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The Shadow Woman: A Chief Inspector Erik Winter Novel Paperback – September 28, 2010
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"An extremely accomplished cross between crime fiction and psychological thriller...on par with P. D. James."
-Helsingsborgs Dagblad (Sweden)
"Masterful...While +ke Edwardson possesses an undertone of humor, his work is full of darkness...With The Shadow Woman [he] establishes himself among the most exciting crime thriller writers in the country."
-Motala & Vadstena Tidning (Sweden)
"Erik Winter could be related to Elizabeth George's Sir Thomas Lynley, and the almost clinical descriptions might evoke pathologist Kay Scarpetta in Patricia Cornwell's books, while the social ambience could well be inspired by both P. D. James and Minette Walters."
"A dramatic crime chase in Gothenburg, intelligently and excitingly told."
-Der Spiegel (Germany)
"[Here is] the opportunity to discover a Swede well removed from the 'Swedish model' and enter into the world of +ke Edwardson. Try this voyage, and you will return to it."
Top Customer Reviews
Erik Winter, Chief Inspector of Gothenburg, must first figure out who she is - and this takes almost half the book. He knows from the autopsy report that she's had a child. Otherwise she seems to have no relatives, friends, contacts or occupation. Winter begins to think of her as the loneliest person in Sweden. He wonders what happened to her child.
This is very much a police procedural, with Winter pushing his team and the evidence lab to dig into every little detail. But he also has visionary flashes of intuition. I prefer the investigative nitty-gritty to the visions. But other readers might feel differently.
The mystery has its roots in the past. The flashbacks are a bit too artistic for me to follow easily. But Åke Edwardson is doing his best to blend crime writing with a literary style. A commendable ambition.
Chief Inspector Winter is thirty-seven in this book and going through changes. Normally he wears high-end designer suits, but the heat has reduced him to cut-off jeans. And lately he's listening to The Clash as well as Coltrane. His family is upset that he never calls, and his girlfriend wants a commitment. Winter's personal conflicts contrast nicely with his brilliance and dedication on the job.
Åke Edwardson is not a perfect writer, yet I find his books quite absorbing and recommend them to fans of Scandinavian noir. There are supposedly a dozen Erik Winter mysteries, and I look forward to reading more of them as they trickle through the translation process.
This is police procedural at its best. As with some crimes that take place, there are no immediate clues and it is only through the tenacious investigations by a determined homicide team who broaden their search to all directions, even grasping sometimes at the most fragile leads.
The author brings us into the world of Chief Inspector Erik Winter. Even with the identification of the dead woman seemingly leading nowhere, he still has a colleague in hospital, the victim of a brutal attack, and a shooting that takes place, also at the Gothenburg Party. The situations that take his attention away from the dead woman's investigations aren't placed as red herrings, but, I think, more as somewhat subtle sociological statements on the effects of immigration in Sweden, and to strike a more realistic note in the novel, the note being that most crime squads do not have the luxury of only working on one case at a time, but have to juggle multiple unconnected cases.
This is not a fast-paced thriller with a lot of action, so I'd recommend this only to readers who enjoy a slow, gradual and detailed look at peeling back layers of clues, and finding the connections between the past and the present.
Gothenburg is sweltering in an August heat wave and Winter shows up for work in cut-offs, a rock band tee shirt and uncut hair - quite a contrast to his usual designer suits and perfect grooming. The attack on his officer has provoked an unaccustomed rage and he unleashes it on his ex-brother-in-law, a criminal with racist ties. "Winter opened his eyes again and looked at his hands. Were they his? It had felt good clenching his fingers around Vennerhag's jaw."
It doesn't take long to round up the attackers, but a murdered woman found in a lakeside ditch effectively ends Winter's vacation. She has no id or identifying marks; her fingerprints aren't in any database and no one has reported her missing, though the autopsy shows she's had a child.
Winter, who finds himself musing on the nature of evil and the urge to fight violence with violence, sets his team in motion, chasing down every lead they can think of, no matter how thin:
"An investigation is a great big vacuum cleaner that sucks in everything: witness statements and forensic evidence, sound ideas and crazy hunches, most of it completely irrelevant to the case. Eventually you find things that fit together. Then you can formulate a hypothesis."
It takes almost half the book to trace the woman's identity. Meanwhile the narrative breaks for interludes with a child held captive and missing her mother and a lonely old lady growing anxious about her missing neighbors.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book begins with the worried voice of a six year old child. The concerns expressed are "in the first person"and create a vision of a small and vulnerable child... Read morePublished 4 months ago by joy white
I really loved this story - more than I did the first book I read by this author.
Erik Winter is the main character and lead detective. Read more
I've always thought of Sweden as a relatively cold place, even in the summer. These Winter books, however, seem to show that the summers there can get very hot, sticky and... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Frank J. Konopka
Great characters. Intricate plot. Erik Winter and his crew are tireless, thorough and smart. I really enjoyed every last bit of it. This was my first Erik Winter mystery.. Read morePublished on August 12, 2013 by Susan Brecht
Erik Winter is a very interesting detective in his working life and his personal life.
Intriguing series. Keeps you interested and wanting to read more.
I really like Ake Edwardson novels. This is one of those great mysteries that kept me up all night reading.Published on May 28, 2013 by Jane Gordon-james
This novel is edgy has a hero that woman want though he considers himself quite ordinary,enjoyable to the last page, with enough extra story line to keep you wanting more of Erik... Read morePublished on February 9, 2013 by Amazon Customer
This author has a nice touch to his novels. Inspector Winter is a younger man with a different outlook on solving crimes, and it is interesting to see how his mind works, as... Read morePublished on December 27, 2012 by Georgia Traveler