The Night of the Fire

The Night of the Fire

A Mystery

Book - 2020
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Swedish police inspector Ann Lindell finally returns in internationally bestselling and award-winning Kjell Eriksson's newest novel. Police inspector Ann Lindell has left the Uppsala police and is living a quiet life, producing local cheese in a small town in Uppland. But life in the country is not as idyllic as it seems. On New Year's Eve someone sets fire to the former village school which is now a home for asylum seekers, and three people are killed. Ann Lindell's investigative instincts come back tolife and soon she takes on the case. She is contacted by a person who has been involved in a previous investigation and who wants to warn her. His message is short and clear: Many will die. A few weeks later a bomb explodes in a suburb of Stockholm. KjellEriksson wrote seven highly acclaimed novels about Ann Lindell, beginning with award-winner The Princess of Burundi, and now, after ten years, he returns to the Uppsala region and his sympathetic police inspector. The Night of the Fire is the first of two new volumes featuring Ann Lindell.
Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, ©2020.
ISBN: 9781250766144
Characteristics: 326 pages ;,25 cm


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Jan 30, 2021

All is not well in Sweden. It's beset by the same nativist, white supremacist hatreds as the U.S, even in Tilltorp, a dwindling small village where former Uppsala police detective Ann Lindell has moved for a bucolic life learning to make artisanal cheeses. A fatal New Year's Eve arson fire at the old school building in which some Afghan refugees were living remains open and unsolved. A suspicious second fire in which a woman dies brings the Uppsala detectives, Ann's former colleagues, back to investigate. Are the two fires related? Are the arsonists of the first fire also tied to a theft of explosives used in a terrorist bombing? Ann works her contacts and provides crucial information to her former colleagues. The cops doggedly tracking down the clues are Sammy Nilsson and his new partner Bodin.

While there are plenty of characters who get killed, they happened "off-stage", so it's not shockingly violent like many Scandinavian murder mysteries. The author explores the lives and circumstances of several villagers, both elderly and marginalized, with insight and compassion.

Nov 17, 2020

I was determined to finish the book. With terrorism and hatred of immigrants enmeshed in the storyline, it should have been a book challenging to put down, but it was not. I have thought several days about why I found it a difficult book to finish. There are several reasons. The storyline felt disjointed. I understand that in a series, the author does not want to spend much time on backstory. The successful author can incorporate enough information into the writing to make readers feel empathy toward the main characters, but I could not connect with anyone. As an American reader, I got confused by the Swedish names, to my ear and eye they were so similar that I kept getting mixed up. Geography also seemed to be important in the storyline, and perhaps having a map of Sweden would have helped me make sense of what was going on.

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