Friday, October 30, 2009
" The Princess of Burundi", by Kjell Eriksson
Book1 in English translated from book4 in the Ann Lindell series
This crime story spins a tight and mysterious plot. The main thread begins with a jogger on his morning run finding the mutilated body of John Jonsson, whose hobby is tropical fish and is famous for his aquarium.
The readers are introduced to this story without the background of the previous novels. With a cold start we find out that the main character Ann Lindell is now on maternity leave but unable to distance herself from work, she is always in touch with her partner Detective Ola Havre. He and a tight knit group of officers are the prime investigators in the Jonsson's case, a case Ann cannot resist getting involved.
The story evolves around John's older brother Lennart the main suspect and well known criminal, other members of John's family and a nutcase that John had a previous altercation with.
I found it rather hard to get into at first and contemplated many times abandoning it. The story is quite complicated and progresses somewhat sluggish at times. It has many threads to follow with characters which I presume where developed previously. The lack of background left something missing it was like coming half way into a story. However by the end, when Detective Ola Haver and Ann Lindell begin to feature more prominently both professionally and personally the mystery becomes more absorbing and interesting and the roles the characters are better appreciated.
The novel is highly recommended and won best in its class by the Swedish Crime Academy. However, I found it missing in imagination and lackluster. It was a disappointing read but nonetheless I am curious to see if I will change my opinion reading the sequel.