the guardian Tue 07 February 2012
This is a strange mix. The plot is sophisticated and intricate, centring on Annika Bengtzon, a reporter on Stockholm's Evening Post who has been shunted into a mediocre job on the night shift after dispatching a violent boyfriend in a previous installment. Her sleuthing instincts are aroused when two men are found murdered at the docks. And then by happy coincidence she stumbles on an organisation called Paradise which helps endangered women to disappear, just as another woman who fears for her life appeals to her for help. What begins as a small-scale investigation ends up encompassing governments and conflicts worldwide, and the pace never flags. But it's a fine line between short, pithy sentences and the "See Spot run" school of prose, and large chunks of the book read as though written with a short, stubby crayon. This competent series, part of the snowy march of Scandinavian crime fiction on to our shelves, may well work better when translated on to the screen.