review · Sweden

Autumn Killing by Mons Kallentoft

autumn killingAutumn Killing by Mons Kallentoft

Simon and Schuster, September 2014

Malin Fors, book 3

Disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher.

Autumn Killing takes place in a particularly cold and rainy stretch of fall in Linköping, Sweden. The deceased is an lawyer turned Internet billionaire named Jerry Petersson who recently purchased an old castle from a royal family falling on financial difficulties. Class tensions pervade the book and the case, and Malin Fors hears the voices of the deceased Petersson and others, much like she did in the only other book in the series I’ve read, Summer Death.

The mood is quite creepy: the image of bloated, dead rats coming out of the sewers during the torrential rains that the sanitary sewer system can’t handle is vivid, and it also echoes the turmoil of Malin’s personal life as she heads for the bottom of her alcohol addiction. Be warned that the books spends a lot of time with Malin and her addiction, and that arc is pretty predictable. The mystery is fairly interesting, but it is not a fast-paced investigation.

My one concern about the book is that I’m not convinced that Malin Fors is the most talented detective in her department nor am I convinced that she is indispensable to the squad, both of which are used as excuses by her colleagues not to fire her or send her to rehab immediately. I’d rather see her in action and dazzling her colleagues, which she may have done in the first installment in the series.

I will say that the passages from the perspectives of the deceased people didn’t bother me so much in this book as they did in the previous installment. It didn’t seem as ethereal.

The writing is quite good, but the actual plot is a little lacking. I like formulas or I wouldn’t read mysteries or crime novels, but I’m not enamored with addiction and rehab stories so I can’t recommend this book wholeheartedly. I think I kept reading because Malin was such a vulnerable character, but not because I expected anything unexpected to happen to her.

Other reviews appear in Crimepieces and Reviewing the Evidence.

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2 thoughts on “Autumn Killing by Mons Kallentoft

  1. Rebecca… This is TracyK at Bitter Tea and Mystery. I have not been able to comment at your blog and some other WordPress blogs for a while. I set up a WordPress account and it appears to working sometimes…

    To get to your review, there doesn’t seem to be much positive about this book. I can handle damaged policemen and women, but there needs to be something else making the book worthwhile. I won’t rule this author out, and thanks for an honest evaluation.

    1. Thanks, Tracy: I know reading is a matter of taste, and I think this one works if you’ve read one of the previous novels in the series and you’re ready for a character like Malin Fors. I agree, there are lots and lots of alcoholic policeman/women books out there.

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