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Posts Tagged ‘Hjorth & Rosenfeldt

Manden der ikke var morder

Manden der ikke var morder

In November I didn’t have a lot of time to read… or do anything for that matter. I participated in NaNoWriMo where people from around the globe attempt to write a 50.000 word novel in 30 days. How did I do? Well – since you asked – I WON. I am proud to announce that I am a NaNoWriMo winner 2010 and 2011. It wasn’t easy and I had to give up a lot of my interests for this challenge but hopefully sometime, if I keep on practicing, I’ll be able to get one of my novels published.

However, now it is December… a month FILLED with time to read and oh so many new and exciting books by all my favourite authors. In Iceland the two months before Christmas are a heaven for book-lovers since almost every author tries to publish their books on this time of year. There is one newsletter/brochure that is delivered to all homes in Iceland Bókatíðindi which holds information about all these books. For me, when Bókatíðindi arrives… marks the beginning of Christmas. So expect a lot of posts in the following weeks.

I just finished a book that I got for Christmas last year. I know! In Icelandic it’s called Maðurinn sem var ekki morðingi. It’s a Swedish novel by authors Hjorth & Rosenfeldt, and in Swedish it is calles Manden der ikke var morder. I didn’t find an English title for the book but discovered that there was a TV show made after it under the name Det fördolda or Dark Secrets in English. The novel was a debut for the authors who have worked in many years in television. On the cover of the book it claims to be the biggest “bomb” after Stieg Larsson. I thought to myself that this would certainly be a bit of an overstatement and it turned out to be true in my opinion. Stieg Larsson’s are a large shoes to fill.

The story begins with the disappearance of a 16 year old boy who shortly after that is found dead. To investigate the crime the local police calls in a team of experts who try to find clues about what went on. Some of the characters are rather interesting, especially Sebastian Bergman, a depressed crime psychologist who joins in on the investigation for personal reasons but turns out to help a lot more than he wanted to. I thought the novel had some symptoms of a “First novel” for example the authors are trying really hard to bring in a subplot where Bergman is trying to find his long lost lovechild and it doesn’t really flow in the story. In the end it all comes together though so it’s not all bad but it is a bit awkward. Also some of the subplots aren’t finished. The reason for this might be that the novel is supposed to be the first novel in a series so maybe the authors are trying to make a connection to a later novel in the series.

The style of the novel is rather interesting. The use of language was great and the voice of the characters were believable. But the switching between perspectives was  a bit confusing. When I learned that the authors had worked in television I knew why. Sometimes I found it hard to know in which characters mind I was. I was maybe reading Sebastian’s thoughts and turned a page and all of the sudden, without a warning or a break of any kind, I was in the murderers head. In a movie or a TV show this wouldn’t be a problem because I would see/hear who was speaking (maybe to himself) but in the novel it sometimes got confusing.

The best part of the book was the ending. It got exciting and didn’t fail to surprise me and I closed the book happily, satisfied with a job well done, finishing another book. Although I cannot agree that the novel was as good as Larsson’s novels, it was a fun read and I would recommend it to everyone that loves crime novels and especially those who love Nordic crime novels. I give it 3.5 stars.

My next post will be on a play I saw a couple of weeks ago – stay tuned 🙂

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