Title: Summer Death
Author: Mons Kallentoft
Review: Good Scandinavian mystery to me is a crime/victim, a troubled but dogged investigator, and a relentless slog through the mundane until a small crack in the case appears and a resolution is obtained. No fancy
tricks or improbable coincidences needed; just good solid police work and
determination will get you through. Kallentoft accomplishes this with his
Swedish based police procedurals, especially in Summer Heat.
Summer Heat blends the anguish of a single mother (to a daughter)
investigating a violent crime against a teen girl, the blinding heat of the
summer (with fire), and a police establishment who just want to pass it
off as an immigrant crime. On top of that everyone has secrets and
hindering her case the whole way is a public not will to be honest,
derailing her investigation all along the way. These elements are blended
to perfection as a criminal continues to terrorize a community.
My only flaw with the novels (it is part of a series of police procedural
novels featuring Malin Fors) is the lead character. While I do not expect
to like every lead character I do hope to identify with them in some way.
With Malin Fors I am still looking for that bond that would connect me to
her world. Now I have only read two books so far, and these are being
translated from the original Swedish (so some nuance may be lost), so I am
still hanging with this series. I am sticking with it because I like just
about everything else about these books.
So a solid mystery in the Swedish style; and it should be noted it can be
read out of order from the other books in the series.
Publisher: Emily Bestler Books
Copyright: 2008 (translated 2012)
Quick Review: 4 stars out of 5
Why I Read It: Love the Swedish Mysteries
Where I Obtained the Book: Sent to me by the publisher for review.
Synopsis: In this chilling crime novel starring the elusive, tough-as-nails
Swedish police superintendent Malin Fors, a combustive summer turns deadly.
In the midst of the hottest summer anyone can recall, a sweltering heat
wave and raging forest fires plague the small Swedish burg of Linköping.
Things get especially hot for police superintendent Malin Fors when a
teenage girl is found naked and bleeding in a city park, incapable of
recollecting how she came to such a state. Then, the corpse of a teenage
girl turns up on a lakeside beach. For Malin, the divorced,
thirty-four-year-old mother of a teenage daughter, the case is more than an
explosive nightmare in a season of fire—it’s personal.
Dark and brooding, with a protagonist that has earned Kallentoft’s novels a
global readership, Summer Death is crime fiction at the cutting edge.
Author Biography: After being awarded the Swedish equivalent to the Whitbread Award for his debut novel Pesetas, Mons Kallentoft chose to give his own unique take on the classic Scandinavian crime novel. His success was immediate. The first book in the series about superintendent Malin Fors received unanimous praise from the national critics; it also conquered the bestseller charts and has today sold more than 300,000 copies in Sweden alone.
Was Mons Kallentoft born to be a storyteller? Yes, perhaps. Because, considering his upbringing, literature was not the obvious path in life. Mons grew up in a working-class home in the provincial town of Linköping, Sweden. Books were a rare phenomenon in his house; instead the young author spent his time playing football and ice hockey.
He discovered literature when he was about fourteen, and bedridden following a severe sports injury. Kafka, Hemingway and George Orwell introduced the young man to a whole new world.
The path to his own authorship led him through the advertising business, journalism and the shady side of Madrid. His debut, Pesetas, which was awarded the Swedish equivalent to the Whitbread Award, takes place among cocaine dealers and bankrobbers in the Spanish capital.
Following another couple of critically acclaimed novels (Marbella Club and Attractive, Healthy & Spontaneous), as well as an well-regarded travelogue/food essay (Food Noir), Mons Kallentoft chose to give his own unique take on the classic Scandinavian crime novel. His success was immediate.
The first book in the series about Superintendent Malin Fors received unanimous praise from the national critics; it also conquered the bestseller charts and has today sold more than 220 000 copies in Sweden alone. The novel recently appeared on the Norwegian bestseller charts and the series about Malin Fors will soon be published by leading publishing houses in nine countries.
Through the series about Malin Fors, Mons Kallentoft re-establishes his connection to his childhood home – a place that the truly cosmopolitan Kallentoft has spent all his life running from. The result is an innovative series of crime novels that are both poignant and packed full of suspense.