Laura Hindersten’s father has gone missing and, while he may have just took off without telling her (though tyrannical, he is exceptionally eccentric), she is convinced something horrible has happened to him. The members of the Uppsala Violent Crime Division are certain the professor - an expert on the Renaissance poet Petrarch - will turn up, much more concerned with the murders of several elderly men in the region and how that may affect the upcoming visit by Queen Silvia, scheduled to arrive in a few days to open the new Academic Hospital.
Police Inspector Ann Lindell suspects there may be links the murders and the missing Professor, a hunch born out by evidence presented by a colleague of the Professor. As the body count and public anxiety increases, the pressure on Lindell and the rest of the team to determine if the deaths are the work of a serial killer.
The Cruel Stars of the Night, sequel to Kjell Eriksson’s critically acclaimed debut The Princess of Burundi, once again features the Uppsala Violent Crime Division and Police Inspector Ann Lindell. Police procedurals are standard mystery fare, yet Eriksson takes this well-worn formula and crafts something extraordinary. His character-drive mysteries feature an ensemble “cast” and the personality and motivation of each member of the Uppsala Violent Crime Division is fleshed out in tandem with the details of the case. Eriksson’s police men and women are very human, each with their own way of balancing work and home. Lindell, a single parent raising a young son, wonders if she is a “good” parent while coping with loss and loneliness.
This is not an action-filled thriller. Eriksson lets the tension build slowly, playing out the psychological clues like an expert angler – ensuring his audience is hooked before ratcheting up the tension. Readers may be able to takes breaks from Eriksson’s work in the early chapters; however, once the pieces begin to fall together, The Cruel Stars of the Night becomes impossible to put down.
Read the review at Armchair Interviews.
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: May 1, 2007
tags: books book reviews mystery Kjell Eriksson Anne Lindell Ebba Segerberg