Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Review of Silenced by Kristina Ohlsson

I was intrigued by this book as I have not read many of the Swedish crime authors who are becoming increasingly popular in this country. Kristina Ohlsson has a unique insight into the Swedish mores and presents them in a way which seeps into your unconscious and become your mores also. You begin to feel that Alex Recht, her prime detective is as familiar as, say, Morse or Barnaby and that the city of Stockholm is as recognisable as Oxford or Midsomer.

The book starts with an unreported rape which took place in the 1990s.The story then leaps to the present, where Alex and his special investigating unit is assigned two new and seemingly unrelated cases – a fatal traffic accident of an unknown and the shooting of a vicar and his wife in their flat. Accident, suicide or murder – that is where the investigation starts. With the help of heavily pregnant Investigative Analyst Fredrika Bergman, there unravels a story of illegal immigration and run by a group of people who initially had the immigrants` welfare at heart, but which later becomes the root of robbery and murder. That is only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, as it also involves two sisters, Johanna and Karolin Ahlbin, the daughters of the vicar and his wife. One has died of a suspected drug overdose and her body has been identified at the hospital by her sister, who immediately disappears to become the victim, in Thailand, of somebody or some people who want to erase the fact that she ever existed. Who is doing this, why? - can she return home to Sweden in safety?

There are many twists, turns and seemingly unrelated threads to this book which kept my imagination running at fever pitch throughout. The characters of the investigators Alex, Fredrika, Joar and Peder are expertly drawn and we live with them their personal anxieties, problems and jealousies alongside the desperate search for the perpetrators of the crimes. The story comes full circle, having encompassed the globe, to the solving, finally, of that unreported rape case in the 90s.

A wonderful, wild roller-coaster of a read which had me totally engrossed and which I have come to expect from Kristina Ohlsson. I hope that you will think so too!

Reviewed by Liz.

Thanks Liz and thank you to Simon and Schuster for sending us a copy to review.

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