6 juli 2011

Review: Själakistan by Ann Rosman

Plot: One late summer day near the Carlsten Fortress in Marstrand, a visiting school class makes a terrible discovery. The corpse of a woman in medieval clothes and without head is found at the ancient sacrificial stone. Shortly thereafter an old lady get the biggest shock of her life when she sees the head, on top of a trellis with roses and sweet peas.
When Karin Adler at Gothenburg police is informed by his colleague Robert, she enjoys the last day of her vacation. She has separated from her partner George and now lives aboard her boat in Marstrand.

The woman at the sacrificial stone turns out to have belonged to a group of people engaged in a live action role-playing game, set in the Medival times, at the remote St Erik's park on the island of Marstrand. That the police is dealing with a very cool calculating offender becomes clear when the forensic examination states that the headless body is not associated with the found head.

Karin and colleagues Folke and Robert now fears that there may be more victims, and pretty soon they get information about yet another macabre finding. A dismembered woman's body without the head. DNA samples show that the two women most likely are sisters ... (Summary from bokus.com, translated)

Cover: There are two different covers, one for the hardback and one for the paperback. This one above is for the hardback and I think it works well with the genre and the plot.

My opinion: Earlier I wrote about the Swedes and our relationship with crime stories, especially in summer time. I don't read much crime literature, I must admit, but when I do I prefer some of our own crime queens, for example Camilla Läckberg (also avaliable in English!) or the author of this novel Ann Rosman. What I like about them and their books beside the fact that they're always a fast read, simple yet entertaining and exciting is the fact that the motive for the crime always is to find in the past. As a history buff, I like this. 

Själakistan (roughly translates to 'Chest of souls') is very much rooted in history as the traced lead the police officers back in time to the witch trials, which in itself is very interesting, I think, even with the modern murders taken away.  Mixed in with the investigation and the history of Marstrand and the witch trials, there's also a parallel story from the 50's taking place, which also proves to play an important role for the present.Our Swedish crime queens also focus a lot on the main characters and their lives, their friends and family and love interests. I like that.

So, bottom line, if you understand Swedish and like a well-researched and exciting crime story mixing everyday life and history this might be a novel for you. And for me, I actually found myself wanting to pick up another crime story. 

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