Blurb: ‘An investigation consists of a mass of voices, the sort you can hear, and the sort you can’t. You have to listen to the soundless voices, Malin. That’s where the truth is hidden.’
The snow covered all the tracks, as the killer knew it would. But it couldn’t hide the victim, the man who now hung naked from a lonely tree on a frozen plain.
Malin Fors is first on the scene. A thirty-one-year-old single mother, Malin is the most talented and ambitious detective on the Linkoping police force, but also the most unpredictable. She must lead the investigation while keeping her fractured life on the rails.
No one knows the identity of the dead man. Or perhaps no one ever wanted to know. When all the voices of the investigation have fallen silent, Malin can rely only on herself and her own instincts. And as she follows in the frigid wake of the killer, Malin begins to discover just how far the people in this small town are willing to go to keep their secrets buried.
This was a very atmospheric book, and I mean that in a good way. The Swedish winter was a fully developed character in its own right, and as this book is the first in a four-book series–one for each season–that bodes well for the other three books.
The main character, Malin Fors, is in some ways a departure from and in other ways typical of Nordic detectives. She drinks too much, she’s cynical, and she’s a bit bewildered when it comes to her daughter; but she’s young and she’s female, which caused me to confront some of my own prejudices as I read the book.
The plot is complex and full of twists and turns, and in some ways is not fully resolved, although the conclusion was satisfying for me as a reader–I didn’t feel that the ending was a deliberate attempt to push me toward the next book. It ended the way it needed to end, so not having all the loose threads tied up didn’t really bother me very much.
The next book is about summer. I think I should probably wait a month or two until it’s no longer 95 degrees out every day before tackling that one 🙂
My rating: 4 stars