Sunday, March 2, 2014

Midwinter BloodMidwinter Blood by Mons Kallentoft
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Although Mons Kallentoft's novel "Midwinter Blood" is subtitled "A Thriller", it really is more of a police procedural. It is a Swedish procedural/thriller, with quite a complex plot. Detective Inspector Malin Fors is the main protagonist. Along with her police colleagues she is trying to solve a brutal murder of a man whose naked and mutilated body was found hanging from a tree. Soon, it becomes clear that the case has its roots in the distant past.

Ms. Fors is a divorced mother with a teenage daughter, Tove. The subplot involving her dealing with rapidly maturing Tove is quite interesting. More so than in an average police procedural where the only role of observations of detectives' private lives is to show that they are human.

The writing style seems a little pretentious and one may need some time to get accustomed to it. Just a brief example:

"Amber liquid.
Shall I have a bit?
The motorbike program is over."

I do not think it is necessarily bad writing. But it does not seem to serve any other purpose than to be clearly different than the so called normal style.

What I like less is the presence of the voice of the dead person who occasionally comments on the events and their background. Maybe that's why the book is called "a thriller"? Again, it does not bother me very much. Despite the strange style and the dead man commenting, this is a realistic book rather than one that delves into the supernatural.

I understand that the denouement may seem less than satisfactory for some readers. I actually liked it.

Three stars.

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