Dark Saturday

Dark Saturday published under Nicci French is my second of the Frieda Klein mysteries. Written by Nicci Gerard and Sean French, In this, Frieda is asked to look into an old case of a troubled police officer. A decade ago Hannah Docherty was convicted of killing her family and Frieda is asked to look into how the investigation was conducted. Were there any irregularities? Anything off?

The further Frieda digs into this old case, the more she’s convinced that Hannah may not have been guilty, and since her conviction Hannah has been psychologically beaten down to a place from which she may never recover. While she’s looking into Hannah, Frieda keeps getting uneasy feelings as if she’s being watched. Has her stalker Dean Reeve resurfaced or is someone trying to prevent her from proving Hannah’s innocence?

I felt like this book started slow and didn’t immediately grasp my attention, but the whole country was about to go into isolation when I picked this book up, so my lack of initial interest may have been more circumstantial than related to the novel.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and Frieda Klein as an unlikely crime investigator.

Read March 2020

The Darkness

The Darkness by Ragnar Jonasson tells of Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdottir final case with the Reykjavik police department. She’s being pushed into early retirement, but is allowed to work on one cold case of her choosing. She picks the death of a Russian woman who was found by the sea.

Hulda’s bitterness after years of mistreatment by her colleagues buoys her into solving this case and ending her career on a high note. Along the way, she steps gets in the way of active investigation, angers coworkers, and begins to see life as a retiree.

I really enjoyed this with the twists in her investigation as well as the glimpses we see that maybe her impression of the world around her isn’t accurate. As we learn more of her past, her future happiness finally seems possible. The final twist shocked me which doesn’t happen very often.

Great read, great characters, great back story.

Read March 2020

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi is a great read for a bunch of 5th graders! Charlotte is a spoiled rich girl who ends up on a ship intent on revenge. Who’s right, who’s wrong. Charlotte, using the wisdom that she’s been taught, clearly understands that the dirty sailors are bad and the beautiful sea captain is good and lands herself on the wrong side of an argument.

Charlotte grows up and learns more of the world and humanity that her parents expected from the trip and her return to her world is almost as dramatic as the voyage over.

Read March 2020

A Darker Sky

Mari Jungstedt and Ruben Eliassen collaborated on The Canary Island Series. A Darker Sky follows Chief  Inspector Diego Quintana and expatriate journalist Sara Moberg. The setting is the beautiful Canary Island in an area full of Swedes.

I read this a couple of weeks ago, and while I remember enjoying it, I can’t even remember what the mystery is. So, fun, easy read, but not so memorable.

Read February 2020

Snowblind

Ragnar Jonasson’s Snowblind is a story about place as much as the people. Siglufjordur is a small fishing village that is cut off from the rest of Iceland when the one road leading to town are closed due to weather. Ari Thor is transferred here for his first police job while finishing the police training. He’s isolated from his girlfriend, he’s claustrophobic from the tall mountains and the blinding snow, and he sees murder when no one else does.

Jonasson paints a very white, cold picture and has Thor investigating the death of a prominent author even though his captain thinks he just got drunk and fell down the stairs. Then a young woman is found almost dead in the snow, bleeding red into the pristine white.

This was a stark read. Its one of the things I love about Scandinavian mysteries when the setting becomes impossibly bleak. Now I can add Iceland to the same category.

Read February 2020

The Better Sister

The Better Sister by Alafair Burke is a strange story, that gets stranger as the story unfolds. Chloe and Nicky are sisters that couldn’t be more different. They had a tumultuous childhood, then Nicky got involved in partying while Chloe buckled down and worked hard in school, and they grew apart. Nicky married Adam and had a son Ethan and seemed to be getting her life turned around, until she almost killed Ethan. Then Adam left Cleveland and Nicky behind and created a new life in NYC, and eventually married Chloe.

Fifteen years later, Adam is found dead and Ethan is on trial for his murder. Secrets that the sisters have been hiding for years from each other and the world start to come out when trying to protect Ethan. The sisters find they need each other and rely on each other in a way they haven’t in a long time.

Interesting read. Lots of twists in ways that I wasn’t expecting. The characters were good at hiding things.

Read February 2020

Silenced

In Kristina Bergman’s Silenced, a religious couple is found dead in their apartment. Fredrika Bergman and the Criminal Investigation Department soon find out that one of their adult daughters had recently committed suicide and the other cannot be located after taking a 5 week leave of absence from her work. A sub story contains one of the daughters being harassed in Thailand, but neither the woman nor the audience knows whats happening. Another story is following a Iraqi immigrant making his way illegally to Sweden with the help of unknown group whose assistance is not based on pay but on services. How all these storylines fit together got a little confusing at times since some stories didn’t use names and then when the connections were made between stories it didn’t always make immediate sense.

Overall, a very good story, but it lost me a couple of times when I needed to refer back to prior chapters. Well done characters or gaps in storylines? Hard to tell.

Read January 2020