Karin Slaughter meets Stefan Ahnhem in a dark page-turner where nothing and no-one is as it seems...
When the mutilated body of a man is found in a barn north of Stockholm, Chief Inspector Carl Edson and his team prepare for what - despite the unusual cruelty toward the victim - seems like a fairly routine murder investigation. That is, until they realise with shock that the tortured man is still alive - did the would-be killer plan to leave him alive, or did the perpetrator make a mistake? When the victim later dies at the hospital in suspicious circumstances, all doubt as to the killer’s plans are blown away.
Alexandra Bengtsson, a tenacious newspaper reporter, is the first journalist on the scene. When she makes a curious discovery, a car key near the first crime scene which might have a bearing on the case, she’s reluctantly drawn into the investigation, linking her to Carl Edson and his team.
When another body is found, completely unrelated to the first victim, the investigating team realise that the case is anything but routine. Both victims have criminal records, so is this a gangland crime? Before long, signs point toward the attacks having a wholly different link the police have yet to find; a link that echoes dark and violent events from the past. How are the victims connected? And why were they targeted?
Carl and Alexandra are both inextricably drawn into the centre of the investigation, where tables are turned and nothing is as it seems.
In this case, the question is: who is the victim, and who is the perpetrator?
‘A debut out of the ordinary, with an utterly unexpected plot twist halfway through.’ — Dagens Nyheter
‘Svernström is skilled in the handling of both his main characters…It’s both clever and interesting…this is an interesting Swedish debut indeed.’ — Skånska Dagbladet