In the middle of a rainy Swedish summer, a little girl is abducted from a crowded train. Her distraught mother was left behind at the previous station in what seemed to be a coincidence. The train crew was alerted and kept a watchful eye on the sleeping child. But when the train pulled into Stockholm Central Station, the little girl had vanished.
Inspector Alex Recht, assisted by the investigative analyst Fredrika Bergman, are assigned to what at first appears to be a classic custody fight. But when the child is found dead in the far north of Sweden with the word "unwanted" scribbled on her forehead, the case soon turns into the investigation team's worst nightmare - the pursuit of a brilliant and ruthless killer.
©2009 Kristina Ohlsson (P)2013 Dreamscape Media, LLC
"Superior prose, plotting, and characterization.... readers will look forward to spending more time in the company of the intriguing Bergman." Publishers Weekly)
"Expect Ohlsson to join Nesbo on most readers' can't-miss lists." (Booklist)
This story dragged on and on... I gave up on the story. Definitely not up to the standards of Scandinavian noir found in Sjowall and Wahloo, Henning Mankell, or Jo Nesbo. The premise was good - but immediately plummeted from there, digressing into repetitive and uninteresting details about characters I didn't care about. . . and the performer was irritating. Why, in a novel set in Sweden, did she feel compelled to give everyone an accent? Mostly, they sounded like cardboard German characters - definitely nothing like Swedes I personally know. The accents were completely unnecessary and quite irritating. Hard to distinguish individual characters.
Dull - the author focused on characters who were completely predictable. Much less attention to the mystery. The setting was completely forgettable. The author's name sounds Scandinavian, but I kept wondering if she'd ever visited Sweden, much less live there? There was NO sense of location, which is normally one of the best aspects of Scandinavian noir. The story could have been set in Iowa - and at least that might have eliminated the cardstock accents used by the narrator.
Gave all the characters bizarre accents, which sounded more like Germans than Swedes, and were completely unnecessary. The story is supposed to be set in Sweden. The "accents" just distracted. Basically had two modes for characters, German gravel voiced, or German not gravel voiced. Every time a character spoke I was irritated.
Ohlsson has created an interesting cast of characters in this book - with an interesting, if depressing, storyline. However, the narrator spoiled this for me - she is wonderful with the Swedish accents when reading dialogue, but why she used an affected and pompous (and at times incorrect) English accent to narrate the body of the book is beyond me - maybe it's because I am English myself and am more sensitive to this, but it may have been better if she had stuck to her native Canadian.
The book was good but the narration was unbearable
This is a book about a serial killer and this person's voice is more suited for an erotic storyline. Even then it would not have the effect one would hope for because it's so annoying! Listen to the sample and understand that anything you find that you don't like will be enhanced throughout the book. Did you every listen to a person mimicking an upper class English accent? This is what you will hear every sentence, for real, throughout the book. Just be forewarned.
I read the first chapter in hard copy and loved the character development and detail, so I was looking forward to the audio version. However, I am only 32 minutes in, and I am not sure I can continue. The narrator, Justine Eyre, has a low raspy voice that goes in and out of a rather peculiar English accent. It sounds somewhat supercilious, which does not match the story line at all. I actually prefer the fake Swedish accents, although sometimes Eyre slips out of them at the end of a dialogue. It is just awful.
Ask for my money back, and order the hard copy version.
I almost did not get this book because of the narration reviews. I am so glad I listened to the sample first before I took their word. I loved the different voices the narrator used. I have Swedish relatives and have been to Sweden, so I am not totally off base. The story was a good one and I am listening to the next two books. I liked this one and chose it not based on the reviews.
The narrator is so breathy that it made me uncomfortable. She would literally run out of breath before the end of each sentence. There was no breath support. I found myself wondering if the she was ill while recording this -- instead of enjoying the story. I would suggest she see a speech therapist to help with this situation, especially if she intends to continue in this line of work.
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