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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
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The Shadow Woman: A Chief Inspector Erik Winter Novel Paperback – September 28, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
Book 2 of 7 in the Inspector Winter Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Swedish crime-novelist Edwardson writes thrillers that bristle with psychological intrigue. In this fifth entry in his series featuring Chief Inspector Erik Winter, the policeman investigates the murder of Helene Anderson, whose body was found in a local park. Armed with few clues, Winter soon learns that the young woman left behind a child who may still be alive. Further probing leads him more than two decades back in time to a bank robbery in Denmark that a very young Helene likely witnessed. (The perpetrators remain at large, a source of great frustration for local law enforcement.) Winter travels to Denmark, and soon a cold case turns hot. Back on the home front, the inspector must contend with the annual Gothenburg Party, a hedonistic free-for-all that prompts riots among nativist gangs. This time Edwardson compensates for a somewhat sluggish plot with a cast of compelling characters and vivid renderings of a landscape that is by turns beautiful and bleak. --Allison Block

Review

"Gripping...An expert melding of sociological observation and psychological acuity."
-Kirkus

"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."
-SmslSnningen (Sweden)

"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."
-Marianne (France)
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Product Details

  • Series: A Chief Inspector Erik Winter Novel
  • Paperback: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143117947
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143117940
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Patto TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
It's the height of the Gothenburg Party, Sweden's biggest outdoor festival. August is murderously hot, violence is erupting among biker gangs - and the body of a young woman turns up in a ditch. .

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.
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Format: Paperback
I've just finished the book, and I have no idea what happened in the end. My interest was held throughout, but I kept getting confused about the characters and Edwardson's style of going back and forth from present to the past. I read a lot of these Nordic crime novels, mainly Henning Mankell and Arnaldur Indridason, but this is the most difficult plot line I have encountered so far.
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During Sweden's outdoor summer Gothenburg Party, an undercover policewoman is attacked. In the middle of the August heat, a dead woman is found in a local park with no identification.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Sweden's youngest ever chief inspector (37) cuts his vacation short when one of his team - a black, Swedish-born woman - has her jaw broken at the annual Gothenburg party, an outdoor late-summer festival at which nativist thugs get drunk and run amok, often in motorcycle gangs.

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.
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