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The Princess of Burundi (Ann Lindell, Bk 1)
The Princess of Burundi - Ann Lindell, Bk 1 Author:Kjell Eriksson, Ebba Segerberg (Translator) Winner of the Swedish Crime Academy Award for Best Crime Novel, The Princess of Burundi introduces American readers to a leading crime writer from Sweden whose work has created an international sensation. — Eriksson's U.S. debut opens a week before Christmas when a Swedish town is rocked by the brutal murder of John Jonsson, a local ... more »family man. Detectives, led by a very pregnant Inspector Ann Lindell, at first suspect a chillingly well-drawn psychotic, and they may be right. But if they are not right, that leaves a cunning and vicious murderer on the loose in their town.« less
Ellen H. (eeeee) reviewed The Princess of Burundi (Ann Lindell, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 6
Solid start to another Scandinavian mystery series. The characters are appealing, the mystery is good and the insights into Sweden (and particularly the city of Uppsala) are interesting. Up there with Henning Mankell and Arnaldur Indridason.
First Line: The plate trembled, knocking over the glass.
Former small-time crook John Jonsson is found brutally murdered with clear evidence of torture in a small town in Uppsala, Sweden. With Ann Lindell on maternity leave, it is up to her partner, Ola Haver, to find the killer.
First of all, I'd like to pick a bone with publishers in general. According to Stop, You're Killing Me!, this is the fourth book in this series that Eriksson has written, but it's the first to be translated into English. The Princess of Burundi won the Swedish Crime Academy Award for Best Crime Novel, and the publisher obviously thought it stood the best chance of selling well here. Although the book stands on its own merits fairly well, I often felt as though I walked in halfway through the movie as far as the series characters went. Please publish series books in order!
In this book, Eriksson delineates each of his characters very carefully except for those who have already appeared in previous books. Ola Haver is a police officer whose marriage is ossifying, and I never did feel as though he was any great shakes as an investigator. He was mired in his worries about his home life. Ann Lindell is on maternity leave in this book, and there were too many references made to a relationship she'd had in a previous book. She didn't have all that much to do with solving this case, and what small glimpses of her that I was allowed made me want to know more:
"I'm certainly not sophisticated," she said quietly to herself. "Not like detectives on TV, the ones who listen to opera, know Greek mythology, and know if a wine is right for fish or a white meat. I just am. A normal gal who happened to become a police officer, the way other people become chefs, gardeners, or bus drivers. I want there to be justice, and I want it so much I forget to live my life."
It was page 126 before I learned what "Princess of Burundi" had to do with anything. (The victim raised tropical fish and Princess of Burundi is the popular name of one of the species.) I found the plot to be a bit too circuitous, and it seemed that the bad guys just kept right on going until they did something so blatantly stupid that the police couldn't help but catch them.
All this makes it sound as though I found the book to be a waste of time. I didn't. There was just enough of main character Ann Lindell there for me to know that she's someone special that I would like to get to know better. (I would suggest that, if she has any more children, her maternity leave occurs between books and not right in the middle of one!)
I also found Eriksson's descriptions of Sweden and Swedish society to be very good. As I was reading, I felt as though I were there crunching through the endless snow and becoming better acquainted with the people. I will be keeping an eye out for books by this author. If earlier books in the series are published, I will definitely read them.
I read half of this police procedural set in Sweden, but it was a slog and I finally gave up. None of the characters are really coming alive and these first 150 pages still feel as though it's all set-up. I could forgive this and keep with it if the setting were interesting, but the Swedish city feels as though it could be just about anywhere that is cold. This book has had so many great reviews, I really wanted to like it. But it's time to move on to something more engaging.
This Swedish crime drama is about a murder that takes place in the city of Uppsala. The story follows the lives of the police detectives, the family of the victim and a potential suspects. The story is very slow moving especially in the beginning. I didn't really get into the book until about a third of the way through. The first third has a lot of character development and, in my opinion, too many unnecessary details. The worst part is that the ending was very abrupt. I had finally gotten absorbed in the story and the end came out of nowhere! I really liked the last 2/3 of the book and felt the the author came up short in the end. I think he spent too much energy describing details at the beginning of the story and ran out of energy for the end. So-so book!