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Sun and Shadow: An Erik Winter Novel Paperback – April 25, 2006


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Sun and Shadow: An Erik Winter Novel + Never End: A Chief Inspector Erik Winter Novel (Chief Inspector Erik Winter Novels) + Frozen Tracks: A Chief Inspector Erik Winter Novel (Chief Inspector Erik Winter Novels)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (April 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143037188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143037187
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cars from Sweden are known for being dependable and safe, but like this American debut from a celebrated Scandinavian crime writer, their stolid lines don't necessarily spark excitement. Erik Winter, a jazz-loving, gourmet-cooking detective, is a blaze of color amid the drab postwar apartment blocks of Gothenburg, a city reeling from a macabre double murder. Winter, whose normally secure battlements are assaulted by family tragedy and the impending birth of his first child, sets out to follow the dark drops of gore blooming in the snow. The path leads in any number of interesting directions—through thickets of death metal enthusiasts and swingers, through winds of psychosexual trauma—but these subjects never pierce the book's colorless atmosphere. Excessive exposition slows down an already unhurried plot, which Americans fond of glib investigators on CSI and Hannibal Lecter's piercing irony will find insufficiently suspenseful. The villain is comparatively bland, and the translation often awkward: Winters takes a "softly softly approach" so that his witness doesn't get "chary." Add in an insistence on mundane details, such as the particulars of a simple bank transaction, and the results smother any flame of personality. All the blocks that built this gothic ice cathedral are cut straight, but assembled without the design of a compelling thriller.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Eric Winter, at 40, is Sweden's youngest chief inspector, but his brow is already starting to furrow in the manner of Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander. In this American debut of what promises to be a superior procedural series, a plethora of seemingly insoluble problems contribute to Winter's sense of growing discontent: his father is dying in Spain; his pregnant girlfriend is moving into his apartment; and a bloody double murder suggests a serial killer. As in the Wallander series, the focus here lands not only on the hero but also on his entire team, as Edwardson details the slow grind of the investigative process. The action, beginning in fall 1999 and extending into spring 2000, effectively uses the Y2K panic to heighten the sense of troubled waters approaching that grips Winter and those around him. The comparison to Mankell is obvious, but in many ways, this series harkens further back, to Sjowall and Wahloo's early Martin Beck novels, in which another youngish Swedish inspector was beginning to realize that sometimes a crime's solution solves nothing. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I thought it plodded and was somewhat boring.
Against the Wind
The ending is predictable and ends as a "whimper" leaving this reader very "non-plused".
ReadsALot
In the hands of this author, it was more like, "I'm glad he's OK!"
Cameron C. Stevens

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Jim Coughenour on November 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm rating this book 5 stars just to bring up the abysmal rating given by the only other reviewer so far; it deserves better. I'm an aficionado of Scandinavian detectives (see my manic list elsewhere). Edwardson's books are as enjoyable as any. "Never End" - the sequel to this book - is maybe richer, but "Sun and Shadow" serves as an excellent introduction to the icy world of Winter & company. The plot evolves in several dimensions and casts its own bleak spell. Connoisseurs of crime fiction won't want to miss it.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Angela on January 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am a very big fan of Scandinavian crime novels, being from Norway I guess that is a no-brainer.
While I have thoroughly enjoyed Mankells series, I was looking for something a bit more contemporary and edgier. I found it with Erik Winter. I think he breaths of fresh air into the genre. He's not an aging detective but a rising star in the force. He is smart and very complex, but also has a softer side when it comes to his family/personal life. Don't expect a Henning Mankell type novel. Both 'Erik Winter' books are very much worth reading and I recommend reading them in sequential order. I'm anxiously waiting for the third to come so I can pour me a glass of wine and have an evening with Mr. Winter.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Cory D. Slipman on April 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Ake Edwardson's "Sun and Shadow" is a worthy addition to the rapidly growing genre of Scandinavian crime dramas being translated for consumption for the English speaking market. Edwardson, however uses a slightly different formula. He devotes nearly one third of his novel developing both his characters, particularly protagonist, Detective Chief Inspector Erik Winter and his setting, Gothenberg, Sweden. He gives us brief glimpses at the heinous crime that will become Winter's focus.

Gothenberg is at the onset of both Christmas and the celebration of the new millenium when a brutal double murder with obvious sexual overtones is uncovered. Inspector Winter whose life is in flux owing to the anticipation of fatherhood, had recently been jetting back and forth to the Costa del Sol in Spain. His father lying on his deathbed had succumbed to his illnesses. With personal issues cluttering his mind, he now must focus on coordinating the investigation of this killing.

We soon learn through the ongoing inquest that the murder seems in some way related to couples who fulfill their sexual fantasies by wife swapping. Eyewitnesses around the crime scene report that a man in uniform was seen around the time of the murders. Could Winter possibly be searching for one of his own?

Edwardson leads us through his plot at a leisurely pace not revealing too much but concluding is a frenetic fashion as time is of the essence, as the murderer is poised to strike again.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Against the Wind on July 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I struggled through to read this book only to disappointed at the end. The writting is very disjointed hanging the scene and charecters after a couple of paragraphs. There were many events that happened in the story that added nothing to the story line. Murders that occur are vaguely described and the detectives seemes kind of dumb. For example, (SPOILER ALERT), it took them over half the book to realize that the couples were involved in swinging. It comes evedent early on due to the mulitple semen types disovered from varying periods that this would be the case. I thought it plodded and was somewhat boring. If you like Henkell,Nesbo don't bother with this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cameron C. Stevens on April 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
Another great Erik Winter case. I really like these mysteries, and the quality of them does not vary as much as other series. To me, every one of them knocks it out of the park. We start off with another tantalizing and vague episode, which usually ends up being from the viewpoint of the criminal or the victim. But, in this novel, more than most, these episodes jump around, and then start to include characters we know! Are these people presented significant to the building of characters and their lives, or the building of clues and suspense?

I normally just enjoy the narrative, if I can, but the tension was built so masterfully, that I kept turning back pages, or making little notes, and giggling with delight. I started to mistrust everyone, like I was on that same police force. So little was offered, not in a detrimental way, like the carrot before the mule, that you wanted to read it all in one sitting. I started to wonder if the culprit was indeed someone I knew in the books, or was it all a ruse?! And, despite my gushing, I still didn't realize the magnitude in which I was caught up in it all, until my suspicions of a person were revealed to only be a medical issue. When experiencing lesser mysteries, you would exclaim, "Gotcha" or "That threw me for a loop!" In the hands of this author, it was more like, "I'm glad he's OK!" You really care.

There is also more personal development of Erik, but this does not take away from the mystery. It's a great example of how one's personal life can help or hinder one's assessments of facts. Also evident is how the great cop qualities of paranoia, doubt and deception, can be detriments in one's personal life.

This was also another great translation, especially well-suited to Edwardson's spare style.
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