Thursday, October 24, 2013

Killer's Art-Mari Jungstedt

Killer's Art

Mari Jungstedt

Stockholm Text, Oct 22 2013, $14.95

ISBN: 9789187173455

In Visby on Gotland Island, someone batters before murdering art dealer Egon Wallin. The killer leaves the naked corpse hanging off of Dalman Gate. Detective Superintendent Anders Knutas leads the investigation assisted by Detective Inspector Karin Jacobsson into what is ruled a homicide as the corpse died elsewhere.

The brutality of the death shocks all of Sweden while the cops believe the viciousness probably means the culprit is filled with out of control rage; two more violent murders in the art world affirm that hypothesis. Due to a connection to Wallin, complicating the murder inquiry is the theft of the renowned Nils von Dardel’s "The Dying Dandy" painting. As the two cases tie together, the feeding frenzy media demand more blood except for reporter Johan Berg whose ethics leaves him and his loved ones in danger from an avenging killer.

The latest DS Knutas Swedish police procedural (see Unspoken, Unseen and The Inner Circle) is a terrific twisting tale with a moral lament in which gaming the system is an acceptable way of life as reminded by the apparent settlement between the government and Bank of America. For the most part the killer’s ire is never fully felt by readers except through the respective filters of how the media and cops portray the psychopath. Fans of Scandinavian noir will want to read this taut thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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