Göteborg’s Violent Crimes Unit sets its sights on a killer who takes an unusually retributive view toward sins of the flesh.
Divorced florist Ingela Svensson’s corpse, strangled and carefully wrapped, turns up in a churchyard. So does divorced nurse Elisabeth Lindberg’s. There’s obviously a single pair of hands behind the two murders, but the killer has been so careful to avoid leaving any trace evidence that it’s hard to tell whose. As they repeatedly interrogate minimally responsive park groundskeeper Daniel Börjesson and wait for the crucial break that will come only with the discovery of an earlier victim who escaped a similar fate by the skin of her teeth, DI Irene Huss (The Treacherous Net, 2015, etc.) and her colleagues focus instead on speculating about the not-so-private lives of their superiors—most notably, about Superintendent Efva Thylqvist’s apparent affair with Irene’s old friend DI Tommy Persson, who’s cooled considerably toward Irene since his divorce—and their own domestic problems. For Irene at least, these last carry serious potential to rival the work of the Package Killer. Someone steals her husband Krister’s wallet while he’s working in his restaurant, uses a bank card inside to buy him a carton full of sex toys, finds ways to harass their daughters far from Göteborg, and then bears down hard to exact “vengance” on Irene. Is it her old enemy Angelika Malmborg-Eriksson, whose blogs against Irene are pure poison, or does the Package Killer have her in his sights?
Proficient, unexceptionable work for readers who haven’t had enough of self-righteous serial killers targeting helpless women beneath Nordic skies.