Convicted of brutally murdering his girlfriend, seventeen-year-old John Meyer Frey marks time in an Ohio maximum security prison, awaiting execution. For nearly a decade, the victim’s father has hungered for Frey’s death, while a prison guard is torn by compassion for the young man. When Frey unexpectedly dies of heart disease before he either receives his just punishment or achieves redemption, the wheels of justice grind to a halt.
Six years later, on a ferry between Finland and Sweden, a singer named John Schwarz viciously attacks a drunken lout, leaving the man in a coma. The Stockholm police arrest Schwarz and assign Detective Superintendent Ewert Grens to the seemingly straightforward assault case. But when Grens learns that the assailant has been living in Sweden under a false identity, he begins to suspect that something darker and more complex underlies the incident. Following his intuition, Grens launches an investigation that stretches from Sweden to the United States and reveals a shocking connection between the Frey and Schwarz cases. Featuring a multilayered plot with a killer twist, Cell 8 takes you on a page-turning journey that explores the devastating repercussions of the death penalty as well as the fallout from the conflicting desires for public justice and private retribution.
©2012 Anders Roslund, Borge Hellstrom (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Listeners who enjoyed Roslund & Hellstrom's Three Seconds will likely find the followup to be just about as good. In some ways it's even better, as the characters are now a little more familiar to both the authors and the readers. In other ways it's less good, as there's not as much of a mystery to the story as there was in the first book. Be prepared for a pretty blatant anti-death penalty message without a lot of subtlety. If you don't mind that, the story is entertaining. The problem with a "message book" like this is that the authors' viewpoint tends to take center stage, and the story takes a backseat. That is mostly not the case here, happily. The authors are against the death penalty; that seems clear. But since most of the world is against it too, I'm not sure now necessary it is to beat readers over the head with it. Nevertheless, the story is creative, the narration is very good (Christopher Lane really does a good job with the Swedish accents), and the characters are believable. Inspector Ewert Grens comes across wonderfully in the audio version; it's hard to imagine him being as good if you were reading the print version. This is a good example of where the audiobook adds layers that the print book almost certainly does not. That alone is a good reason to give it a listen, in my view.
When I like something I'll let you know. If I don't, I'll let you know that too!
Cell 8 is the story of revenge justice and the long outdated belief that an "eye-for-eye" is just. Cell 8 takes many shortcuts with due process and international laws. The story is still enjoyable and full of meaning, both tangible and intangible, even with the apparent ignorance toward official procedures. The death penalty is center stage thoughout the book and may not be enjoyable for someone who is strongly locked into an opinion at either extreme. This story makes others with less conviction question whether they support or oppose the taking of a life as a just form of criminal punishment. Several story arcs are started and left unresolved which screams that more books are on the way from these fine authors. I admit I found Three Seconds a more compelling story than Cell 8, but both are credit worthy. Mr. Lane gives a great performance and contributes to the enjoyment of Cell 8.
I enjoy Scandinavian mystery and crime authors like Asa Larsson, Helene Tursten, Jo Nesbo, Karin Fossum and Amaaldur Indridason just to name a few.
I seem to always say the same thing about all the Scandinavian crime writers they are the the best. Roslund and Hellstrom have written the best essay against the death.since Death Man Walking was published. This is for people against, for and on the fence regarding the legal killing of humans in the United States.
Hate to say this, but the book is so boring and narration is so bad that I couldn't finish it. A terrible waste of time and money!
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