Near the start of Edwardson's solid fifth novel featuring Insp. Erik Winter to be made available in the U.S. (after 2009's Death Angels), a fellow homicide detective of foreign background, Aneta Djanali, gets her jaw smashed when she intervenes in an assault during an annual summer party held outdoors in Gothenburg. Winter cuts short his vacation to investigate. Soon after, a woman turns up dead at the edge of a forest, possibly strangled, with no identifying papers on her body. The chase leads Winter from the unusually hot streets of Gothenburg to seaside towns in Denmark, from the biker wars heating up in Scandinavia to those that raged decades earlier when the Hell's Angels and Bandidos first arrived in northern Europe. This thoroughly satisfying police procedural offers forays into the murky waters of immigration and assimilation as well as the obsessive mind of the sleuth. (Oct.)
"Gripping...An expert melding of sociological observation and psychological acuity."
"An extremely accomplished cross between crime fiction and psychological thriller...on par with P. D. James."
-Helsingsborgs Dagblad (Sweden)
"Masterful...While +ke Edwardson possesses an undertone of humor, his work is full of darkness...With The Shadow Woman [he] establishes himself among the most exciting crime thriller writers in the country."
-Motala & Vadstena Tidning (Sweden)
"Erik Winter could be related to Elizabeth George's Sir Thomas Lynley, and the almost clinical descriptions might evoke pathologist Kay Scarpetta in Patricia Cornwell's books, while the social ambience could well be inspired by both P. D. James and Minette Walters."
"A dramatic crime chase in Gothenburg, intelligently and excitingly told."
-Der Spiegel (Germany)
"[Here is] the opportunity to discover a Swede well removed from the 'Swedish model' and enter into the world of +ke Edwardson. Try this voyage, and you will return to it."
In the fifth Chief Inspector Winter book to be translated into English—and the second book in the series (after Death Angels)—the Swedish policeman must study a past crime in order to solve a current murder. When a young woman is found murdered during the wild festivities of Gothenburg Party, a weeklong festival held every August, Winter has no clues to her identity. He does know that she had given birth and catches a break when one of the woman's neighbors reports her disappearance to the police. In order to solve her murder and find her missing child, Winter must delve into the woman's past and try to unravel a decades-old crime that will ultimately lead him to Denmark. At the same time, Winter is also dealing with family problems and relationship issues. The three-time winner of the Swedish Crime Writer's Award for best crime novel continues to provide his readers with strong characters and intriguing plots. He also reveals more insights into Inspector Winter's character, making him more human and more sympathetic to readers. VERDICT Sure to appeal to Stieg Larsson fans eager for more noir Scandinavian crime fiction.—Jean King, West Hempstead P.L., NY
Inspector Erik Winter (Death Angels, 2009. etc.) tackles the murder of a woman who was scarcely more substantial in life than death.
As fans of Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell know, Sweden is crawling with violent criminals. The summer of 1997, as "we're headed toward the end of the century, and the end of the world as we know it," is marked in Gothenburg by a feud between rival drug gangs and a bus hijacking that explodes in a hail of gunfire. But the biggest case for Winter and his homicide squad is the quietest. The body of a woman has been discovered at the edge of Delsjö Lake. There's no indication of who she is, where she came from or what she was doing before someone strangled her. The only clue is the indication that she was once pregnant. As Winter and his colleagues begin their patient, months-long investigation, readers already know more. They know that the woman was killed in the commission of a crime; they know that she was survived by her young daughter, who's been carried off; and they know that one of her neighbors has finally noticed her absence and begun to make a fuss. Even after he succeeds in putting a name to the body, Winter, wrestling with the demands of his longtime lover Angela for greater commitment, feels that his work is just beginning. If only he knew.
An expert melding of sociological observation and psychological acuity. The criminals, introduced late in the story, are especially gripping.