Mons Kallentoft'An investigation consists of a mass of voices, the sort you can hear, and the sort you can't. You have to listen to the soundless voices, Malin. That's where the truth is hidden.'
The snow covered all the tracks, as the killer knew it would. But it couldn't hide the victim, the man who now hung naked from a lonely tree on a frozen plain.
Malin Fors is first on the scene. A thirty-one-year-old single mother, Malin is the most talented and ambitious detective on the Linkoping police force, but also the most unpredictable. She must lead the investigation while keeping her fractured life on the rails.
No one knows the identity of the dead man. Or perhaps no one ever wanted to know. When all the voices of the investigation have fallen silent, Malin can rely only on herself and her own instincts. And as she follows in the frigid wake of the killer, Malin begins to discover just how far the people in this small town are willing to go to keep their secrets buried.
WHSmith Edition now contains Exclusive Bonus material including...
Exclusive First Chapter from upcoming book: Summertime Death; this is a sequel to Midwinter Sacrifice
Author Interview Mons talks to his UK Editor
Here we go again, with another dark Scandinavian thriller for fans of Jo Nesbo and Steig Larsson. This time it's set in Sweden, and the detective who must solve a brutal murder is, for a change, a woman.
Detective Inspector Malin Fors of the Linkoping Police is a single mother, who perhaps drinks a bit too much, but is blessed with acute female intuition
The book opens during the coldest winter in memory. As in most Scandinavian murder mysteries, the frozen landscape is an essential part of the story, a metaphor for desolation and despair. At the outset, a naked, dead man is found hanging from a tree on an ice-bound plain. He's also been brutally beaten, and Malin Fors immediately suspects he is the victim of a ritual murder. But why?
Fors identifies the victim as an eccentric loner, well-known in the town of Linkoping. He was a frequent target for abuse by local youngsters, as well as adults, tormented by them because he was obese and smelled bad
But Fors has to concentrate to separate gossip from hard fact. 'An investigation consists of a mass of voices, the sort you can hear and the sort you can't. You have to listen to the soundless voices, Malin. That's where the truth is hidden,' she is told.
And that is where this female detective comes into her own, because her instincts are extraordinary. She's a fascinating character, and extraordinarily well-drawn by a male writer, which is rare.
Midwinter Sacrifice is utterly gripping, with a superb plot. It is tense, dark, and suspenseful. I loved it. With her many personal problems, Malin makes for an intriguing and sympathetic character. Kallentoft's story is, I think, even better than Steig Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Malin is the first police detective to arrive on the scene of a horrific spectacle: a naked, beaten man dangling from a tree. She concludes that the murder is perhaps the work of a sect, or cult. Meanwhile, bizarrely and totally unexpectedly, we discover that the hanged man has a voice. His thoughts appear on the page for us alone, the readers, to hear.'In a way, it's nice hanging up here. There's a good view, and my frozen body is swaying pleasantly in the wind. I can let my thoughts meander wherever they like. There's a calm here that I've never experienced before, that I never imagined might exist. My voice is new, my gaze too. Maybe I'm now the person I never had a chance to be.'
Creepy, that voice. Indeed, the language and the writing in this book is of very high quality. It is often lyrical, and frequently subtle. Murder mysteries are often written almost journalistically, but Midwinter Sacrifice has its own unique, wonderfully readable style. Linkoping is a small town, and Malin finds that uncovering the secrets of its inhabitants is tricky. The town may be one of Sweden's most advanced centres of technology, medicine and scholarship. But surrounded by a snowy winter landscape of trees and forests, Lindkoping also seems shut off and somehow frozen in time. Linkoping is a small town, and Malin finds that uncovering the secrets of its inhabitants is tricky. The town may be one of Sweden's most advanced centres of technology, medicine and scholarship. But surrounded by a snowy winter landscape of trees and forests, Lindkoping also seems shut off and somehow frozen in time
Midwinter Sacrifice - Mons Kallentoft
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