As the temperature in Sweden reaches a record-breaking 45 degrees, forest fires break out. All those who have failed to escape Linköping for the summer take shelter indoors, shocked and paralysed by the heat. However, when a teenage girl is discovered naked and bleeding in the local park, it is clear that the raging heat is not the only plague affecting the town. Then a second girl is found dead. Alarmed by the fact that the victims are the same age as her daughter, Tove, detective Malin Fors will work round-the-clock to capture the perpetrator. But as every lead comes to nothing, it is as though the oppressive heat is clogging up the wheels of her investigation. And time is not on Malin's side.…
There is little to recommend this drab little tale which suffers the double disadvantage of extremely poor authorship with bad translation.
After a promising debut with Midwinter Sacrifice I was hoping for far more than this. The problem is that the author pads his tale with mind numbing trivia and the risable mental meanderings of his increasinly unattractive female lead, who manifests as an out of context Victorian hysteric with pseudo feminist pretensions.. That the whimpering, but allegedly "Brilliant", Malin has attained such an elevated position in the Swedish police force is hardly credible and the authors delusional portrayal of women does them no favours. Then there is the simpering chorus of the murdered young girls rattling away in the background like a swarm of prematurely senile wasps adding yet another meaningless dimension to this plastic confection.In addition there are worrying glimpses of very real sexism & racism in this shallow tome.
Summertime Death is a fine example of, in Kallentofts own words,"the rapturous elevation of the mediocre and the uninteresting"
The writing is truly abysmal and the author should be prosecuted for crimes against the simile.
Scandanavian Crime Fiction has some stunning works, such as the books of Jo Nesbo & Henning Mankell - this execrable rambling is not among their number.
Given the appaling material the female reader fits very well
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Having listened to, and enjoyed Midwinter Sacrifice, the first book featuring Malin Fors, I was keen to listen to this, especially since it had a different narrator.
The story's pacing is slow at first , and only really picks up towards the very end, but the use of voices, including those of the murder victims, kept me interested. The weather and seasons are notable as characters in these books, and as a heatwave raged around me in real life, it was easy to imagine the one in the book. Perhaps the slow pace was a reflection on the heat in Linköping, adding to the feeling of sluggishness felt by the characters themselves.
I was pleased to find Malin's inner thoughts more believable than in the last book, and I was much happier with the narration in Summertime Death, too because it wasn't as monotonous, thus breathing more life into the various characters; and this despite some being dead. Pleasingly, I was unable to discern the perpetrator in this book which counterbalanced the lack of astonishment at the identity of the last abductee.
I would recommend this audio book, especially if the listener has enjoyed Midwinter Sacrifice. I also look forward to listening to Autumn Killing and Savage Spring in the same series being translated.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I really tried with this book as the summery sounded great. But after half way through the first part I had to give up as I couldn't really work out what was going on and it was all dragging a bit!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Summertime Death the most enjoyable?
Interesting story that had a number of threads and quite a few possible solutions that could each have been the correct answer.
What did you like best about this story?
I like the very unusual for Scandi-Noir setting of the stories - hot in the city, you might call it.
Rarely do you get forest fires, heat-exhausted police and swimming pools in Scandinavian crime fiction....here it is in abundance, a nice change........
What does Jane Collingwood bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
A slightly less enjoyable listen than the first one - Lisa Coleman's reading of the first book was better......
The ability to listen to the book.....?
No need for eyes and therefore less chance you will bump into things whilst enjoying the book.....
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
No.....but that's just me....I have no empathy!
Any additional comments?
Overall, very enjoyable. The story is a good one with interesting characters and plot points, enough suspects and motives to make the answer on of several possible...the backdrop to the main story of a record hot summer, forest fires and a steaming city are an interesting and unusual choice for a Scandi-Noir thriller as well...
I absolutely loved Midwinter Sacrifice and the narration of the fantastic Lisa Coleman was perfectly mesmerising. I was so excited to see the second in the series on audio but rather disappointed to see that it wasn't read by Lisa Coleman (why?). Unfortunately Jane Collingwood has completely spoilt this series for me- her voice is completely wrong for the atmosphere of these books and really grated on me ( not the first time her narration has ruined an audiobook for me). This started off very slowly too, so combined with the appalling narration was not a gripping listen.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful