(English translation) covers almost 500 pages. Belonging
to the thriller/detective genre, the story is intriguing: a teacher
is shot right at the beginning of the book, and then three children
disappear. The teacher and the children all belong to the Jewish
congregation in Stockholm; the story itself spreads across Stockholm,
London and Israel.
last few pages of the Swedish version is filled with accolades from
the Swedish press – if one is to believe what they have written,
there has never been a smarter, more exciting novel within the genre.
is, therefore, with some trepidation that I beg to disagree. I feel
that the novel is engaging, and the author has done a fantastic job,
holding together the many, many threads that unwind from the central
theme – it cannot have been easy – but the reader is obliged to
accept many twists and turns that, quite often, defy many
the laws of logic – political,
social and physical. There is also, especially in the first part of
the book, too many references to events that have most probably
occurred in earlier books (I believe that
Kristina Ohlsson's sixth book). Although this kind of filling-in
is common in books that are part of a series, it can
be irritating, especially if the reader has not read any of the
in spite of the fact that the main characters have now lived through
several books, they are flat and, for me at least, completely
unsympathetic. The writing is definitely overweight, and the book
could probably have gained by being at least 100 pages thinner.
you are prepared to overlook the negatives, the
an interesting interlude
between more intellectually challenging books.