More Bitter Than Death by Camilla Grebe and Åsa Träff, translated by Paul Norlen
Simon & Schuster, June 2013
Originally published as Bittrare än döden, 2010
Siri Bergman book 2
FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher via Edelweiss.
Siri Bergman is a psychologist who runs a self-help group for victims of violence along with her colleague Aina. The murder at the center of the book is of Susanne, a woman savagely killed in front of her five year old daughter. The book, unfortunately, opens with the violent murder as prologue, but the story doesn’t return to them for a considerable amount of time.
This is sort of an odd crime book because I don’t think Siri is really investigating the murder of Susanne during most of the book. She is busy dealing with her messy personal life and dealing with her work life, specifically the new self-help group she is leading. While Siri’s boyfriend is a police officer, he doesn’t involve her in the investigation to a great extent, which is probably as it should be, conflict-of-interest wise.
I’m trying to figure out why this book was such a fast read for me though I was ultimately unsatisfied with it. I think it’s because the book spends so much time in therapy and self-help sessions with the patients, and that’s fascinating (Träff is a psychologist herself). The last section of the book, however, was more investigatory, which moved more quickly for me. Grebe and Träff are also good at fleshing out their characters except the antagonist, who is still somewhat of a mystery even by the end of the story.