mandag den 31. maj 2010
Arne Dahl, Misterioso
The first in the A-team series which is written in the best Swedish tradition: a story about a fairly peaceful, affluent society with a tendency to put the system and the rules above common sense and the individual human being.
In a kind of prologue, we meet a quiet banker who is an expert dart player, and a huge bank robber who disturbs the banker´s usual morning routine.
Soon after, someone begins to kill off some of Stockholm´s most successful businessmen. He shoots them through the head in the middle of the night, and though he takes his time on the crime scene, he leaves no traces whatsoever. The A team is on their first case, and over 330 pages their investigation leads them to the mafia in Tallin, an idyllic golf course, and a very special jazz recording. Hence the title which refers to a classic jazz number.
A well-written crime debut with lots of drama and action, but also quiet sections about the lives and interrelationships among the team.
I bought the book myself.
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Dorte - This sound intriguing! I'm a music lover, too, so the title got me right away. Thanks for this fine review : ).
Sounds great. I hope that this one might be translated soon, based on the Swedish book review, so my fingers are crossed!
Margot, if you are in any way interested in jazz, this one is a must. There are parts of it that jazz enthusiasts will be able to appreciate much more than I do.
Maxine: so do I. The series is a bit too ´literary´ for some Danish thriller fans, but I think it will go down well with British readers.
I enjoy Arne Dahl's A-Team series, but need to read them with lots of books between them - otherwise they make me kinda depressed. I think they have this dark, philosophical, Scandinavian vibe to them which can sometimes be too much. But they are humorous too!
Louise: you are right that they should not be swallowed one after the other, but 1-2 per year is fine.
They are rather depressing, in some ways, but the wonder to me is that Dahl is always finding new ways for the characters to be depressed! (If it isn't working overtime on child abuse cases, it's relationships falling apart, or it's long-lost sons, or police having to commit contract killings in response to dark secrets about Russian WW2 atrocities, to Finnish uncles who were involved in covering up German war crimes, or colleagues being suspected of criminal activity, or colleagues falling in love. (Ok, that latter has a 50% strike rate, so not so bad.)
Actually, Misteriso took me a while to get into, though I do like jazz music. I skimmed it, read numbers 2 and 3 in the series (which can be bought in a single volume in German), and went back and liked it a lot more on the re-read. Not sure why - I think it took me a while to warm to Hjelm in particular.
The prose is really quite distinctive, compared to other crime novels - it's a lot less reader friendly, I think, but the books certainly make you think. But I agree - not a series to be consumed in one hit!
Lauren: I have not thought about it a lot because they are so well-written and exciting, but it is true they can be depressing. I plan to reread them when they come out in English so I won´t have to review them all in a row. And with some femikrimi ind between I think I will enjoy Arne Dahl.
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