The Hand That Trembles by Kjell Eriksson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This wasn't a bad mystery, but it wasn't great, either. This is actually two (and a half) mysteries: the years-old murder of Nils Dufva, a woman's severed foot found on a remote beach, and the years-old disappearance of a politician, Sven-Arne Persson. The link is the detective squad, with Ann Lindell being the prominent tie.
Set in Uppsala, Sweden (and even remoter areas near the Sea of Aland) and - for a while - in Bangalore, India, these stories unfold rather slowly. The severed foot is our first mystery: whose? how did it get to the beach? This strand takes us to a peninsula inhabited by three couples, and a bunch of bachelors. Their lives are interrupted by the investigation, but one senses that for most it's one of those passing storms. The other strand starts in India, with Sven-Arne Persson living a semi-precarious life as an illegal inhabitant after having walked out of his life as a county politician in Uppsala. When a former neighbor recognizes him, he returns to Sweden to confess to the murder of Nils Dufva (an unsolved - or cold - case). The question of why he did it is the more critical one, and the answer might surprise the reader.
My problem was that it seemed that the author had two mysteries, neither particularly substantial, and decided that rather than fleshing either out she'd merge them into one book. Maybe it's a translation issue?
ARC provided by publisher.