Silenced – Kristina Ohlsson

Title – Silenced

Author – Kristina Ohlsson (translated by Sarah Death)

Published – 2012

Genre – Crime fiction

I received this copy of Silenced – the second crime fiction title by Kristina Ohlsson, from www.thedarkpages.co.uk at a time when I’m feeling a little ambivalent about Scandi crime fiction.

The story surrounds the mysterious deaths of Jakob Ahlbin, a supporter of illegal immigrants, and his wife, that are assumed at first to be a murder/suicide. Investigators soon discover that one of their two daughters also died just days earlier from a drugs overdose. While this initially suggests a reason for the deaths of the parents, it soon becomes clear to the detectives that there is more to the case than meets the eye. There are other threads to the story which are told in parallel – that of Ali, an illegal immigrant who has just arrived in Sweden and a young woman trapped in Thailand.

Much of the book is more involved with the lives of the team working on the case than the mechanics of the investigations. I felt a bit torn about this – the characters were interesting and engaging and I did want to know more, but it felt as if their domestic lives were getting in the way of the plot, and it certainly slowed the pace. There’s also some reference to events in the past which I assume were from the earlier title of Unwanted, but that didn’t really interfere with the story. I was pleased that things didn’t get too bogged down in the processes of the Swedish Police!

I was unsure about the story to start with – in making things quite mysterious at the beginning I felt I was being left in the dark too much, although towards the middle of the book it became a real page turner. Unfortunately, however, the climax of the book and the revelations all came so thick and fast that I really couldn’t keep track at the end.

It did seem to me that despite the huge number of items that were resolved, there were actually quite a few loose ends and I was missing explanations of how some  of the things were achieved. Even a few days after finishing I catch myself thinking “so how did they do that” or “what was the point of

Sadly, as I haven’t yet seen or read The Killing I can’t comment on the cover which says it’s “for fans of …”!

Score – 3/5

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3 comments

  1. I read the previous book by this author and was a bit “meh” about it. I did not like the kidnapping baby theme and the subsequent events concerning babies – thought it a bit commercially exploitative in a way I don’t like. The sexism was relentless – women good, men bad (on the whole).

    I have just read a newly published Scandinavian crime novel (Swedish) that I enjoyed a lot – Babylon by Camilla Ceder. Highly recommended (and her debut, Frozen Moment) if you like “ensemble” police procedurals.

  2. I’m not sure whether to try this book. Interesting that Maxine recommends ‘Babylon’ as I liked ‘Frozen Moment’ very much, Definitely one for my list.

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