The Swedes Do It Again

The Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I just finished reading The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler.  It is one of the best crime novels I’ve read this year.   I was hooked right from the beginning when the book opens with a terribly gruesome multiple murder.  There is only one survivor, a fifteen year-old boy.  This is how we are introduced to Erik Maria Bark, the hypnotist at the center of Kepler’s story.

Detective Inspector Joona Linna asks Bark to hypnotize the boy in an effort to find out who perpretrated the crime and to possibly save the boy’s older sister.  Bark has sworn never to hypnotize again and it has been more than ten years since he last practiced hypnotism.  He reluctantly agrees and sets in motion a terrifying chain of events.
The Hypnotist is an international bestseller and is set to appear in thirty-seven countries.  Stieg Larsson fans need to check out this book.  With Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy and Roslund and Hellström’s book Three Seconds in their camp,  I would say that the Swedes are the current masters of crime fiction!
Book Details: Published by Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux (June 21, 2011),  512 pages,  ISBN: 0374173958.

Three Seconds

The Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The latest book from Roslund & Hellström is about the crooked dealings between the Swedish police and their well-placed informants. Ex-con Piet Hoffman, now a “covert human intelligence source” for the Stockholm police, is deeply implanted into the Polish Mafia.  He is attempting to stop the organization from controlling drug distribution in Sweden’s prisons, and all the while, Hoffman is also a family man with a wife and two young sons.
When Hoffman is involved in a fouled-up drug deal that leads to murder, investigating detective Ewert Grens inadvertently threatens to wreck the operation. Afraid that Hoffman will disclose the Swedish government’s illegal involvement in his assignment, his handlers blow his cover while he’s trapped in Aspsås prison,a maximum-security lockup. With the Swedish police, the Swedish government, and the Polish Mafia all wanting him dead, Hoffman utilizes Grens in his plan for escape from Aspsås.
In 2009, “Three Seconds” was awarded the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award for Swedish Crime Novel of the Year, previously won by both Steig Larsson and Henning Mankell.  The book was also a Top 10 bestseller for eight months in Sweden.  Swedish crime fiction fans should not miss this one!

Book Details: Published by SilverOak (January 4, 2011), 496 pages, ISBN: 978-1402785924