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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • Enjoyable but lacks pace

    I loved the cover of this book and the concept of the profiler with the answers to the crime if only she could remember. I found it really easy to get into, a steady start that provided a good introduction to the characters however I expected that as a thriller it would pick up pace as the book progressed however I felt the steady pace continued throughout the book, perhaps it’s my expectations that spoilt it a little for me but I was really hoping this would be an edge of your seat story and it simply wasn’t. I liked the main characters however I felt that Malin and Hanne lacked depth, some more background to them would have been good however I felt Jake was well written. The story overall was well thought out however I felt like I was a few steps ahead, there were no surprises when I reached the end. That said I did enjoy reading this and would gladly read more Camilla Grebe books in future, I debated what star rating to give this as to me it’s a 7/10, good but not great

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  • The Golden Sequin

    3.5 Stars First things first, I am not a big fan of scandi-noir so that could colour my judgment of the novel - preconceived prejudices and all that. However, this novel does not read like your typical scandi-noir so either the author writes in English or the translator has done an absolutely epic job on this one - I really am not sure which but I could find no reference to a translator so assume the author has written the thriller in English but given it a Scandi setting (in this case the fictional Ormberg in Sweden). It still fulfills all the other necessary criteria though - bleak setting, an almost eternal winter and the pulling together of several seemingly unlinked people to a circle of murder. The plot itself is almost secondary to the character studies in the book. To be honest I found this to be a bit of a detriment to the book as it seems to take ages to make any progress in the cold case, the disappearance of Peter or the "fresh" murder of the older woman in the same location as the cold case they are investigating. There are plenty of stop offs to discuss the nature of refugees and how the societies they move in to perceive them. The decline of towns and villages due to the loss of industry. The nature of mental illness through dementia, loss of a loved one and gender issues. The story centres around three main protagonists. Malin, a police officer brought up in the declining town of Ormberg who has to return to investigate the cold case of a child found buried beneath a stone cairn (a body she happened to find as a teenager). Jake, a teenager struggling with his sexuality, his bullying, the loss of his mother to cancer and his mentally absent father. Hanne, a criminal psychologist (as best I can tell) who is fighting against dementia but is still called in to help solve the cold case. The only bits I really enjoyed where those that followed Jake. His character is sensitively drawn and apart from one or two bits where his actions do not match up with what we are told about his character he is the most rounded person in the book. Hanne and Malin are more or less both pretty one dimensional and defined by their disease and their upbringing respectively. I found the book quite hard to really get into and my mind had a habit of wandering off as I read. The procedural bit is tamped right down with just the odd flash of investigative technique, mostly they seem to go on hunches and gut feeling rather than actual evidence. It was large parts each character soul searching and naval gazing with little bits of crime thrown in.

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