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The Demon of Dakar: A Mystery (Ann Lindell Mysteries) Hardcover – April 29, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Ann Lindell Mysteries (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312366698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312366698
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,576,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Swedish author Eriksson's masterful ensemble procedural, the third available in the U.S. after The Cruel Stars of the Night (2007), immerses the reader in the ordinary and extraordinary lives of detective Ann Lindell and her colleagues of the Uppsala police force. The odd assemblage of characters who engage the interest of the police include a Mexican peasant, Manuel Alavez, who has traveled to Sweden to see his imprisoned brother; a restaurant owner, Slobodan Andersson, whose successful restaurants, Dakar and Alhambra, owe much to shady funds and his unusual partner, Armas; and a single mother, Eva Willman, for whom a waitressing job opens new vistas. After Armas is found dead of a knife wound, others get caught up in the turmoil caused by the crimes of a few. There are plenty of shades of gray in this tale told with wry humor, compassion and a fine understanding that in life often things cannot be resolved either neatly or completely. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Unanimous Praise for Kjell Eriksson
 
"Kjell Eriksson's crime novels are among the very best."
- Henning Mankell
 
"Riveting...resembles the books of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, not to mention those of the modern master Henning Mankell."
- The Wall Street Journal on The Princess of Burundi
 
"Moving...Eriksson understands the pathology of suffering humanity and explores it with the utmost tenderness."
- The New York Times Book Review on The Cruel Stars of the Night
 
"Ingenious...a chillingly well-drawn psychotic...very satisfying."
- Los Angeles Times on The Princess of Burundi
 
"Terrific...subtly brilliant...compellingly suspenseful."
- San Francisco Chronicle on The Princess of Burundi
 
"Eriksson is a major talent, and his feel for ensemble narrative will have McBain devotees enthralled."
- Booklist on The Cruel Stars of the Night

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Customer Reviews

I normally do not like to quit a book but at one-third in I gave up.
Renee A.
In the beginning, each main character's story is written separately and the reader has no idea how all these stories connect.
Pamela Letterman
Moreover, the book suffers from a poor translation from Swedish to English.
Douglas S. Wood

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Alan A. Elsner VINE VOICE on October 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yet another police mystery from Sweden (what is it with these Swedes? They have one of the lowest murder rates in the world and one of the highest proportions of murder mysteries).
This one is set in the cathedral town of Uppsala. Its strength is the way the author reveals the workings of an entire police department. We get to know several of the detectives, not only at work but in their personal lives as well. The panorama of the book then is quite wide. We also get an interesting cross-section of the seamier side of Uppsala society -- the single mother trying to raise two teenage boys and hold down a job, the disaffected immigrant community and we also see a little bit of Uppsala's underworld focusing on the burgeoning problem of drugs in a place which had been largely immune to such problems.
The book runs into difficulties when the author also tries to get inside the head of his villain (I'm not giving anything away here -- it is revealed early in the book). This is a Mexican who has come to avenge the death of his brother killed in a drugs deal gone bad. Here, the book goes completely wacky. How can this poor former illegal immigrant to the United States buy a ticket to Sweden, rent a car, murder someone and then hang out in open sight for weeks on end? The motive for the killing -- a tattoo -- is also unrealistic.
The end of the book comes as a severe anti-climax. So yes, there is a lot that is good here but I would view it as a flawed effort.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Uppsala, Sweden Police Detective Ann Lindell works a difficult homicide case as she struggles to identify the victim found floating in a river. The corpse is eventually identified as Armas, a co-owner of the upscale restaurant Dakar. Ann visits the other partner, Slobodan Andersson who also owns Alhambra and has questionable financing connections and plenty of enemies.

However the suspect list remains long besides Slobodan and his adversaries. Ann considers recently hired waitress Eva Willman and her two teen boys, chef Johnny Kvarnheden, homeless Konrad Rosenberg and Mexican peasant Manuel Alavez seeking to free his incarcerated brother.

The fascination with this superior third Swedish police procedural (see THE CRUEL STARS OF THE NIGHT and THE PRINCESS OF BURUNDI) is the cast as perspective is told from various participants so that the same incident is seen differently and their political viewpoints especially anti Bush runs strong. The investigation led by Ann is wonderful to follow as she, like the readers, meet the restaurant's players who all have motive to kill the victim. A slight adjustment is needed to Swedish nomenclature as delineating the names of people and places require full concentration, but THE DEMON OF DAKAR is worth the time.

Harriet Klausner
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Douglas S. Wood on November 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The book jacket proclaims unanimous praise for Kjell Erickson, but I cannot join the chorus. 'The Demon of Dakar' is part-police procedural, part-psychological analysis, part social commentary and nearly always confusing and unconvincing.

A close friend and business associate of a restaurant owner turns up done to death. The reader knows who did it and thus can see the police try to connect the pieces. That the police struggle to do so and then look down seemingly logical, but wrong paths is one of the book's more interesting threads. Erickson introduces a veritable army of characters from within the police department, restaurants, the drug world, a prison escape, flight for the border, and so on and on.

Erickson's book contains enough characters, ideas for story lines, and themes to fill three books, but he tries to squeeze them all into one book. The result is unsatisfying confusion and half-told stories. And as another reviewer has pointed out, some of the stories are simply implausible. Moreover, the book suffers from a poor translation from Swedish to English. The translation uses clearly incorrect words in some places, stilted wording in others.

Smarter people than me have recommended Erickson's works, so you may want to take a look for yourself, but with all the excellent European crime writers (e.g. Andrea Camilleri, Leonard Sciascia, Sjowall and Wahloo, and Ian Rankin) out there I cannot recommend 'The Demon of Dakar'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Frank J. Konopka VINE VOICE on July 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is the third book in the Ann Lindell series of murders in Sweden, and it's a pretty good one. It has a convoluted plot, involving restaurants, drugs, Mexicans, and other assorted characters and things. Once again, Ann Lindell and her squad are called upon to solve the murder of a friend of the owner of several restaurants. The people who work in the restaurants are finely drawn, and quite believable. Also, so are Ann and her police colleagues.

My only problem with the book is that the plot meandered along, rather than getting to the pint most times. Perhaps this is acceptable in Swedish mysteries, where often the characters outshine the plot. I found it a bit tedious, and my mind tended to wander a lot while reading. Don't get me wrong; this is a well written and quite good book, and if you like Scandinavian writers, I think that you will enjoy this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anne Mills on December 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
An enjoyable Swedish police procedural, not perhaps the best of the lot -- leave that for Mankell -- but solid. The characters, both police and criminals, are convincing and well-rounded, and there is lots of detail about how this that and the other (drug dealing, Swedish police work, etc.) proceeds. Too bleak to be a "cosy" -- this is after all Scandi noir -- but a good book for a long rainy afternoon.
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