Thursday, 12 February 2015

The Dangerous Game by Mari Jungstedt

 review by Maryom

Jenny Levin has had a meteoric rise from gangly schoolgirl to super-model. Now she's coming back to her 'home' island of Gotland for a photo shoot at a hotel on the remote Furillen peninsula, with her lover, top fashion photographer Markus Sandberg. All their plans for these few days go awry when Markus is savagely attacked, and left for dead. The attack seems to be random and motiveless but further attacks and threats lead Detective Anders Knutas to the conclusion that someone is targeting members of the fashion industry...but who? and why?

Jumping in part way through a series is never the best way to get acquainted with characters - and The Dangerous Game is the eighth outing for Detective Superintendent Anders Knutas and his colleague Karin Jacobsson, so I had a lot of catching up to do on their private and professional life! Due to this, the story seemed very slow to start but persevering through the opening chapters I found the story starting to grab me.
I also worried at first that the author was a little over-awed by the glamour of the fashion industry but, reading on, this turned out to not be the case. It's seen primarily through Jenny's eyes and she, flying high at the start of her career, still sees only this intoxicating side of the fashion industry, but her position as a highly desirable, sought-after model is contrasted starkly with that of Agnes, whose career abruptly ended when her desire to stay thin led to anorexia.This I thought gave a nice balance and introduced the dangers of obsessing over appearance without preaching.

Unfortunately though, as the story evolved the list of possible suspects grew smaller and, as the reader, I knew things the detectives didn't, which made it easier for me to pinpoint the villain - even the final twist came as no big surprise. Overall I didn't find it as dark as some Nordic Noir thrillers, but more of a comparatively cosy Midsomer Murders style whodunnit.

Maryom's review - 3.5 stars
Publisher - Doubleday
Genre- adult crime Nordic Noir

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