March 24, 2013

Book Review - Summertime Death by Mons Kallentoft

Why is it that some of the best fictional detectives are moody, obsessional, insomniacs with difficulty in maintaining family relationships? Meet one of Sweden's detectives, Malin Fors, in this elliptical, crackling hot, new novel. The provincial city of Linkoping is suffering a summer heatwave, the forest fires are filling the air with smoke. Everyone who can, has gone on holidays. The reduced staff of detectives have an assault victim with no memory of what happened to her, a murder victim who can't talk and there is little forensic evidence to help.

Malin seeks inspiration from the crime scene…."the wind is blowing through the leaves of the oak, rustling them. It's a warm wind. …..The water of the lake almost seems to bubble in the heat. Boiling and stagnant, deadly poisonous yet still endlessly tempting: Jump in, and I'll drag you down to the bottom….The sun reflects off the water …... The reflections are like lightning in her retinas but she doesn't want to put on her Ray-Bans, wants to see reality just as it is."

And that is what we need from Mailn, to confront the reality of her victims and drag out the truth of a hurt that started a long time ago. Kallentoft continues the promise of her first excellent crime novel "Midwinter Sacrifice"; and Malin Fors cements her place in the pantheon of fictional detectives.


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