Summertime Death is no easy-breezy summer read; an immersive noir that touches upon some difficult topics that are bound to leave you uncomfortable like wearing polyester in the sweltering heat.
Summertime Death by Mons Kallentoft
Genres: Crime Fiction
Published: 10th May, 2012
Series: Malin Fors #2
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As the temperature in Sweden reaches a record-breaking 45-, forest fires break out. All those who have failed to escape Linkoping for the summer take shelter indoors, shocked and paralyzed by the heat.However, when a teenage girl is discovered naked and bleeding in the local park, it is clear that the raging heat is not the only plague affecting the town.Then a second girl is found dead.Alarmed by the fact that the victims are the same age as her daughter, Tove, detective Malin Fors will work round-the-clock to capture the perpetrator. But as every lead comes to nothing, it is as though the oppressive heat is clogging up the wheels of her investigation. And time is not on Malin’s side …
Everyone at the police station expected a slow msummer, so when a naked, abused and catatonic teenage girl is found in the park and another one turns up dead, everyone’s on edge. Malin and her colleagues act in some unexpected ways that could only be explained away with the general irritability of the detectives caused by the stifling temperatures and possible heatstroke. Choosing your next suspect to be questioned based on which one of them has air conditioning? Turning a blind eye on your partner’s morally questionable behaviour because you just can’t be bothered to intervene? Neither of them is as reckless as Malin though, whose lack of focus brings on dire consequences and endangers someone close to her.
Despite their occasional irrational behaviour I found myself rooting for the team. Mons Kallentoft has a great talent when it comes to drawing you into the lives of Malin and her team, and it’s easy to see that they are real people with real problems who sometimes fail at their jobs, no matter how hard they try. But isn’t that the case with all of us?
Someone who stays silent can get away with pretty much anything. Language is the greatest enemy of the guilty.
The author examines abuse, racial bias and discrimination in this story, and let me tell you, it’s disturbing. Of course, the whole point of even mentioning these topics in a book is to make you feel awful, and it works.
A slow burning mystery, Summertime Death is a story of murder and repulsive human behaviour told in beautiful prose that almost reads like poetry.
I remember her hands on my skin, the way she gave me money afterwards, the taste of her swollen, moist crotch, and her words, whispering: Theresa, Theresa, Theresa, and the words turned to cotton wool among the flowery sheets, to the forest outside her window, to the dark expanse of the sky adorned with hopeful stars.
See what I mean?