Room No. 10 by Åke Edwardson, translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles
Simon & Schuster, March 2013
Originally published as Rum nummer 10, 2005
Erik Winter book 7
This is the first Edwardson book I’ve read though it’s number seven out of ten books in the Erik Winter series. Jumping into the series at this point wasn’t difficult in terms of the development of the series and the characters because the novel jumps between one of Winter’s first cases and a contemporary case, both of which are linked to the hotel room in the title. At the beginning of the story, Winter is on the brink of a six month sabbatical (a winter in southern Spain) as he takes on the murder investigation of Paula Ney, the young woman found murdered in room no. 10. He also reflects on his early days in CID as he was investigating a missing persons case involving a woman who stayed in the same hotel room before she was reported missing. The two timelines allow Edwardson to give lots of backstory about Winter and his colleagues.
The book is a slow read in part because there are plenty of discussions of how Winter thinks, how he interrogates suspects, and how he obsesses about the minds of criminals.Or maybe the book just feels slow because the investigation itself takes months: Paula Ney, the young woman found murdered at the beginning of the book, is a loner with few friends and very reticent family members, which makes the investigation drag on. While the pace does pick up towards the end of the book, it felt like a slow read for me. I prefer a bit more action in the police procedurals I read, and I’m willing to try earlier books in the series to see if they have a bit more action than this particular book.
Åke Edwardson has won the Best Swedish Crime Novel Award from the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy for Frozen Tracks and Death Angels, and his novel Till allt som varit dött won an award for best debut novel.