We are social

Do you know that you can also find TheCrimeHouse on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram?

Sharp objects by Gillian Flynn

 

This is the third book I’ve read by the author Gillian Flynn and the first of the three separate books she’s written. For being the first book it’s more brutal and dark than her other books but you couldn’t really put your finger on why. I would describe it as a Thriller in a Dollhouse. The allegory isn’t far of the truth either.

 

You could say that the core of the story takes place in Camille’s hometown, or to be more specific, in her old childhood home.  Camille, being a journalist, is reluctantly sent back to her hometown to unravel the case of the two young girls murdered there. She is not only forced back to the old neighbourhood but also to her own past, meanwhile living with her mother.

 

But the world outside her mothers house is like a foggy mixture of the real housewives of New Jersey and True Detective. The civic life of the Chicago pulse which Camille leaves behind is merely a whisper in the back of our minds. That’s all left behind her and she is far, far away from anything that comes near civil behaviour. Throughout the book Chicago, and foremost the conversations with her boss Mr Curry, is the laps in time and space in witch Camille is given a chance to breath. But it’s much like giving a drowning man a straw to breath through. It helps, but not nearly enough.

 

Corporal focus

Its not even important what the characters are saying nor what they are not saying.  The bodies are explicitly speaking for them in a number of ways. For Camille this is essential. Her body is etching, stretching, screaming. Its constantly telling/ tempting her like a painful struggle for forbidden pleasure.

 

A few things a love about the book:

 

The language. It’s raw and awake. It doesn’t hide anything, nor is it ashamed of anything. With simple means you are smitten with a strong feeling of illness. And you commit to different characters only through a few describing words. And as always, the title is beautifully placed.

 

The adulthood that is distilled down to Camille, a cocktail of the sense of being an adult and at the same time a child. The bounders in between are merged together. To have cravings and impulses and needs like a child is one thing, but to have them as an adult its shamefully painful.

 

Do you think you can figure out how it’s all linked? – Brace yourself for the exciting solution that isn’t primarily about who committed the murders of the girls.

 

As with all of Flynn’s works, the resolution of the crime is not of utmost importance, but rather the process of unravelling the story. The way the story shapes and changes, and keeps you guessing at all times, is what really makes this story a fantastic experience. It makes for a very pleasurable, albeit sometimes almost stressful, read.

Stalker by Lars Kepler

Someone is secretly filming women, then sending the clip to the police and shortly thereafter killing them. The murders remind the police of a murder that happened nine years ago, but the priest Rocky Kyrklund who was convicted is still in prison. Detective Inspector Joona Linna (from Kepler’s previous novels) is missing and assumed dead. In his absence the pregnant Margot Silverman becomes responsible for the investigation. Psychiatrist Erik Maria Bark is called in. When he hypnotizes the husband of one victim he realizes that his career may be in danger and lies to the police.

Perfect Title

Stalker is Lars Kepler’s fifth novel and what can I say, the novels just get better and better and Lars Kepler (or rather the Ahndoril’s who are behind the pseudonym) is now one of my favorite Swedish crime writers. I was hooked a few pages into the book and I was so scared that I made sure that all windows and doors were locked and I asked my husband to walk the dog… I really recommend this book, but I would lock the doors and close the curtains before you start reading.

Retaliation by Thomas Erikson

Zoran Roskic has committed many serious crimes and he is in the police’s custody waiting for his trial when the novel begins. In previous cases his attorney has always been able to get him acquitted, but this time the evidence is watertight. Or at least they think it is. There are some suspicions that there is a leak within the police department and behavioral scientist Alex King is called in. His girlfriend Nina is part of the team, but he cannot tell her about his task.

Strange Court Case

Then Roskic’s attorney is murdered. When a new one has been assigned that one is killed to. Is someone trying to kill Roskic or his attorneys? It is getting increasingly difficult to get anyone to accept the job as Roskic’s attorney. What will they do if no one wants to defend him? Can you proceed with the court case anyway?

Revenge

Retaliation is the fourth novel in the Alex King series; it follows The Illusion, Atrocity and Vanmakt (Swedish title). Roskic has hurt many and it is time for retaliation. Revenge is a classic theme, but the novel has an interesting setup since Roscik is already behind bars when the novel begins.

Blue, Green, Red or Yellow?

Alex King analyzes people’s behavior with remarkable precision, but it does not mean that he always handles people in the best way. In other words, Alex is only human, which makes it easier to relate to him. I find behavioral science very fascinating and once again I cannot help but wonder which color I really am.

 

Original title in Swedish: Vedergällning (Note: Retaliation is the direct translation, but I am not sure what the English title will be)

Sebastian Bergman is back

A whole family, mother, father, and two sons, are murdered in Torsby in Sweden. The local police needs help and the national police along with Sebastian Bergman, psychologist an expert profiler, is called in. The boys’ ten-year-old cousin Nicole was visiting but is missing. Nicole is found but is too shocked to speak. She reminds Sebastian of his own daughter, who died in the tsunami in Thailand. He is doing everything he can to get Nicole to trust him. The killer is doing everything to find and silence the girl permanently, since she is the only witness.

Sebastian Bergman

The Silent Girl (direct translation, not sure what the title will be) by Michael Hjorth & Hans Rosenfeldt* is the fourth novel in the series about Sebastian Bergman. And what can I say, Sebastian Bergman, the sex-addicted, narcissistic criminal psychologist has not changed one bit. If you have liked the other novels in the series you will not be disappointed.

The sidetrack with his biological daughter continues. He has managed to create a friendship with her (she still does not know that he is her father) thanks to his collaboration with the police. You cannot help but wonder when he (or someone else) will reveal the truth.

Dysfunctional Team

Sebastian is the main character but we also get to follow the private relationships of the other people on the team, and they all have their fair share of problems. The team is dysfunctional but that appeals to readers, me included. The novel ends with a cliffhanger and I look forward to the next novel in the series.

 

Original title in Swedish: Den stumma flickan

*Hans Rosenfeldt is also the creator of the TV show The Bridge.

The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker

Young Talented Author

This novel has been a success around the world. When I had finished the novel I saw a photo of the author Joël Dicker on the back cover. Dicker is a young Swiss man born 1985 (!) and he has written a novel that feels so mature. Life is unfair!

Marcus Goldman

…is the novel’s narrator. Marcus is a young author, whose debut novel was a success. The problem is that he gets writer’s block when he tries to write the sequel. At first the publisher is laidback but as time passes they put pressure on him. At last he asks his mentor Harry Quebert for help. Harry lives in a small town on the west coast and he is one of the most well-known authors in the U.S. He wrote the critically acclaimed novel The Root of All Evil, a love story about impossible love.

Murder Mystery

When Harry is suspected of killing a young girl that disappeared in the 1970s the entire country is shocked. The 15-year-old Nola is found murdered in Harry’s yard with a copy of The Root of All Evil. It does not look good, but Marcus is convinced that his friend is innocent and he starts looking into the past. It is a small town and the people who were there when the girl disappeared are still around. Secrets are revealed and old truths are tested.

Clever and Suspenseful

The novel is skillfully composed. It is very suspenseful and has the perfect tone. Technically the novel has several different timelines and complicated threads/relationships and it deals with many interesting topics, such as the border between truth and fiction. How can an author write a sequel to a critically acclaimed novel without getting anxiety? And then we have the small-town façade with its crumbling interior. I can only agree with the rest of the world, who thinks this is a novel worth reading.

 

The Shadows by Katarina Wennstam

An Eye for an Eye, a Tooth for a Tooth

Men who hate women, abusers and rapists have to look out. In Wennstam’s latest novel we get to meet a group of women who have decided that society’s punishments are not enough and they retaliate with the same amount of punches, burns, broken bones or wounds that the men have inflicted on the women. No more, no less. The group receives a lot of public support and many think that the men only have themselves to blame.

It’s Only Fair

The novel is not really credible and not very suspenseful, but it is still worth reading and it encourages reflection. It is very current, because these days many news stories cover cases where rapist are acquitted in the Swedish courts, but it does not justify people taking matters into their own hands. I think the most interesting aspect is the effect the crimes have, and the police warn men of walking alone at night (i.e. they get to experience what it is like for women). As a woman I cannot help but thinking “it’s only fair.”

 

Original title in Swedish: Skuggorna