a model of order, or a dystopia? how about both?

Maxine reviews Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo’s Cop Killer, the penultimate volume in the Martin Beck series. Originally published in 1970, she finds it still fresh and insightful.

Jose Ignacio reviews Karin Alvtegen’s Missing at The Game’s Afoot. He offers evidence of how suspenseful he found it: he read it in one sitting.

Glenn Harper has a lengthy review of Camilla Ceder’s Frozen Moment, which he gives high marks. The ensemble procedural cast is well done and the story is realistic. Along the way, he also demonstrates that knowledgeable  bloggers can more than make up for the drop in mainstream media reviews in terms of insight, clarity, and perceptiveness.

A business blogger for the Economist wonders how Sweden can be a model for social programs and such a hotbed of crime. Should the UK really adopt education policies from “a dystopia where racism is rampant, public housing is squalid, dehumanising and graffiti-covered, schoolchildren are alienated, bored and drug-addicted, women are brutalised, business people are in the habit of keeping murdered corpses in their basements and the government is in league with neo-Nazi white slavers.” Well, when you put it that way . . .

Eva Gabrielsson (Stieg Larsson’s partner) is interviewed by Melissa Thompson of the Mirror. She thinks many of the decisions made about the wildly popular Millennium Trilogy would not have been allowed by Larsson (such as ditching Men Who Hate Women as a title for the translations). She says the proceeds from the three books would provide a retirement fund (though they had no idea they would be so popular and wouldn’t have had any reason to spend as much as the books have actually generated), the fourth book would support his muckraking publication, Expo, and the rest . . . that hadn’t been decided. She is holding onto a partially drafted fourth novel, which is her bargaining chip in negotiating with Larsson’s legal heirs, his father and brother.  Ironically, the article is published as part of a publicity push for the second film’s release in the UK; I have a feeling Larsson would be distressed by the commercialization of his relationships and the public airing of personal differences. In fact, had he lived, I wonder if he could have challenged the way we treat books as commodities.

5 thoughts on “a model of order, or a dystopia? how about both?

  1. I’ve just finished “The Darkest Room,” thus finishing my Scandinavian Book Challenge, although I plan to read “Roseanna,” “The Mind’s Eye,” “The Redbreast,” and maybe a few more Nordics this year.
    I am torn about whether I think Theorin should have won the Dagger. While he wrote a good book, I really liked “Hypothermia.” I think I’m a die-hard Indridason fan. Am so glad to have learned at Eurocrime, that the next translated book about Erlander will be available fairly soon.
    These challenges are fun and do motivate one to fulfill the goals more avidly than one might without it.

  2. Am 3/4 through “Thirteen Hours.” After reading five of six Dagger nominees, I still give “Hypothermia,” the highest rating of 5, and then “The Darkest Room,” and “Thirteen Hours,” each 4.8, “August Heat” a 4.4.
    Badfellas I haven’t read. It’s noncirculating in my weird library system.

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