Mari Jungstedt; Tiina Nunnally (translator)
Stockholm Text, Jun 10 2014, $14.95
In Visby on Gotland Island, Sweden, successful fiftyish event planner Viktor Algård files for divorce from his weak wife Elisabeth and abandons their children to spend more time with his lover. When he hosts the gala opening of a new center in Visby, Viktor knows he is the toast of the entire island except his family.
Detective Superintendent Anders Knutas struggles with his own children, but must put aside his personal concerns to focus on the homicide by poison of renowned Algård at the event in which the deceased received accolades from almost everyone. He focuses entirely on the dumped spouse with a powerful motive until an arson that destroyed three cottages relates back to his murder investigation causing him to look for other possible causes.
The sixth Gotland Swedish police procedural (see The Dead of Summer, Killer's Art, Unspoken, Unseen and The Inner Circle) is an enjoyable whodunit in which Knutas sees parallels in his relationships with his family to that of the victim. The whodunit is strong as twists and red herrings widen the inquiry while family secrets especially one the protagonist prefers not to have learned hammer his gut.