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Killer's Island Paperback – April 23, 2012

Book 1 of 2 in the Maria Wern Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review


"In the portrayal of the conflict between work and love, duty and pleasure, guilt and hope, Jansson exceeds the conditions of life without abandoning the people who succumb beneath them.”—Göteborgsposten, Swedish newspaper

"Probably the best book I’ve read by Anna Jansson, thrilling indeed."—Norra Västerbotten, Swedish newspaper

"As always, Anna Jansson delivers good crime novels, some in the series are better than the others and Killer’s Island is doubtless among the best."—Carola Lindström, Barnboksbloggen

"[Killer's Island] subsumes to the same genre as its forerunners: Disgusting violence, constant growing suspense, the focus on phenomena in the society and physcological explanations"—Dalarnas Tidning, Swedish newspaper

"I've been watching the Maria Wern TV series, produced by Swedish television and broadcasted in the US by MhZnetworks, and have been waiting anxiously for some of Anna Jansson's books (on which the series is based) to appear in English translation."—International Noir Fiction, blog
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Anna Jansson grew up immersed in storytelling. Everything she writes, from suspenseful crime novels to mythical children’s books and academic non-fiction, is infused with intensity. Since her debut in 2000, her novels have sold in two million copies in more than ten countries. Several titles have been turned into movies. Jansson first worked as nurse for many years and, when she began to write fictional crime stories, her inspiration came from the people she met at the hospital. In a genre full of sudden, wicked death, Jansson managed to interweave issues related to current and critical ethical problems related to life and death, turning her stories into relatable and thought provoking works of art. Jansson’s stories roll with the natural ebb and flow of a person’s life – she is a master of tempo changes, from descriptive passages to thrilling action sequences and the development of relationships between characters, building momentum as each book plot intensifies. Jansson is uniquely skilled at defining each character in her books, evidenced by the sagaciously drawn Maria Wern, a complex and flawed woman that readers have come to know and love. Besides writing crime novels, Anna Jansson holds lectures on ethical issues related to medical care and has published a number of academic books on health care topics. She also enjoys and has experienced much success writing books for children. In tandem with her incredibly successful career as a writer, Jansson continues to work part-time as a nurse at Örebro Hospital’s lung clinic. She has three children and lives in Vintrosa outside of Örebro, Sweden.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Stockholm Text (April 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9187173220
  • ISBN-13: 978-9187173226
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,663,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anna Jansson grew up immersed in storytelling on the island of Gotland. Everything she writes, from suspenseful crime novels to mythical children's books and academic non-fiction, is infused with intensity. Since her debut in 2000, her novels have sold in two million copies in more than ten countries. Several titles have been turned into movies.

Jansson first worked as nurse for many years and, when she began to write fictional crime stories, her inspiration came from the people she met at the hospital. In a genre full of sudden, wicked death, Jansson managed to interweave issues related to current and critical ethical problems related to life and death, turning her stories into relatable and thought provoking works of art.

Jansson's stories roll with the natural ebb and flow of a person's life--she is a master of tempo changes, from descriptive passages to thrilling action sequences and the development of relationships between characters, building momentum as each book plot intensifies. Jansson is uniquely skilled at defining each character in her books, evidenced by the sagaciously drawn Maria Wern, a complex and flawed woman that readers have come to know and love.

Besides writing crime novels, Anna Jansson holds lectures on ethical issues related to medical care and has published a number of academic books on health care topics. She also enjoys and has experienced much success writing books for children. In tandem with her incredibly successful career as a writer, Jansson continued for a long time to work part-time as a nurse at Örebro Hospital's lung clinic. She has six children and lives in Örebro, Sweden.

Customer Reviews

Well written, with compelling characters.
Dinah Malone
There are too many really good books to waste time on one that is just ok.
Dorothy Garrabrant
A good read, held of me through to the end.
Aliaanne

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By audrey TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There must be something remarkable in the Scandinavian water supply! Like many others, I began by reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and then moved on to other Scandinavian writers -- and I have enjoyed all of them, including this one from Anna Jansson about a Swedish detective, Maria Wern, who is investigating the macabre death of a nurse who was beheaded and then arranged in a public park to look like a bride. Several other incidents could be related -- the apparent suicide of the nurse's neighbor, the assault of a police officer and the murder of a young boy. But are they related? Only with time do the links become apparent, and the suspect is a shock.

I really enjoyed this novel. The characters were drawn so beautifully. Even the people we don't get to know are fleshed out and made so complex, so human, that we miss them when they're gone. Jansson brilliantly evokes the individual personalities and the consequences of violence, and the ending was surprising but plausible.

A great thriller written superbly. The next in the series is Strange Bird.

Note: The Kindle edition had a few typos but nothing horrible, and the maps rendered well.
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Format: Paperback
Jansson delivers a solid thriller based on a myth from the Swedish island of Gotland, the White Sea-Lady, a tale over 3,000 years old about a young woman who drowned on her wedding night, forever after luring men to a watery grave. Myth becomes reality in a tightly woven plot where a silent killer graphically disposes of a number of select individuals, a boy and a police officer set upon by thugs, an elderly hypochondriac hanged in a neighbor's flat and a quiet nurse savagely beheaded, her body rearranged as a ghastly bride with a wedding bouquet to be discovered by passersby. The material characters are carefully integrated into the fabric of the mystery, each a pivotal part of the unfolding nightmare, each experiencing the presence of death in human form.

We meet each victim prior to their deathly scenarios, begin to understand their aspirations and failed dreams, their daily struggles, the murderer closing in like an avenging angel, leaving Gotland detectives scrambling for answers before yet another unsuspecting victim is chosen. While the myth is romantic, the devastation to families and neighbors by the stealthy killer has all too human consequences, detectives finally making sense of disparate clues, but perhaps too late to avert another tragedy. The visual images are striking, the death tableau disturbing and the identity of the killer shocking. Jansson beautifully captures the emotional damage sustained by those living on Gotland, touched by the particular horror of a psychotic killer without conscience. Luan Gaines/2012.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amelia68 on December 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ever since Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy I have been exploring the genre of Scandinavian thrillers, and am always excited to read the works of a new (to me) author. This is the first of Anna Jansson's books I have read, and I was drawn in by the premise of an old Nordic legend being connected to modern day murders.

One of the main protagonists. policewoman Maria Wern, is attacked early in the novel when coming to the help of a young boy being viciously assaulted by a group of men. The boy later dies, and Maria is left with the trauma of her own injuries as well as not having been able to prevent the crime.

The story line fans out at this stage, introducing several new characters. Nurse Linn Bogren, who is soon murdered in cold blood, beheaded and displayed in a public park dressed as a bride. Harry Molin, her hypochondriac neighbour. Erika, Maria's colleague involved in the murder investigation, and Anders Ahlström, her love interest and a doctor at the local clinic, who saw all the murder victims shortly before their death. And then there is the old legend of the White Sea-Lady, which bears uncanny resemblance to the way the murder victim Linn Bogren has been displayed. As police are frantically trying to find the murderer before he claims any more lives, Erika herself may be becoming the focus of the ruthless killer.

Apparently this is the 11th book in the Maria Wern series, and in the beginning of the novel I did have the impression of arriving half-way through a movie - whilst this did not end up presenting a problem with the plot, being familiar with the characters may have helped understand some of the complicated relationships and motivations.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Tricia on June 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
If you like crime novels that constantly keep you on the edge of your seat, this book is for you. Dark and suspenseful, this book takes place on a small tourist island in Sweden and is a real page-turner with unexpected twists and turns. A very satisfying read.
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Dianne on December 30, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of international crime fiction - Jo Nesbo, Hakan Nesser, Karin Fossum, Peter James, Stuart Pawson, Graham Hurley - the list of really good authors goes on and on. After reading the reviews, I had hoped to have found another. Unfortunately, Anna Jansson, is not in their class, in my opinion. I feel as though the reviewers and I must have read a different book. I blame some of my displeasure on the translation. The sentences were choppy, odd cliches were used, punctuation and syntax was incorrect, even wrong words used (life assurance policy.) But the story line must be the author's herself. The red herrings along the way were clumsy and transparent. The ending was trite and predictable; certainly not waiting for. All the characters, including main, and I understand, continuing character, Maria, were wooden and not fleshed out at all. No one had any depth, and I didn't care about any of them. The love relationships seemed superficial and teenaged crush-like. Compared to other Scandinavian authors, the locale was not even interesting. I had no visual of Jansson's Gotland. I guess it's clear that I won't be seeking out any of the remaining twelve in this series, should they be translated. I do hope the author or publisher finds another translator, however, for everyone's sake. To add my own cliche, you get what you pay for. At $2.99, this wasn't even a bargain.
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