The reader stays perpetually ahead of the irritatingly slow detectives in Swedish crime writer Edwardson's third Erik Winter police procedural to be translated into English (after 2006's Never End). DCI Erik Winter and his team are baffled by a rash of beatings in Gothenburg that have nearly killed several young men, who are linked only by the distinctive mark left by the attacker's mysterious weapon. Meanwhile, nursery school children begin to report being lured to the car of a strange "mister," who gives them candy. The police brush off these incidents until one boy is found badly beaten in the woods. Soon Winter is thrown into a race to save a kidnapped boy from the clutches of a monster. Readers will connect the dots faster than Winter, whose investigation is jarringly interrupted by scenes from the abductor's point-of-view. The denouement leaves too many loose ends, making for an uninspired take on the tired topic of child abductions. (Aug.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
A child finally is horribly hurt. After more scrupulous interviews (this time with nervous, distracted children), the two cases begin inexorably to merge. Piercing attention, anxiety wound tight Edwardson is a master at this. And if he pushes it too far, with a finale drawn out past all endurance, this doesn't discount the satisfaction in visiting his inspectors' gray world.
Fans of Henning Mankell and Karin Fossum (as well as Ian Rankin and Donna Leon) will find a great new friend in Edwardson.
This third translation in Swedish author Edwardson's Erik Winter series (after Sun and Shadowand Never End) follows Winter and his colleagues at Gothenburg's police department as they follow two cases. The first is a series of violent assaults against college men-the other odd reports from young children about a "mister" who entices them with candy to sit in his car. Edwardson uses the daily musings of the supporting characters-Winter's girlfriend and his co-workers-to round out the narrative, and it is their personalities and reflections on work and parenting that make the narrative compelling. In addition to the intertwined cases, Edwardson also creates additional levels of suspense: a major concern is whether Winter will solve the cases in time to join his lover and daughter in Spain for at least a part of the Christmas holidays, and the mystery behind his colleague's family dispute is a page-turner as well. Recommended for all public libraries.