Summer Death: A Thriller

( 2 )

Overview

In the acclaimed Malin Fors series, every season is perfect for murder.

The tiny town that Detective Malin Fors calls home is plagued by a sweltering heat wave and resulting raging forest fires. It is the hottest summer anyone can recall, and it’s about to become the most violent and grim, too. A teenage girl is found naked and bleeding in a city park, without any recollection of what has happened to her. Next, another grisly discovery is made on a lakeside beach, and the whole ...

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Summer Death: A Thriller

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Overview

In the acclaimed Malin Fors series, every season is perfect for murder.

The tiny town that Detective Malin Fors calls home is plagued by a sweltering heat wave and resulting raging forest fires. It is the hottest summer anyone can recall, and it’s about to become the most violent and grim, too. A teenage girl is found naked and bleeding in a city park, without any recollection of what has happened to her. Next, another grisly discovery is made on a lakeside beach, and the whole town is on edge. A serial killer walks among them, and while the families of Linköping withdraw to protect their young, Malin must uncover the secrets behind these crimes, potentially putting herself and her own family at risk in the process.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A steaming hot Swedish summer provides the backdrop for Kallentoft’s gritty second thriller featuring Linköping Det. Insp. Malin Fors (after 2012’s Midwinter Blood). While swimming at her health club, Malin receives a call from a colleague to come to a crime scene at the city’s Horticultural Society Park, where a naked blond girl in her early teens has been found. Evidently a rape victim, the girl has no memory of what happened to her. When a psychopath later kills another girl, also in her early teens, Malin, who likens herself to Batman (“Damaged goods, yet trying to watch over something”), strives all the more to engage with those who suffer from these terrible crimes. Meanwhile, the detective is sick with worry for her 14-year-old daughter, Tove, and still grieves over the love she and her former husband, Janne, tossed away. As she rants against “bloody mediatocracy... the rapturous elevation of the mediocre,” Malin struggles to preserve her integrity in this utterly convincing indictment of today’s soul-consuming celebrity culture. (June)
The Washington Times
“Kallentoft writes vividly and harshly.”
Bookreporter
“One of those books that will keep you up throughout the night. . . Make room on your shelf--and calendar--for this one.”
Sweden's leading literary critic - Magnus Utvik
“Don't bother with Stieg Larsson... Kallentoft is better.”
Kirkus Reviews
A Swedish summer is no kinder than winter to Malin Fors, her colleagues in the Linköping police department or the young girls who've become the targets of a murderous stalker. Josefin Davidsson, 15, is found wandering naked and bleeding in the Horticultural Society Park. Though she's evidently been sexually assaulted with a foreign object, she can't remember anything about how she was taken or by whom or what happened. Since every police officer who can escape the record-breaking heat has taken a holiday, the case falls to Malin and her partner, Zeke Martinsson. Only a day later, Theresa Eckeved is reported missing, and both her boyfriend, Peter Sköld, and her friend Nathalie Falck stonewall the police. So do Ali Shakbari and Behzad Karami, who were acquitted of gang rape recently. When the only developments in the case come when a new victim is discovered or when the police are accused of harassing first immigrants, then lesbians, Malin and Zeke wonder whom to interview next, and Malin can only cry in exasperation, "Which one do you think would have air-conditioning at home?" Gradually, more revealing cutaways to the stalker's point of view reveal a troubled soul with a long history of abuse determined to rescue young girls by turning them into "summer angels." Malin longs for the safe return of her 14-year-old daughter, Tove, away on vacation with Malin's ex, Janne, little knowing what every reader will suspect: that Tove will become the inevitably climactic victim of the stalker's solicitous attention. Like Malin's debut (Midwinter Blood, 2012), this second of four seasonal procedurals is evocative, atmospheric, ingenious and overlong.
From the Publisher
“Kallentoft writes vividly and harshly.”

“One of those books that will keep you up throughout the night. . . Make room on your shelf—and calendar—for this one.”

“Readers will look forward to the next three volumes.”

“Edgy.”

“Complex, heartfelt.”

“Don't bother with Stieg Larsson... Kallentoft is better.”

Library Journal
In the second entry in Kallentoft's series (after Midwinter Blood), Swedish DI Malin Fors is anxious to sink her teeth into a difficult case. Sweden is experiencing a heat wave and crime seems to have slowed, but Fors soon gets what she wants: sexual abuses, tortures, animal killings, murders, and an unknown serial criminal. Unfortunately, she also endangers her teenage daughter as the result of a press-conference statement. The weather slows down the investigation but also contributes to the solution. VERDICT Voices from the victims, whether dead or alive, are confusing at first, and some readers may find that this interferes with the procedural aspect of things. This is a male author writing from the perspective of a female character and, at times, Fors's voice does not feel right. However, Kallentoft has written a page-turner that is not for the faint of heart. Crime fiction fans and those who enjoy the works of Stieg Larsson and Håkan Nesser might want to try this title.—Frances Thorsen, Chronicles of Crime Bookshop, Victoria, BC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451642544
  • Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
  • Publication date: 6/4/2013
  • Series: Malin Fors Thrillers Series, #2
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Mons Kallentoft is the author of the internationally acclaimed crime fiction series featuring Malin Fors. The series has been translated into twenty-six languages and has sold more than 1.5 million copies. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden.
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Read an Excerpt

Summer Death

Prologue


Östergötland, Sunday, July 25

IN THE FINAL ROOM

I’m not going to kill you, my summer angel.

I’m only going to let you be reborn.

You’ll become innocent again. All the dirt of history will vanish, time will deceive itself, and everything that was good will reign in isolation.

Or else I really will kill you, have killed you, so that love can arise again.

I tried not to kill, but that made rebirth impossible: The substance remained, clinging obstinately to material, and everything shameful vibrated within you and me like a hot black worm.

Pupated evil. Shredded time.

I tried in various ways, feeling my way, but I couldn’t get there.

I scrubbed, washed, and cleaned.

You, my summer angels. You saw snow-colored tentacles, tearing spiders’ legs, and the rabbits’ claws.

I watched over you, gathered you in, and took you.

I’m there now.

*   *   *

He’s sitting on the sofa.

His gut is open and rippling black snakes are sliding out onto the floor.

Can you see him?

Now he can’t hurt anyone anymore, so say that you want to, say that you dare to come back. No oak floorboards will ever creak again, no alcohol fumes will ever make the air glow with anxiety.

The world is burning this summer.

The trees are transformed into withered black sculptures, monuments to our failures and our inability to love one another, to understand that we are one another.

We are the same, fire and me. Destroying so that life can arise again.

Someone has captured vipers, thrown them into an open oil drum, poured on some petrol, and set them alight.

The mute creatures crawl as they burn, making vain attempts to escape the pain.

Stop crawling, little girl.

I drove past the burning forest just an hour or so ago. I heard you beating against the inside of the car, ready to come out, come back, pure and free from anyone else’s guilt.

She thought she knew something about me.

So foolish.

But don’t be scared. The person you still are.

This is how it is: No one can live in fear, only in trust. Death is the penalty for anyone who deprives another person of the ability to trust.

That sort of trust is a close neighbor of love, which means that it’s a close neighbor of death and the white spiders’ legs. We needed you in spite of what you did, in spite of that. You owned our world. We couldn’t escape even though it was the only thing we wanted, and we went to you sometimes because we had no choice. It has haunted me, this enforced seeking after darkness. I know now that I will never be able to choose anything except wishing myself harm.

But when you are reborn, that curse will be lifted.

So it will all be over soon.

Everything will be clear, pure.

White and light.

You will feel nothing within you, just as we once did.

You are shaking and twisting on the floor.

But don’t be scared.

Only love will be reborn. Innocence.

And then we will cycle together along the bank of the canal, in a summer that lasts forever.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The author has conceived four novels based on the seasons of the

    The author has conceived four novels based on the seasons of the year. The first took place during the cold months, “Midwinter Blood,” and this second during the hot months, with temperatures in Linkoping, Sweden reaching into the 90’s, 100 and even 100-plus F., made hotter by raging forest fires surrounding the town. The weather makes everyone sluggish, slow-thinking. But that doesn’t stop a series of brutal assaults and even murders of young, teenage girls.

    Again featuring police superintendent Malin Fors, this second installment in the series examines her personal life as much as looking into the question of police prejudice in conducting the investigation into the identity of the serial killer (automatically, they look at previous sex offenders) when they face the lack of clues or forensic evidence.

    While ostensibly a murder mystery, the novel is infused with lots of psychological insights into the various characters, especially Malin. The author uses the technique of observations, in italics, of the murdered girls to move the plot forward. Often, the effort is a bit disconcerting and unnecessary. Kallentoft writes with a heavy heart and, like other Scandinavian writers, delves into the mysteries of the occult and the harsh subject matter.

    Only two more seasons to go.

    Recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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