The story is told from the perspective of Malin, a police officer; Jake, a little boy who finds himself involved in the case; and later Hanne, a detective on the case who is suffering from dementia. The choice of perspectives worked really well to tell the story – you often found something out from one perspective that the other didn’t yet know and so you eagerly wanted to find out what happened next.
There was so much mystery throughout the story, about various aspects of the plot. Although the story unfolded at a fairly slow pace, new evidence or events consistently arose that kept you guessing and wanting to know more. The ending of the book was brilliant – I did not suspect it at all. Even if you manage to guess who committed the crimes, I don’t think you would be able to guess why – the why left me with chills. Although the story came to an end, I want to know how various character relationships progress and develop after the events in this book; I will definitely be buying the next in the series.
Grebe also dealt with some difficult themes, such as xenophobia, sexuality, alcoholism and dementia, really well in the crime context. It made the novel fairly original and enabled you to connect in different ways with various characters in the book which is normally difficult in a crime novel – Jake was one of my favourites.
One slight criticism I would have is that there were a few minor characters whom I struggled to remember and differentiate between. Grebe did try to subtly remind the reader who was who when their names popped up, but as they were typical Swedish names it was harder for an English reader to remember them. But, isn’t that half the fun when you read a novel based in another country and originally written in another language! On that note, the translation was also very good – a couple of words stuck and didn’t quite fit – but that’s to be expected!
Overall I’d give this 5/5 – I haven’t read anything like this before! It was mysterious and chilling but also thought provoking.