by Leif GW Persson
Library Journal Persson concludes his trilogy (Another Time, Another Life; Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End) about the assassination of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme on February 28, 1986, a case that was never solved but now is, though only as fiction. It is a meticulous reconstruction of the investigation of a highly sensitive case, long since past but now reopened. More than any other series of police procedurals today, Persson's exceptional novels show how cops actually pursue a difficult investigation, the thousands of steps and missteps that occur en route. The detectives are competent and human, with interesting quirks; their boss Lars Martin Johannsson, chief of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, is a veritable bloodhound once he gets a notion in his head. In the process of narrating this fascinating tale, Persson makes telling comments about the pernicious influence of the police presence in Sweden and paints an uproariously funny portrait of a very bad cop-venal, xenophobic, work-averse, and a liar-who attempts to force his way into the case with disastrous consequences. (For himself, of course.) Verdict Readers who enjoy Scandinavian crime fiction will love Persson's climactic volume in a series that may be the best around. [Interestingly, the late Swedish journalist and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo author Stieg Larsson may have cracked the case; according to the Guardian (bit.ly/1fLJ3Sg), a Swedish newspaper recently reported that Larsson left 15 boxes of papers for the police supporting his claim that South African security forces were involved in the crime.-Ed.]-David Keymer, Modesto, CA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Stark whodunit with a sharp political edge, examining the 1986 assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme of Sweden. Though the equivalent, in Swedish memory, of the assassination of JFK, Palme's killing has served mostly as backdrop in that country's superbly well-developed mystery fiction milieu. Persson (Another Time, Another Life, 2012, etc.), a criminologist in real life, places the killing at the forefront of this latest story, in which a CSI type named Lars Martin Johansson (familiar from other of Persson's procedurals) moves to center stage as, years after the fact, he opens the cold file. "I'm only the head of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, but I'm also an orderly person and extremely allergic to unsolved cases." Surrounded by a body of flatfoot cops and smart investigators, he finds his orderly tendencies thwarted by extremely messy trails of evidence, from subtly conflicting testimonies ("the perpetrator had...half run,' trotted,' lumbered,' or jogged' down Tunnelgatan in the direction of the stairs up to Malmskillnadsgatan") to leads that bring in a bewildering range of conspiratorial actors (one of them with a quite unmentionable name). Persson's tale is too long by a quarter, with plenty of longueurs that seem to put the case in real time, but it has plenty of virtues, not least in showing how police work is actually done and in how quirky interpersonal dynamics can affect every detail of a crime investigation. To say nothing of calling the whole lone gunman scenario into question. "It's a small country," Johansson grumbles. "Much too small." Yet there's plenty of room for mayhem. A worthy addition to the vast Swedish library devoted to such unpleasant things.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly The concluding volume of Persson's Swedish political trilogy (after 2012's Another Time, Another Life) exhaustively explores the antecedents and aftermath of Prime Minister Olof Palme's murder in 1986. In 2007, Lars Martin Johansson, chief of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, reopens the unsolved case under the guise of developing a way to handle the massive amount of material-roughly a million pages-related to the assassination. Johansson, the man "who can see around corners," assembles four high-ranking officers and charges them with examining the evidence with fresh eyes. Word spreads quickly, rumors and tips fly, and the ad hoc squad immerses itself in the convoluted and sordid history of an investigation botched from the beginning. Strong characterization, a solid grasp of investigatory complexities, and an appreciation of the elusive, chimerical nature of "truth" make this a fine example of a conspiracy thriller. Agent: Niclas Salomonsson, Salomonsson Agency (Sweden). (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Book list Swedish crime fiction had a solid fan base in North America even before Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy hit the shelves, but since then the onslaught of new authors has become a tidal wave. Persson's trilogy of crime novels featuring Lars Martin Johansson (introduced in the author's first novel, 1978's The Pig Party) was originally published from 2002 through 2007 but didn't start appearing in English translation until 2010. Here, in the concluding volume, Lars Martin is now the head of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation. He remains obsessed with the still-unsolved 1986 assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme, and now he has taken the highly unusual and politically unwise step of reopening the investigation. How much of his own life and career (not to mention sanity) is he willing to sacrifice to find, more than two decades later, Palme's killer? A gripping novel and a fitting conclusion to a trilogy that, in many ways, is nearly as powerful as Larsson's blockbusters.--Pitt, David Copyright 2014 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.