Monday, May 21, 2012

Midwinter Blood-Mons Kallentoff

Midwinter Blood

Mons Kallentoff

Atria/Emily Bestler Books, Jun 5 2012, $25.95

ISBN: 9781451642476

In Linköping, Sweden, the naked battered corpse of three hundred plus pounds recluse Bengt Andersson is found hanging from a tree. Thirty three years old Inspector Malin Fors and her partner Inspector Zeke Martinsson lead the homicide investigation.

They start with the victim’s dysfunctional family and from them to teenage boys with a history of tormenting Andersson. The two cops question a professor of history who called the murder a “Midwinter Blood” sacrifice out of the country’s Viking heritage. As the case comes together slowly, Malin tries to balance her police work with raising her thirteen years old Tove.

This is a fabulous Swedish police procedural in which the torture murder case serves as a mechanism to enable readers to understand the protagonist especially her relationships with her family (especially Tove) and her peers. Andersson’s spirit floats around providing intelligent commentary on the investigation, his family, his abusers and the ice cold city; as only an unwanted outsider could. Readers who appreciate an insightful Swedish psychological thriller will enjoy the first translation of a Malin Fors’ case.

Harriet Klausner

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