5 December 2012

Review: DEATH OF A CARPET DEALER, Karin Wahlberg

  • format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 636 KB
  • Print Length: 394 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 9187173212
  • Publisher: Stockholm Text Publishing AB (May 22, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • translated by Neil Betteridge 
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0085HXLCY
  • Source: I bought it
Synopsis: Amazon

The brutal murder of a Swedish carpet dealer on a business trip to Turkey is the start of a story about an unknown daughter, an exclusive carpet and – as always when Karin Wahlberg writes – the everyday life and dreams of the people we meet in her stories.

My Take

Carl-Ivar Olssson, the carpet dealer, lives in the small Swedish town of Oskarshamm. He is happily married to Birgitta, a nurse at the local hospital. His carpet business is highly respected and he frequently goes to Istanbul for business and holidays. On this occasion he and Birgitta, married for something like 40 years, went to Istanbul: he for a conference and she for a holiday. Birgitta returns home ahead of Carl-Ivar, and two days later he is dead, brutally murdered on a Bosphorus ferry.

DEATH OF A CARPET DEALER combines plot elements we have seen many times before like the revelation that Carl-Ivar has a secret life, with a fairly traditional police procedural, and a carefully plotted many-layered story, that reminded me a little of a flower opening. Oskershamm is one of those relatively small places it seems, where people's lives overlap rather in the manner of a Venn diagram. So the author is able to bring new threads into the novel, each one a separate story.

Wahlberg has peopled this novel with some very well drawn characters and believable scenarios. For example the carpet dealer is murdered just at the wrong time for Chief Inspector Claes Claesson who is about to take paternity leave. This will be his second daughter with wife Veronika Lundborg, doctor at the local hospital, under some sort of cloud with a "Doctor Death" reputation. It isn't just the murder that connects Claes and Veronika to the carpet dealer though. Claes has inherited a very old carpet that is currently with the carpet dealer for repair. This scenario is just one example of the delightful webbing that connects this community.

Some of the action of the novel takes place in Istanbul where Claesson and a Turkish speaking colleague go to collaborate with the Istanbul police in tracking down the murderer of the carpet dealer. I enjoyed revisiting the city which I have explored at least twice in the flesh.

I am wondering whether DEATH OF A CARPET DEALER is actually the debut of the series. It is characterised by that careful and detailed creation of characters that we often see at the beginning of a police procedural series. I for one will be very happy to read another.

My rating: 4.7

Read another review by Petrona.

About the author (from Amazon)

Read by every doctor and nurse in Sweden and often compared to New York Times bestselling author of medical thrillers, Tess Gerritsen, Death of a Carpet Dealer is one of seven in Wahlberg’s series featuring Police Commissioner Claes Claesson and his wife Veronika Lundborg, doctor at Oskarshamn hospital. Her books have sold over 1.5 million total copies worldwide.

Karin Wahlberg’s crime novels both entertain and inspire readers to make the world a better place. Karin Wahlberg works as a gynecologist and obstetrician in Lund, Sweden, when she is not writing books; books that are more like exciting literary works than traditional mysteries. Her style allows her to create rich stories with profund storylines that highlight the seemingly ordinary lives of her characters. Wahlberg excels at bringing these characters to life – people who have found themselves at a critical turning point and must act both for themselves and for their environment. Karin Wahlberg says this about her writing: “There is just one deadline, death, and therefore there is all reason in the world to write about those things one finds are important.”

DEATH OF A CARPET DEALER appears to be her first title available in English although there are 7 titles in her Claes Claesson series. Hopefully we will see more in English.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kerrie - So glad you liked this. It's coming up on my TBR...


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