Murder in Malmo (Anita Sundstrom Mysteries) by Torquil MacLeod
|Murder in Malmo (Anita Sundstrom Mysteries) by Torquil MacLeod|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The second Inspector Anita Sundstrom Mystery and a considerable step up from the first which was enjoyable. This one's compelling!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 322||Date: July 2015|
|Publisher: McNidder & Grace|
|External links: Author's website|
Inspector Anita Sundstrom has been on sick leave for a few months. To some extent it's been political: she was involved in a high-profile case which went tragically wrong and left her exposed and emotionally vulnerable. Now she's back at work and there's a lot going on that's exciting. Someone is killing rich local businessmen and one was made (rather clumsily) to look like a suicide, but the reason isn't obvious. At the other end of the economic scale, a gunman is shooting at immigrants and there's fear in their communities. They're aware that they're not well-liked in Sweden and now they're actually getting shot at. But Sundstrom is not going to be allowed to get involved with the murder cases - she's not trusted - and finds herself stuck with the new trainee detective whilst she investigates the theft of some modern art.
There won't be any spoilers in this review, but you need to know that Murder in Malmo doesn't read well as a standalone. A lot of what happens, and most particularly the way that Sundstrom is treated arises out of what happens in the first book in the series. You'll understand this second book better if you've read the first book - and if you read this book first (yes, you could) it will spoil the pleasure of reading Meet Me in Malmo.
I can't think of another police procedural where all the investigators come off the page so well. You begin by thinking that they're going to be a bit stereotypical. Westermark looks as though he's going to be the standard randy copper, lusting after anything in a skirt and Sundstrom in particular, but even she acknowledges that he's a good detective. Moberg, her boss, is gross, misogynistic and on his third marriage. He's quick to put Sundstrom down when she returns to work and to tell her that she could be out of a job if she's not careful - but he recognises her talents when it's important. I liked Nordlund (the older detective who's mentored Sundstrom) and Hakim the new trainee. They knit together into a credible team.
And the plot is good - complex and with plenty of red herrings, clever without being too clever and with a very unusual killing for the first murder which it takes the investigators some time to work out how it was done, never mind by whom. The three murder cases all seem to be completely unconnected. Are the connections which do emerge just coincidences or something more sinister? I'm normally far too busy to spend a day reading a book, but I finally had to be reminded yesterday evening that dinner might be a good idea and I was shocked to find just how late it was as I'd been completely wrapped up in the book. After I read Meet Me in Malmo I thought that Torquil MacLeod might be an author to follow and I'd be happy to read his next book. Now I can't wait for the third book in the series.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
It's easy to think that Scandi-crime is dominated by Henning Mankell, but those days are changing. Here at Bookbag we've been impressed by Hakan Nesser and Asa Larsson. Don't forget too that Stieg Larsson is always worth reading (or rereading!)
Murder in Malmo (Anita Sundstrom Mysteries) by Torquil MacLeod is in the Top Ten Crime Novels of 2015.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Murder in Malmo (Anita Sundstrom Mysteries) by Torquil MacLeod at Amazon.com.
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