This is the third in the Emma Skold series, and I haven't read the previous ones. Actually, I can't find that they have been translated yet.
I have to take issue with the cover statement: "The New Queen of Scandinavian Crime." The book held my interest, but I wasn't that impressed with it. I don't see Sarenbrant edging out Asa Larsson, Karin Fossum, Anna Jansson, or Camilla Lackberg any time soon.
Emma Skold is a police inspector in Stockholm, Sweden. In the early stages of pregnancy, Emma is determined not to let her pregnancy interfere with her job performance. Since I have not read the previous novels in the series, I can't say for sure how much the earlier books focused on Emma--but in this one, her role is not the main focus.
While not equally divided, the plot can be separated into three strands: Emma, Cornelia, Josefin. The narrative alternates between the killer's first person POV and a third person, present tense POV that relates events as they occur.
Cornelia is eager to sell their house as she plans to leave her husband Hans, taking their six-year-old daughter Astrid with her. Determined to escape the physical and mental abuse she has suffered over the years, as much for her daughter's sake as for her own, Cornelia can't help but wonder if the house itself will reveal the abuse to prospective buyers.
After a showing, she and her daughter go to bed. Her drunken husband stumbles in late and sleeps in the guest room. The next morning, Astrid discovers her father's body.
The murder of Hans is only one thread in this novel that touches on domestic abuse, infidelity, and a couple of story arcs carried over from previous novels. Strangely, I was not much involved with any of the characters; not even young Astrid evoked much emotion. I felt sorry for Cornelia, sympathized with Josefin, but found Emma a little irritating.
This was an ARC that arrived in the mail.
Scandinavian Crime. May 10, 2016. 433 pages.
The Lost by Claire McGowan is the first in the Paula Maguire series.
Forensic psychologist Paula Maguire has built a reputation for finding missing persons...and for not always following the directions of her superiors. Seconded from London to the Irish home town to which she never intended to return, Paula's brief is to help the new Missing Persons Unit make headway in the disappearances of two teenage girls.
A little slow at first, but then the plot take off rapidly. Paula has difficulty re-acclimatizing to Ballyterrin and has to work to fit in with the Missing Persons group which has an innovative mixture of Catholic and Protestant team members from both sides of the border.
Is there any connection to the two girls missing in the present and to cold cases of missing girls in 1985?
The novel addresses dark elements connected with both The Troubles and with the Magdalene Laundries. Paula must also face her own personal history that led to her leaving Ireland with no plans to return.
Definitely a series I intend to pursue. Thanks, Rita, for recommending this series.
Crime/Mystery. 2013. Print version: 305 pages.
Last year, I read Christine Carbo's The Wild Inside (also set in Glacier National Park) and enjoyed it. Glacier National Park is a "1,583-sq.-mi. wilderness area in Montana's Rocky Mountains" and that is an awful lot of wilderness. Carbo obviously loves the area deeply, but it is just as obvious that she acknowledges and respects all the dangers it represents.
Mortal Fall follows the investigation of Glacier National Park police officer Monty Harris, who is tasked with determining the cause of the fall that led to the death of wildlife biologist Paul "Wolfie" Sedgewick. Sedgewick was an experienced climber, intimately familiar with the terrain and its dangers, and many are finding it difficult to believe he fell to his death.
Anyone, however, can have an accident or misstep, and the fall could have been an accident. Sedgewick was well-liked and well-respected, but his study of the endangered wolverine population was not popular with some locals, especially poachers. Monty feels responsible for finding the truth--an accident, suicide, heart attack, or push.
When another body is found beneath the cliff, Monty's investigation leads to other possibilities, including one that might involve his estranged brother and the questionable academy for troubled teens that his brother attended years ago.
Monty Harris was a secondary character in The Wild Inside, but carries this novel. Other minor characters return, giving the novel a familiar feeling, and Carbo makes the most of both characters and setting. The park itself becomes a kind of amorphous character in its own right.
Carbo does a fine job of presenting flawed, but intriguing individuals who struggle with their own pasts. I look forward to more from Christine Carbo.
Police Procedural/Mystery. May 31, 2016. print version: 416 pages.
My Snail Adventures continue on my other blog.