11 January 2013


  • Format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 684 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (March 15, 2012)
  • translated by Paul Norlen
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007BLO4D0
  • Source: I bought it

 Synopsis (Amazon)

Stockholm1975. Six young people take the entire staff of the West German embassy hostage, demanding that the Baader-Meinhof members being held as prisoners in West Germany be released immediately. The long siege ends with the deaths of two hostages and the wounding of several others, including the captors. 

1989: When a Swedish civil servant is murdered, the two leading detectives on the case, Anna Holt and Bo Jarnebring, find their investigation hastily shelved by an incompetent and corrupt senior investigator.

1999. Lars Johansson, having just joined the Swedish Security Police, decides to tie up a few loose ends left behind by his predecessor: specifically, two files on Swedes who had allegedly collaborated on the 1975 assault on the West German embassy, one of whom turned out to be the murder victim in 1989. Johansson reopens the investigation and, with help from detectives Jarnebring and Holt, follows the leads - right up the Swedish political ladder...

Awarded Best Swedish Crime Novel by the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers on its original publication in 2003, Another Time, Another Life is an astonishingly accomplished and resonant thriller spanning twenty-five years, centred around the still-unsolved murder of Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986.

My take

The synopsis above gives you a pretty good plot outline without giving everything away. So it remains for me to tell you what I thought of it. ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER LIFE is #2 in a trilogy of police procedurals featuring detectives Bo Jarnebring and Lars Johansson. It is currently the only one of the trilogy to be translated into English.

To be honest it took me quite a while to get used to what appeared to be the author's sardonic tone. He seemed to have a very poor opinion of both the Swedish police and the secret police, the quality of their personnel and their investigative capabilities. Persson also explores the forms that corruption can take. Sometimes I found his cynicism unpleasant to the point of being distracting.

At times I felt lost in the descriptions of political events from 1975 onwards in Sweden in particular although I already had some general knowledge of them. The connections between the events of 1975, 1989 and 1999 weren't obvious at the beginning and made for quite a complicated plot.

Persson explores some interesting philosophical ideas too - among them that justice is not always best served by carrying out the letter of the law. Retribution can come in other forms and can even be self-administered.

Will I read another? I found the characters of Lars Johansson and Bo Jarnebring intriguing, and so I probably will, should another become available in English.

My rating: 4.4

See another review:
EuroCrime - by Laura Root

About the author

Leif GW Persson is the Grand Master of Scandinavian crime fiction. Over three decades, he has taken a scalpel to the political and social mores of Swedish society in his dark and complex crime novels. Persson is also Scandinavia's most renowned criminologist and a leading psychological profiler. He has also served as an advisor to the Swedish Ministry of Justice. Since 1991, he has been Professor at the National Swedish Police Board and is regularly consulted by media as the country's foremost expert on crime. He is the author of nine novels, all of which have been bestsellers in Scandinavia.

1 comment:

Kerrie said...

From Norman:
Blogger comments defeated me again! Kerrie nice you are back home safely after your tour of the USA and Australian airports. The first book of this trilogy Between Summer's Longing and Winter's Cold has been translated into English but it is very heavy going.I really enjoyed ATAL and Persson's cynicsm


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