Persson, Leif G W - 'Another Time, Another Life' (translated by Paul Norlen)
This is a beautifully translated book and is based upon a clever mix of real-life Swedish politics and fiction. It is full of a wonderfully black sense of humour, with a bit of sexism as well, it must be said, but not too much. One particularly nice touch is the way the characters in the book say something polite to a colleague, friend or spouse, then this is followed with what they really want to say, but as a thought that they don't utter. I loved it! The beginning was a little on the slow side, but this is necessary for what comes later, so bear with it and you won't be disappointed.
The story concerns a murder. In 1989 Kjell Göran Eriksson, a Swedish civil servant, was stabbed in his flat by persons unknown. His elderly neighbour heard the commotion and reported it to the police, who duly came to investigate. The senior detective in charge of the case, an unpleasant man with a drink problem, is convinced that the crime is of homophobic origin, since there have been a series of anti-gay stabbings in the area and he is sure this is another one, despite protestations to the contrary from the other detectives working on the murder. After a frustrating and fruitless search for evidence, the case remains unsolved and is eventually allowed to slide into quiet obscurity.
Ten years later the stabbing resurfaces, in connection with the 1975 siege of the West German embassy in Sweden. New light is thrown on the case and this time a lead is found. It seems as if real progress is being made at last, only for it to be hampered by the men at the top, who have their own reasons for keeping the truth hidden.
This is an extremely readable and highly entertaining book. It can be slow in places but this, if anything, adds to the sense of the frustration that the police must be feeling as they struggle to find answers but are thwarted on every side. A perfect read for the summer, when you can relax and unwind and enjoy some excellent literature.
Paperback: 480 pages (Oct. 2012) Publisher: Black Swan ISBN: 0552774693
Read another review of ANOTHER TIME ANOTHER LIFE.
Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland
Amanda blogs at Old Dogs and New Tricks.
Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.