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Posted August 21, 2012
Competent and satisfying
Competent, suspenseful, and rich in characterization as ever. Nobody said police procedurals have to treat with human evil to the exclusion of human goodness. This one calmly introduces just enough of both, along with existential angst and some unmistakable sexual energy.
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Posted January 25, 2013
Scandinavian authors tend to combine societal questions with do
Scandinavian authors tend to combine societal questions with dour reasons for crimes to be investigated, and “Munster’s Case” is no exception. Detective Munster has served as a sidekick to the now-sidelined Inspector Van Veeteren, who is on leave, choosing instead to spend his time reading and philosophizing in a bookshop he ostensibly is operating. The novels are an award-winning series in Sweden.
This book, as one might expect first published in Sweden, begins with four friends winning some money in the lottery and celebrating their good fortune. However, after a lugubrious dinner, the dead body of one of them is found in his bed, stabbed numerous times, and another seems to be missing. It remains for detective Munster and his team to solve the cases, which become more complicated as the investigation progresses. The murdered man’s wife confesses to the deed, but more questions arise when a neighbor also goes missing and is soon found mutilated in a park.
The author seems to concentrate on the psychological aspects of the detective, rather than the perpetrators (at least until the concluding section, which explains it all): the physical toll on the policeman’s life, the effect on his family, and the like. The plot builds very slowly and develops in keeping with the detective’s character and thought processes. While the solution to the murders is somewhat hackneyed, that fact doesn’t detract from the novel’s over-all merit, and it is recommended.
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Posted May 6, 2013
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