I'd looked forward to this recent translation of Anna Jannson's Maria Wern series because I liked Strange Bird so much. Killer's Island, however, did not appeal to me as much as Strange Bird.
Maria Wern is on her way home when she happens on three men brutally attacking a young boy. Her attempts to intervene result in her own severe beating. When the boy dies, Maria has a difficult time dealing with the boy's death and her inability to save him. She also must face her own injuries and the fact that she can't identify the murderers.
Erika Lund, Maria's colleague, is tasked with the investigation. It is Erika, rather than Maria, who becomes the chief protagonist in this novel. In a related story line, Erika has fallen in love with Anders Ahlstrom, a physician. This seemed a little too rapid a love affair, and coincidentally, the young boy was one of his patients.
In the meantime, two others are viciously murdered, and both of these individuals are also patients of Anders.
Anders' character did not ring true, and Erika's rapid attachment to him didn't feel right either. Whatever caused her intense affection for Anders shouldn't have overwhelmed the weaknesses in his character. Most women would have dumped him on realizing that his young daughter appears to rule his life and his decisions.
Other nitpicks--the violence of Lin Bogren's murder. Unnecessary and part of the tendency to depend on horror to engage interest in a plot. Most of the red herrings are blatantly announced and lessen the intensity. Most will suspect the real villain, even if the reasoning behind it is not initially revealed. And...Anders' daughter Julia's abrupt change of behavior is another poorly explained detail.
Because I liked Strange Bird so much, I will be giving this series another chance. Based on this one alone, I'd abandon the series.
This was an ARC from Meryl Zegarek PR, Inc. Published by Stockholm Text.
Mystery/Crime. 2012. 364 pages.