Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Another Time, Another Life by Leif GW Persson

Review by Maryom

Another Time, Another Life is an epic crime thriller, spanning 25 years.
 It opens in 1975 with 6 young Germans taking hostage the staff of their embassy in Stockholm, continues in 1989 with the murder of a rather obnoxious civil servant and concludes in 1999, as the links at last fall into place.

It took me a while to get hooked by this story. The Siege-intro section isn't long and the story then cuts to a seemingly unrelated crime. I also had problems with the translation - it felt at times too literal, and particularly at the beginning I kept pulling up short on awkward words. Once I'd got into the plot, I think I overlooked them more.
 Persson certainly manages to create characters you aren't likely to forget - though for the wrong reasons. The detective in charge of the 80s murder case is one of the most blinkered, misogynistic, homophobic characters ever! Fortunately there are more reasonable policemen around to limit his effect and by the 90s there are capable policewomen to solve the case he couldn't!
Something about it reminded me of Le Carre's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - possibly the way a lot of the detection was done by trawling through police records rather than hauling in a suspect and forcing a confession.
Despite the slow start, Another Time, Another Life is an engrossing, twist and turn mystery  - if only they'd investigated my prime suspect for the 80s murder, they'd have cleared things up much quicker!

Maryom's review - 4 stars
Publisher - Doubleday
Genre - crime, thriller, adult

Buy Another Time, Another Life from Amazon


  1. Tinker Tailor is one of my favourite books. Must look out for this one.

  2. The Mole has read "Uncommon Enemy" which is very Tinker Tailor-ish. It is due for review soon and is another very good book.