Nordic noir goes cozy crime in a small Finnish town.
Author: Karin Erlandsson
Swedish original: Missdåd
Publisher: Schildts & Söderströms, 2016
Genre: Crime fiction
Number of pages: 300 pp.
Reading material: Swedish original, Finnish translation, English sample
It’s the summer of 1992. Young reporter Sara Kvist has landed her first job at a beachside small town’s local paper. Her first assignment is to write up the annual report of the midsummer celebrations. But midsummer isn’t the same this year – a woman’s body is found in the woods.
As the investigation unfolds, smouldering discord and major secrets are discovered lurking beneath the surface of the seemingly peaceful town. And as it turns out, Sara has to fear for her safety, even in her own private life…
The Misdeed joins the new wave of Nordic cozy crime fiction, in which the intertwined fates and lives of individual characters coexist alongside the traditional mystery plot. One major theme emerges from the life stories of the characters: men’s violence against women.
“The beautiful thing with Erlandsson is that she is so brutally unsentimental in her way of telling the story, in her formulations. […] She also has an ability to make simple lines and short dialogues work perfectly. In her we have an author who likes to observe people, how they talk and move about, who has a sense for both the horrible and the comical. […] And if there is a moral in the novel, maybe it is that the real evil can be left unpunished when a scared person’s mistake leads to the most terrible consequences.”
– Hufvudstadsbladet newspaper
“The multivoiced chapters in Erlandsson’s book are short and the perspective varies often but the author keeps the whole in her solid grip. The tension intensifies to its peak, Erlandsson reining it in with the character building. […] In the mainstream of ugly realistic detective novels The Misdeed is a pleasantly oldfashioned crime story.”
– Aamulehti newspaper
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