Mystery Books for Sale

[ Home ]
[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]


by Ake Edwardson
Harvill Secker, June 2006
448 pages
ISBN: 1843432013

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

It's a hot Gothenburg summer and Chief Inspector Erik Winter is about to take a year's sabbatical. But before he can go swanning off into the sunset, he has a rapist and murderer to track down.

We first met Winter in Ake Edwardson's SUN AND SHADOW, set around the Millennium. In NEVER END Winter and his partner Angela now have a daughter, Elsa, but they are still living in his flat and there's still tension about where they should live long-term.

Winter's family life is further back in this story this time, as he investigates the rape of a schoolgirl. She has destroyed all the evidence, her parents are less than helpful, and she has a surly boyfriend. It's all very hard going, and when a murder occurs Winter can't help but link it to an unsolved murder some years back.

The first 100 pages drag and meander and have a distracted air. Then, as Winter re-interviews and searches, he comes up with a faintly sinister clue and the book bubbles into life. It becomes a mix of solid policework and personal touches, with Winter trying to stop smoking, and his colleague Halders dealing with personal disaster.

Speaking of which, it would be good to know more about the supporting cast -- Halders, Djanali and the young detective with depression. Edwardson is a bit weak on characterisation, and sometimes you feel like you don't even know Winter that well.

I still have some doubts technically about Edwardson as a writer -- the slipping and sliding point of view is a bit tiresome. And even though there is far more to like than to dislike in NEVER END, and it's a series I shall continue reading, I can't get past the feeling that I'd like some more stringent editing to cut back on the slow passages, and some more work on bringing the characters to life.

The frustration in reading translated crime fiction is not knowing how good the translation is. In effect, all you can do is compare the translation with others done by the same translator. Laurie Thompson has clearly cornered the market in Swedish translations, but his work with Edwardson and Henning Mankell has a rather ponderous feel to it. The slang in NEVER END feels slightly off (and the book isn't that old -- originally published in Sweden in 2000) -- "bun in the oven", "Old Bill", "codswallop" and "Shanks' pony" all sound deeply quaint.

NB: There is also an American edition of this book, published by Viking, due out in June 2006.

Reviewed by Sharon Wheeler, May 2006

[ Top ]



Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]
[ Home ]