Regular price: £30.49
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for £30.49
The impact of Scandinavian crime writing on the English-speaking world, whether in novels or television series such as the incomparable 'Forbrydelsen', means that any newly translated author is going to be judged against fearsomely high standards. Certainly Arne Dahl suffers in comparison with Henkell, Fossum or Lackberg;' Misterioso' combines a rambling plot with passages of such irritatingly obsessive detail that I came near to giving up at the end of the first part. Fortunately weaknesses in the story-telling are offset by the strength of the characters, both major (a disparate group of police officers brought together to track down a serial killer) and minor (including a down-and-out bankrupt body-builder and vodka connoisseur, the hilariously frank, disillusioned wife of a Swedish magnate, a small town police inspector whose hopes of impressing his big city colleagues evaporate when he realises he has overlooked a vital clue, and a physically-wrecked retired soldier with an uncanny understanding of jazz [jazz plays a central part in the book]).
In the end, I was glad I persevered. The plot strands come together in a satisfyingly tense climax that neatly mirrors an earlier, life-changing experience of the leading detective, and as in Henning Mankell's books, we learn much about the stresses placed on Swedish society by an increasingly diverse ethnic population and the country's proximity to the mafia-ravaged satellite states of the old USSR.
And, by the way, the elite club of mystery-reading darts players can safely add 'Misterioso' to the (very) short list of books not to be missed (the other is Ngaio Marsh's 'Death at the Bar' - happily also available from Audible!).
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
I totally enjoyed this book and hope they hurry up with the rest of the series, I'll be getting them all. It is very well written, kept my interest and you start to get a real feel for the cast of characters. The narration is terrific. I've never heard John Lee before but I'll be looking out for him in future. If you like Scandinavian crime fiction, this won't disappoint.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
This one squeaked through the cracks of attempts to find the next Steig Larsson. It's written (or translated) in a fairly disjointed style. It's plot and climax are overburdened with coincidence. The author seems to acknowledge this by throwing in lines like "it seemed an unbelievable chain of coincidences." That really doesn't make up for the poorly constructed plot. I'd give this one a pass.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful