Friday, 7 September 2012

Some Kind Of Peace by Camilla Grebe and Asa Traff

review by Maryom

Siri Bergman is a psychotherapist. Good at helping others out with their problems and fears, she refuses to acknowledge her own. Since her husband's death in a diving accident, she's continued to live in their remote seaside cottage, pretending nothing has changed but at night the only way she can sleep is to leave all the lights blazing. Somewhere out there, she feels someone is watching her - and soon her fears start to come true. At first the lights are switched off and her emergency torch disappears - irritating things, suspicious things but in themselves relatively harmless. Then the dead body of one of her patients is found floating in the bay by the cottage. At first the police dismiss it as suicide but events soon lead them, and Siri, to believe that things have taken a more dangerous turn.

Some Kind Of Peace is an excellent thriller from a pair of Swedish writers new to me. It 's the sort of story that starts calmly but with each new event the tension mounts. If you've ever imagined eyes watching you in the dark, or footsteps following you down the street, you're in for a really scary read - even without those fears you'll be gripped! There are snippets interspersed with the action to allow the reader inside the stalker's head - and maybe help identify him/her. I think that's the only negative comment I have to make - I guessed whodunnit!  While Siri was starting to think twice about her work colleagues, friends and patients, to wonder if one of them might be behind the dreadful things happening to those around her, I'd made my mind up about who the stalker was. I don't really think it lessened my enjoyment of the story though, just made me feel smug when I was proved right!
One aspect I really liked was the 'foreign', Swedish feel of the setting. A lot of Scandinavian Noir is gripping and gritty but, apart from excessive cold or a glimpse of midnight sun, could be taking place anywhere. From the opening scene, Some Kind of Peace unfolds against a backdrop of Swedish sights - from bustling Stockholm to Siri's coastal cottage, from the continuous light of summer to almost perpetual dark of winter I felt I was really there.

Maryom's review - 4.5 stars
Publisher - Simon & Schuster
Genre - crime, adult fiction, Nordic Noir


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