More proof, if any were needed, that the oppressive darkness of Swedish crime fiction isn’t limited to those long winter nights.
After years of resenting the way her schoolmates bullied her, dowdy heiress Justine Dalvik finally turned on them (Good Night My Darling, 2007). Revenge never brings closure, and now several mourners are looking in their different ways to heal the wounds opened by the murder of Martina Anderson and the disappearances of Berit Assarsson, who vanished moments after visiting Justine’s home, and Nathan Gendser, the expedition leader left in the Malaysian jungle by Justine and her group. Berit’s best friend, Jill Kylén, has taken Berit’s husband Tor, who’s virtually disabled by grief, on a trip intended to restore him to the human family. The voyage will have therapeutic results, all right, but not quite the ones Jill envisions. Back in suburban Stockholm, police officer Tommy Jaglander is taking time out from beating his wife Ariadne, whom he blames for their teenaged daughter Christa’s blindness, to reopen the case against Justine, who sits in her house as if frozen in anticipation. When vengeance does arrive, however, it comes from an unexpected source that closes the books without settling the moral problems involved.
A minutely detailed idyll simmering with apprehension that’s very much a sequel to Good Night My Darling, which readers are strongly encouraged to read first.