A second course of revenge served cold challenges DS Alex Recht, civilian consultant Fredrika Bergman and the rest of Sweden’s Criminal Investigation Division (Unwanted, 2012).
Fifteen years after a prologue presents a young girl’s rape as she picks flowers during a Midsummer’s Eve ritual decreed by her family, Alex’s group is charged with investigating two seemingly unrelated cases. One is the hit-and-run death of an unidentified man. The other is the apparent murder-suicide of Jakob Ahlbin, assistant vicar of the Bromma Church, and his wife Marja, a cantor at the church. The Stockholm-based investigators are ill-prepared for the pressure under which they’ll have to operate. Alex fears that his unit is about to be disbanded and its members dispersed among other crime-fighting units; Fredrika is pregnant by her lover of 10 years, a married professor at Uppsala University; Peder Rydh, recently separated from his wife, Ylva, and dumped by his lover, Pia Nordh, is in hot water for his off-color remarks to a luscious new trainee. All of them would be even more uncomfortable if they knew that half a world away, in Bangkok, a woman intimately connected with their current caseload is finding her official identity systematically erased, as she’s stripped of her email accounts, her money, her identification papers, her hotel room and her name. The thread that links these mysteries involves crooked cops, neo-Nazis, identity theft, murder for hire, the smuggling of illegal immigrants, a pair of sisters whose falling out has turned them into enemies willing to fight to the death and a wounded soul with a long memory.
A Chinese box of a procedural that manages to link together not only a varied bunch of felonies and motives, but its detectives’ equally unruly personal lives as well.