Friday, 10 February 2012

Midwinter Sacrifice by Mons Kallentoft

A chilling read!
Review by The Mole

It's an unusually cold winter in Sweden and the people are in a state of apathy waiting for warmth to come when a body is found hanging in a tree. The body is naked and has been beaten and slashed beyond recognition and Malin, with her partner Zeke, are called to start the investigation. Without identification and no-one matching having been reported missing there won't be a quick solution.

This is the first Scandinavian crime thriller that I've read and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Maybe 'enjoy' isn't quite the word I'm looking for but I would most certainly do it again.

The style was comfortable for me to read (being of the squeamish nature) for example the victim suffered some horrific injuries and it could have been described in a stomach churning fashion - but it wasn't, and where ever the opportunity arose to shock the impact was thoughtfully minimised. The purpose was to shock and horrify the characters but not the reader.

Malin has lots of life 'issues' but show me a fictional detective that lives a happy life. (OK.. they do in Midsomer but they're more fictional than fiction!) But we also get close to most every other character in the book.

The investigation develops slowly but that's not to say the story moves slowly - it doesn't and you start to wonder where the 420 pages went! With the entire detection process no secrets are held back from the reader and in fact as the victim actually has a voice from the grave throughout the book it's arguable that the reader knows more than the detectives. And in the end was justice served? Is justice ever served fairly? Maybe and maybe not and as with life not all the loose ends are tied off. Some are left for the reader to ask about, wish for or wonder at. But as with all good crime thrillers it's not guessing who did it that matters - it's the story of actually getting there.

A really good book and I look forward eagerly to Malin's next case - and maybe we'll find out what Karim's wife WAS thinking!

The version of the book I was reading was The Richard and Judy Book Club version that is exclusive to W H Smith and has bonus content including the first chapter of the next book as well as a Q&A with the author, Mons Kallentoft.

Publisher - Hodder
Genre - Adult Crime Thriller

Buy Midwinter Sacrifice from W H Smith

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