Most helpful positive review
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
The body in the bin...
on May 14, 2013
A year or so ago, I was pretty much ready to give up on Nordic crime. Harry Hole was too drunken, Salander was too weird, and frankly the whole genre seemed too angst-ridden and downright miserable to be enjoyable...and I say that as someone hardened by years of dealing with drunks and screwed-up mavericks - all fictional, of course! At the time of my disillusionment, a fellow Amazon reviewer tried to get me to read Läckberg, promising that she was different. Finally, I've followed that advice - and I'm so glad I did! Patrik Hedström is that rare and precious creature - a sober, likeable, intelligent detective who works within the rules and has a happy home life. And in this story he proves that that can be considerably more interesting and much more enjoyable than reading yet one more description of binge-drinking, hangovers and cowboy policing.
When Patrik is called to the scene of a fatal car accident, it looks like a straightforward case of drunken driving. But the woman driver was teetotal and Patrik suspects that there may be more to the accident than meets the eye. Meantime the town has been invaded by a reality TV show starring a group of C-List celebs whose claim to fame is that they are willing to get outrageously drunk, party all night and have sex as often as they can, and all with the cameras rolling. This is problem enough, but when one of the celebs turns up dead in a bin, Patrik has two cases to deal with. So it's lucky there's a new member of the team - Hanna, an experienced and efficient officer has transferred to the district - especially since more deaths are on the way...
Well written, and well translated by Steven T Murray, this is an intriguing police procedural with a dark and complex plot and a satisfying conclusion. Although Patrik is the lead character, we get to know the members of his team too and their interactions add an extra layer of depth to the story. The picture Läckberg paints of contemporary Sweden is as misery-laden and angst-filled as the most ardent Nordic fan could desire, but is lightened by Patrik's family life as he and Erica prepare for their forthcoming wedding. Although there's clearly a running story in the background about Patrik and Erica's relationship, this book works well as a standalone for anyone who, like me, hasn't read the previous ones in the series - an omission I now intend to rectify. Recommended.
NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Open Road.