In the early hours of the morning, the naked body of a young man is discovered in a ditch next to Göta Kanal. The cause of death is mysterious; the body bears no visible traces of violence.
The man is soon identified as Peder Akerlund, a former Swedish politician, excluded from his party for racism but since reformed. Then sixteen-year-old Nadja Lundin is reported missing, possibly abducted, the same evening, and there are signs that suggest the two cases might be connected.
But what do the victims have in common? And why were they chosen? Gradually, Malin Fors realises that they are dealing with someone who is playing a game with them, who speaks through murders and who will not be silenced. What is he or she trying to say? Desperate to fine Nadja alive, the team race against the clock to find an answer before it’s too late…
|Hodder & Stoughton||Paperback||336||Hodder & Stoughton||Scandinavian Crime Fiction||January 25th, 2018|
*Many thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for a review copy of Earth Storm in exchange for an honest review*
Earth Storm is part of a crime fiction series featuring detective Malin Fors, a 30-something divorced mother of a teenage daughter, and an ambitious detective inspector, in Linköping, Sweden. To be honest- the book blurb is all you need to know about this particular book and be ready to receive even more. Racism and social activists- you can’t get more current than that, complete with gruesome deaths, torture and edge-of-the-seat moments. In this dark mystery, you will be able to witness the clash of violence, love and lust, panic and fearlessness.
Earth Storm is my first venture into the Malin Fors series but I am happy to say not having read any works by Kallentoft before, this did not take away from my reading experience. Yes, there are possibly some personal things surrounding Malin’s past that remained slightly mysterious for me, not the facts themselves, but more like how she had dealt with certain things in the past. This has only solidified my wish to read all of the books in the series, to go back to the start and experience the full works.
Malin is a very complex yet straightforward character. No BS kind of woman, guarded yet with her heart in the right place, loving yet strict, intelligent and constantly very considerate of seeing the two sides of the story rather than jumping to immature conclusions. I loved that about her- no matter how many times she battled with doubts in her mind, she took the time to pop herself into the other side of the story.
But Malin is not the only reason I really want to read more of Kallentoft’s works.
Mons Kallentoft writes with a style that offers very realistic and intimate insight into each of the character’s personalities and who they really are as people. The detective team Malin is a part of includes men and women of various skill sets and their own specific personal issues. The writing style has ensured that all of these characters enable the reader to form a clear idea of every one of them. The jumps in between first-person POVs by them all, provided a front-row seat not only for the processes at the crime scenes but also to their innermost thoughts. This is a beautiful way to get to know a character- the inner monologue can never be fake.
I was thinking about how the detectives always seem to have a drinking problem attached, as is the case with Malin who is a recovering alcoholic, and I came to the conclusion that perhaps this really shouldn’t be labelled as a cliché. Investigating horrific crimes and constantly dealing with twisted human minds naturally has an impact on any human. Add to this the myriad of ways life can throw curveballs and you know what? I’d probably grab for a bottle as well.
In addition to how the characters are developed, the writing style also allows for an almost haunting atmosphere. The lulls in between the crimes, the moments of helplessness as the detective team has no firm idea on who is behind it all, are the two crimes connected, can they get to Nadja in time… there are only speculation and sick games. It feels maddening and hopeless. However, as it all draws to a close, after screwing all of the emotions up to the last level, the conclusion is all the more satisfying. The ending is very satisfying and rewarding, what with the non-stop plot twists that Kallentoft throws at you, and I really though- man alive! How much more of this could anyone take without going crazy?!
I had tried to figure out who is behind the crimes and I was way off the mark. With slow reveal of each clue as the investigation gets closer to the who behind it all, every character interviewed by the force is a possible wolf in a sheeps’ skin. When I discovered who had done these horrific crimes and why, I realized just how twisted, immense and intense this plot was. Not because of disappointment, but because of how dark it all turned out to be.
Earth Storm is a fast-paced read as it visits multiple avenues and aspects of the society we currently live in. The importance of freedom of speech, the dangers it comes with and the dark plans being plotted right under our noses.