Persson's company this time around. Thankfully it was somewhat shorted that our last stamina test at just under 480 pages long.
Persson again blends fact and fiction into his novel, reminding me of James Ellroy in regards to grabbing hold of a seismic event in recent Swedish history and constructing a fictional narrative around it.
We start with the occupation of the German Embassy in Stockholm which ends violently with an explosion after the deaths of a couple of the hostages. Several of Persson's recurring police characters are present at the events in 1975, mainly Jarnebring; best friend of Lars Martin Johannson.
We fast forward to 1989 where Jarnebring discovers the death of Kjell Eriksson after responding to an emergency call from a neighbour.
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