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The Hand That Trembles: A Mystery (Ann Lindell Mysteries) Hardcover – August 2, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for Kjell Eriksson

“The disappearance of a small-town politician masks dark secrets and triggers a series of further crimes… A challenging and rewarding mystery.”
--Kirkus Reviews

“Stunning, haunting…can chill you to the bone.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review on The Princess of Burundi

 “Riveting in tone and spirit. . . 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

 “A brilliant, haunting work of psychological obsession.”--The Globe and Mail on The Cruel Stars of the Night

 “Reminiscent of Ruth Rendell. As insightful and intelligent as it is engrossing.”--Library Journal on The Cruel Stars of the Night

 “Ingenious…Very satisfying.” --Los Angeles Times on The Princess of Burundi

About the Author

KJELL ERIKSSON is the author of the internationally acclaimed The Princess of Burundi, The Cruel Stars of the Night, and The Demon of Dakar. His series debut won Best First Novel 1999 by the Swedish Crime Academy, an accomplishment he later followed up by winning Best Swedish Crime Novel 2002 for The Princess of Burundi. The Hand That Trembles is his fourth novel in the series; he lives in Sweden.

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Product Details

  • Series: Ann Lindell Mysteries (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780312605056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312605056
  • ASIN: 0312605056
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,215,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Librarian VINE VOICE on August 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
When Sven-Arne Persson--a leader in Uppsala, Sweden's city politics--walked out of a council meeting and disappeared twelve years ago, people generally believed he had committed suicide even though no body was ever found. But twelve years later Jan Svensk, on a business trip to India from Uppsala, has no doubt whatsoever that the man he passed in the street and saw later at a restaurant is, indeed, "the county commissioner who went up in smoke." And, when Sven-Arne recognizes his former Uppsala neighbor, he knows that his simple, peaceful life as an illegal alien in India has ended. Meanwhile, back in Uppsala, Detective Ann Lindell announces to a hospitalized Detective Berglund, "A foot has washed ashore outside Öregrund." Just a foot in a boot--no body.

As the fourth title in the Ann Lindell series, Kjell Eriksson's "The Hand That Trembles" does not begin as a mystery. Rather, Eriksson begins his complex plot in 1956 by describing how as a boy Sven-Arne came to identify with his Uncle Ante, a man changed forever by his experience fighting the fascists in Spain. The narrative then jumps briefly to 1993, then 2005 with Sven-Arne living a laborer's life in Bangalore, India. When Detective Lindell enters the narrative, however, the past and present begin to coalesce into the familiar rhythms of the police procedural. Lindell, a single mother, reluctantly agrees to investigate the severed foot found in Öregrund, even though the location is painfully close to where her former lover still resides. The investigation leads her to the small, isolated community on Bultudden Point where three bachelors, each living alone, appear the most likely suspects.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn G. on August 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Now that I've read all 4 English translations of Eriksson's novels, I must say the last was a big disappointment. I was enthusiasticly looking forward to the Hand That Trembles since I loved the previous 3 novels. This one did not live up to the others. It appeared disjointed to me and the separate stories did not flow like in the previous novels. Ann Lindell was not as prominent a character as previously, and she appears to be losing some of her enthusiasm for the job. She was not as likeable in this story. Others took the center stage, and quite frankly, the other characters are not likeable at all. I didn't really care what happened to them since I had no emotional connection with them. Everything about this book fell short. I was sorely disappointed.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. Crowley VINE VOICE on August 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
THE HAND THAT TREMBLES is three stories that merge into one statement about society and the ties that hold people to a communal past as well as a personal one.

Sven-Arne Persson is a married man, a county commissioner, an active member of the Socialist party. One day, he leaves a high level meeting and disappears. Twelve years later, he is recognized by another Swede who sees him in the streets of Bangalore, India.

Detective Ann Lindell is given the responsibility of investigating the circumstances of a foot, in a sandal, that washed up on the beach.

Ann's superior, Berglund is recuperating from the successful removal of a brain tumor. He eagerly devotes his recuperation time to review all the evidence and interviews that were conducted when Nils Gottfied Dufva, an elderly man in a wheelchair, was found beaten to death in 1993. Berglund was a patrol constable at the time but he feels a responsibility to the victim in this cold case.

From these points, the story winds back and forth through decades and continents. Arne Persson, Sven-Arne's uncle, is a mighty force in his nephew's life and in the life of the community. Sven-Arne is a committed member of the Socialist party; Arne is red to the soul, a Communist who went to Spain to defeat the emerging Fascist government led by Francisco Franco. Arne is an old man but in full control of his intelligence and his memories. As his time on earth is drawing to a close, Arne is haunted by some of those moments.

As Ann Lindell tries to discover the identity of the woman who was dismembered, she finds herself interviewing the residents of a small community, the people who live on the "avenue" in the section of town called Bultudden.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In 1993 in Uppsala, Sweden, Commissioner Sven-Arne Persson leaves a council meeting, but never is seen in town again. The townsfolk assumed he killed himself though no corpse or note was seen. A dozen years later, an Uppsala resident Jan Svensk is in Bangalore, India is on a business trip when he sees Sven-Arne on the street and later in a restaurant. Sven-Arne likewise recognizes his Swedish neighbor and muses that his life as an illegal immigrant laborer is over.

At the same time in Uppsala, Detective Ann Lindell visits Detective Berglund in the hospital recovering from an operation to inform him a female foot inside a boot with no other body part has been found on the shore near Oregrund. Lindell investigates in an area overwhelming with single males including her ex lover. She also looks into a cold case homicide that Berglund failed to solve back in 1993.

The latest Detective Lindell Swedish police procedural (see The Princess of Barundi, The Cruel Stars of Night, and The Demon from Dakar) is an engaging complicated mystery that grips the audience on several levels with a need to know. First there is the question as to why a person left his power position to become an illegal laborer in a foreign land; second is his vanishing linked to the cold case homicide; and third the severed female foot belongs to who and the saw culprit is whom. Loaded with action and a strong cast, readers will enjoy this terrific mystery as Kjell Eriksson deftly ties everything together.

Harriet Klausner
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