Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sweden: 'Shadow' by Karin Alvtegen - a comment

First of all, an apology for the lack of recent posting, due to ongoing health issues - I now have to play catch-up over the next couple of weeks!

Karen Alvtegen's Shadow is a psychological mystery dealing with dark secrets surrounding Nobel prizewinning author Axel Ragnerfeldt and his family. The story opens with a young boy abandoned on the steps of an amusement arcade in 1975, and proceeds to unravel the repercussions of that act thirty years later. It's nominally set in Stockholm, but in fact could be anywhere.

The major problem I had with this book - apart from the fact I found the characters entirely unlikeable - is that one of the twists at the end is a well-worn contrivance and thus not much of a surprise. Apart from unremarkable plot-devices, though, this is a reasonably entertaining and undemanding read, but I won't be adding any of her other novels to my 'To Be Read' pile in the near future.

A small point - I nearly didn't pick up this book at all: from the picture on the front I assumed it fell into the misery-lit genre and was to be avoided at all costs.


Dorte H said...

Your award is right here:

It is so good to see you around again, and I really hope your health is better.

How interesting that you are not as fond of Alvtegen as many others in our crime fiction room. I read one or two of her books, but didn´t quite warm to her either. But then, even though I like some psychological thrillers, real whodunnits are my all-time favourite genre.

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