Oversat fra svensk, Den inre kretsen 2005.
Dette er Mari Jungstedts tredje krimi fra Gotland. I løbet af de første par kapitler møder vi en flok arkæologistuderende fra mange lande som følger et kursus på Gotlands kyst, samt en lokal øbo i en varevogn, som gør en stor kummefryser grundigt rent (fantastisk så nervepirrende en fryser kan være under de ´forkerte omstændigheder´), og inden længe dukker en hovedløs hest op.
Jungstedts opdagere er som sædvanlig politiinspektør Anders Knutas og hans tropper, samt TV-journalisten Johan Berg, som mangler nyheder i sommervarmen, og gerne kaster sig over en halshugget hest, assisteret af sin entusiastiske unge punker-fotograf. Hestehovedet er forsvundet, og noget tyder på, at gerningsmanden ligeledes har opsamlet blodet og taget det med sig.
Johans samliv med Emma, som han mødte i Jungstedts debut, fylder en god del i bogen. Ind imellem præsenteres læseren for små bidder af et mysterium, som selvfølgelig viser sig at handle om noget langt alvorligere end en død hest, ligesom der er indlagt interessante beskrivelser af Gotland og arkæologers arbejde.
Mari Jungstedt sammenlignes ofte med Camilla Läckberg, og hvad de har til fælles er de udmærkede beskrivelser af det svenske miljø samt megen fokus på opdagernes familieliv, men selv om kriminalsagen fylder mere i denne bog end i Jungstedts debut, må man retfærdigvis sige, at Läckberg er en del bedre til at ´holde sig til sagen´.
Mari Jungstedt, The Inner Circle aka Unknown (2008)
This book is Swedish Mari Jungstedt´s third crime novel from Gotland. In the course of the first few chapters we meet an international group of archeology students who participate in a course on Gotland, and someone from the local community in a van who cleans a large deep freezer very thoroughly (amazing how sinister a freezer can be in the ´wrong circumstances´), and before long a headless horse appears.
As usual, Jungstedt´s investigators are Inspector Anders Knutas and his troops, plus the journalist Johan Berg who is in need of news in the summer heat and revels in the beheaded horse, assisted by his enthusiastic punker photographer. The horse´s head has disappeared, and something indicates that the perpetrator has also collected the blood!
Johan´s relationship with Emma whom he met in Jungsted´s first novel takes up a good part of the book. In between the reader is served bits of a mystery which involves much more than a dead animal, of course, just like there are interesting descriptions of Gotland and the work of an archaeologist.
Mari Jungsted is often compared with Camilla Lackberg, and what the two have in common are the good descriptions of the Swedish environment and much focus on the family lives of their detectives, but even though the criminal case takes up more space in this book than in Jungstedt´s debut, I think it is fair enough to say that Lackberg is better at sticking with her case.
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I have never gotten around to read any of Jungstedt's books. Got rather tired with Läckberg's books and thought that Junstedt just was more of the same, except for a change of scene. I do have one waiting on my shelf, so perhaps I'll read it soon.
Jungstedt and Läckberg are close friends, and Läckberg keeps recommending Jungstedt (which may have helped her a lot). Läckberg is not the world´s greatest author either, but as I say, she remembers her case.
I enjoyed the first two of Mari Jungstedt's books very much, but I did not think this one (the third) was as good. The murder plot seemed rather cliched. The Johann/Emma story interests me, but I think in this third book the detective fades out too much. I hope that the next one returns to form, as I think there is much potential here.
I have only read one Camilla Lackberg, which I enjoyed, but not the romantic aspects which I found too much like how I imagine a "women's magazine" to portray a relationship. I'll read the second to be translated (The Preacher) before deciding whether to read more.
As I see it, Mari Jungsted´s books have been receieved by an enthusiastic audience crying ´another Läckberg´ from day one. This is not to say that all she has done is wrong, but perhaps she has come to see herself as a great writer who doesn´t have to struggle to sell her books. Why change anything if the recipé works? I think it is a pity, however, because I agree that she is probably able to write better books than these.
You have just been given the Sisterhood Award for blogging.
Never heard of this author, but thanks to bloggers like yourself, I now have a new one on my wishlist. I will definitely have to look into this one.
Thank you so much, Ann!
Lilly: if you like cosy books with good descriptions of the environment, you should really like this one.
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