Saturday, 8 September 2012

Silenced byKristina Ohlsson

I have read this impressive book in one sitting. A small group of Swedish detectives (which includes amongst their team a non-police trained investigative analyst) are faced with the apparent suicide of a controversial priest and his wife. The controversy surrounds his position on, and activity with, the asylum-seeker issue. It appears one of his two daughters has died of a drug overdose in the same week as her parents are found dead.
At the same time, the team have to establish if a hit-and-run is something more; if it is another crime for them to investigate. Over time, connections are found between the case of the family deaths and the car accident.
Interspersed with the action in Sweden, the reader is swept along with a woman in Bangkok who is desperately struggling to maintain her identity as all avenues for help close off - her email accounts are inaccessible, her contact phone numbers for her family are no longer valid, her passport and wallet are stolen. She is systematically being made invisible by unknown forces.
It will transpire that the woman in Bangkok is the other daughter of the Swedish priest. And the culmination of all three events - the death of her family, the car accident victim and the hijacking of the her identity - will lead the detectives through a circuitous route to the early childhood of the priest's two daughters and to a detective in their own community.
There is not one central character - all are equally well-drawn and developed. This makes for a nice departure from many books in the broader crime fiction genre. The plot is intriguing and the issues raised by the story are both timely and thought-provoking.
I can honestly say this particular Nordic crime offering is the most engaging book I have read this year. I look forward to many more from Kristina Ohlsson.

1 comment:

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