14 July 2016

Review: THE CHOSEN, Kristina Ohlsson

  • first published in Swedish 2013
  • translated by Marlaine Delargy
  • this edition published by Simon & Schuster 2015
  • ISBN 978-1-4711-4879-8
  • 584 pages
  • Source: my local library
  • #5 in the Fredrika Bergman series
Synopsis (publisher)
.. a tense, atmospheric mystery featuring an enigmatic killer rooted in folklore.

On a cold winter’s day, a pre-school teacher is shot to death in front of parents and children at the Jewish Congregation in Stockholm. Just a few hours later, two Jewish boys go missing on their way to tennis practice, and an unexpected blizzard destroys any trace of the perpetrator.

Investigative analyst Fredrika Bergman and police superintendent Alex Recht face their toughest challenge ever on the hunt for a killer as merciless as he is effective. As they struggle to pin down a lead, someone or something called the Paper Boy—a mysterious old Israeli legend of a nighttime killer—keeps popping up in the police investigation. But who was the Paper Boy really? And how could he have resurfaced in Stockholm? It is up to Fredrika to track down the elusive murderer before he claims his next victim.

My Take

This novel story is one of those you can't say too much about in the review without revealing significant bits of the plot.

It is #5 in a series featuring Fredrika Bergman but I haven't read earlier titles. I gather Fredrika is returning to work after an absence and her colleague Alex Recht is constantly worried that he is asking too much of her. Fredrika's talent is that she can connect the dots of a trail in a different way to most of her colleagues - she can envisage different scenarios for them to consider. It is this talent which makes her most useful in an investigation team. She can see connections where others see none.

The main story is set in 2012. Among the threads which merge together are why the families of the missing boys emigrated to Sweden from Israel 10 years earlier, involvement by Mossad, MI5 and Sapo, what happened on the West Bank ten years earlier, and secrets.

The structure of the book is designed to keep you reading because almost from the beginning we are told part of the ending. The characters in these segments are not named and so working out who they are is part of the "hook".

A good suspenseful read.

My rating: 4.7

About the author
Kristina Ohlsson is a political scientist who has previously worked for the Swedish Security Service and as a Counter-Terrorism Officer at OSCE (the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe). Unwanted, Silenced, and The Disappeared are the first three books in her crime series featuring Fredrika Bergman. She now lives in Stockholm, where she works full-time as a writer.

1 comment:

noirencyclopedia said...

Golly, but it's long, though! By comparison, the best and most thought-provoking novel I've read over the past month or so has been Graham Greene's The Quiet American, weighing in at a whopping 180 pages.


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