tirsdag den 29. december 2009

Mari Jungstedt, I denne stille nat (2008)


Som titlen på Jungstedts anden krimi antyder, nærmer juletiden sig på Gotland. Henry Dahlström, en falleret fotograf, har sit livs held på travbanen, hvor han vinder 80.000 kroner, en pæn formue, hvis den omregnes i flasker. Han får dog ikke lang tid at glæde sig, for blot en uge senere findes han myrdet i boligblokkens kælder, hvor han har sit mørkekammer.

Fjortenårige Fanny holder sig for sig selv. Hun er halvt vestinder og en rigtig hestepige, som trives dårligt og tydeligvis er på grænsen til anoreksi. Fanny ser stalden som et fristed fra skolen, og fra hendes alkoholiserede mor og dennes kæreste, men det er desværre også i forbindelse med sit arbejde her, hun møder manden, som senere forfører og myrder hende.

Kriminalinspektør Anders Knutas, den dygtige efterforsker med den danske kone, bliver sat på sagen sammen med sit team. Journalisten Johan Berg spiller også en vis rolle i historien, selv om han arbejder mindst lige så ihærdigt på at vinde Emma Winarves hjerte. Emma er gift med Olle og har to børn, men selv om hun føler, hun bør blive hos sin mand og holde sammen på familien, er det svært at holde sig fra den spændende og charmerende journalist.

Mit helhedsindtryk: der er mere regulært politiarbejde end i Jungstedts debut, men alligevel lidt tomgang af og til. Forfatteren er bedre til at beskrive miljøet og forholdene mellem mennesker end til at holde dampen oppe i et virkeligt fængende krimiplot. Underholdende, men ikke en uforglemmelig læseoplevelse.

Min anmeldelse af Jungstedts tredje krimi, Den inderste kreds.

Mari Jungstedt, Unspoken (2007).
As the Danish - and Swedish - title indicates (In this Silent Night), Jungstedt´s second police procedural takes place shortly before Christmas. Henry Dahlström, a boozy photographer, experiences the luck of his life when he wins 80,000 krona on the races, quite a fortune when converted into bottles. He does not get much time to enjoy his luck, however, as he is found killed only a week later in his darkroom in the basement of the block of flats.

Fifteen-year-old Fanny keeps to herself. She is half Caribbean and a real horse girl on the verge of anorexia who sees the stables as a refuge from school and from her alcoholic mother.

Unfortunately she also meets the man who seduces her and later kills her, in this environment.
Chief Inspector Anders Knutas, the competent policeman with the Danish wife, is put on the case with his team. The young reporter Johan Berg also plays a certain role though he is just as set on winning Emma Winarve´s heart. Emma is married to Olle and has two children, but even if she feels she ought to remain with her husband and keep the family together, it is difficult for her to stay away from the charming reporter.

My overall impression: there is more proper police work in this one than in Jungstedt´s debut, but as I see it, this author is better at describing the environment and the relationships among people than at keeping up the steam in a really exciting crime plot. Entertaining, but not an unforgettable reading experience.

My review of her third novel, The Inner Circle (Unknown).

2 kommentarer:

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Dorte - Thanks for this honest review. I think each author has certain strengths (or rather, his or her writing does). It just works best if the author "plays to strengths" while hopefully developing areas that need some work. There are enough different kinds and sub-genres of crime-fiction out there that it's possible, I think, to find a way of writing crime fiction that lets one use one's strengths. I know for myself that I wouldn't want to try writing a very dark noir kind of chiller. Right now, that kind of darkness isn't my strength...

Dorte H sagde ...

Thank you, Margot. I know that opinions differ on this writer, but I have always believed it was a problem that her countrywoman, Camilla Läckberg, did a lot to promote her, and that she won an award for her first novel. Apparently she has never had to struggle much for acknowledgement so why should she try to change anything ;)