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Frozen Moment Paperback – July 1, 2010
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'I couldn't put it down... Add to this a depiction of the Swedish countryside which rivals Mankell at his best and you have a very atmospheric book. Camilla Ceder is definitely a writer to watch and I'm looking forward to the next Christian Tell book.' www.thebookbag.co.uk 'A rookie reporter, a world-weary police inspector, a body that has been executed then run over, and an unsolved mystery from the past lie at the heart of this intricate psychological puzzler.' WOMAN & HOME 'A good psychological crime novel that will appeal to fans of Wallander and Steig Larsson.' CHOICE 'well constructed and pacy, with plenty of twists and turns and a vividly evoked atmosphere.' BIG ISSUE 'Camilla Ceder is a Swedish writer whose first crime novel, Frozen Moment, takes on two of her country's greats. Her provincial detective Christian Tell is more sensitive than Henning Mankell's Wallender, while an extraordinary twist offers a women's take on Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander. Two men are killed by the same method - shot in the head and repeatedly run over by a car - and the murders lead Tell to an unsolved crime in the past. This is a terrific debut.' THE SUNDAY TIMES 'Is Jo Nesbo's new Norwegian detective Harry Hole, really fit to take up the lonely beat of the Nordic cop [Wallander], or does Inspector Christian Tell, the hero of Camilla Ceder's new book, make a better candidate?' THE GUARDIAN
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Top Customer Reviews
I've read a number of Scandinavian thrillers, and the things I love most are the complex, often melancholy but intelligent characters, the unusual narrative and chronological devices, and the compelling ambience. Camille Ceder succeeds in some of these areas better than others. Set in three time periods within a 14 year arc, disparate story lines eventually join up for a satisfying, tragic mystery.
The detectives are a team led by Inspector Christian Tell, a character with an interesting backstory but not a particularly clever mind. He is reticent and analytical, often thinking back about his relationships and actions, but not really a man who then acts on the insights he has. His colleagues are well drawn but not entirely interesting: the harried working mother, the immigrant, the old blowhard with some skill, and the newbie. Oh, and the boss about to retire.
Ceder's publicist does a disservice to the author when "Move over Wallander ..." is plastered on the cover. This is not Wallander. The writing is not so elegant, nor the charaters so nuanced. This is, however, a talented author who shows some promise. I enjoyed the book.
The next book in the series is Babylon. So Nesbo and Indridason needn't "move over".
My only complaint about blending the two professions is that I think it slows the pace down. I normally read a mystery in a day or two. This took me double that and it is because I kept putting it down. I usually put it down when we travelled back into the past to examine a set of characters who are life long users in Sweden of the social welfare system, mental hospitals and similar. There are roughly five characters in the book with this kind of nexus.
Then there is Inspector Tell who is trying to solve two homicides. He needs to interview a lot of these social welfare types so again we intersect quite a bit. When I used to work as a lawyer with social welfare in America, it was usually depressing work. It seems to be the same in Sweden. This is no surprise because separating children from their parents, putting people in mental hospitals, coming up with plans which they likely will not follow, etc., etc., is universal.
So am I going to read more of these if there are more? Probably not. But I cannot say it was a bad book. It was well written, well plotted with good characterization. However, I tend to read these books for escapism and there was very little of that to be found here.
The book's author studied psychotherapy and works in counseling and social work. If you yourself are interested in that field then you will probably grade it higher than I have.
Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
I must admit, it's perhaps because I am not so easily pleased anymore with most crime novels as there's just so much published in this genre and much of it seems to follow a similar formula. I have become a reader who craves not just the enjoyment a good plot brings but perhaps more so the pleasure I get from beautiful prose.
For me `Frozen Moments' lacks the beautiful language - almost poetic at times - that makes Mankell's `Wallander' crime series so special. Cedar's book felt to me that on the one hand there wasn't enough left out to engage my imagination, and on the other hand there was too much character and background description that didn't add to the plot and was fairly ordinary, without the magic of extraordinary prose.
If you haven't read many crime novels, you will like this one and I am sure it's a good first novel...but not quite like `Wallander'.
Author of 'Think Less Be More:Mental Detox for Everyone'