In this second installment of Persson's trilogy of police procedurals featuring the "small, fat and primitive" Evert Bäckström, the grand master's most appallingly repulsive (and funniest) character is finally given his fifteen minutes of fame by way of his patented combination of laziness, luck, and an unbelievable sense of timing.
A seemingly ordinary murder puzzles Bäckström, who is struggling with strict orders from his doctor to lead a healthier life. His gut feeling proves him right: within days, his team has another murder linked to the first on their hands, and reports of alleged ties to a Securicor heist gone out of control, killing two. The nation needs a hero, and the newly appointed head of the Västerort police force Anna Holt needs somebody to kill the dragon for her. Who better to heed to the task than Evert Bäckström: self-sufficient, ostentatious, devoid of moral, Hawaii shirt-clad, and, latterly, armed?
5 from 5
I try not to give too much away when discussing books I have read and this time I will be briefer than usual.
One of my challenges this year was to get stuck into some Scandinavian crime fiction and to that end; this was my fourth Persson book. During the other three, my attention and interest has wandered at times as the author has a tendency to go off page with some of his characters and their musings. This time around Persson stays firmly on track. The result is leaner, meaner and more satisfying for this reader at least. 370-odd pages and I was done in a day and a half!
Decent storyline, decent support characters – some of whom I’m familiar with from previous books, an unforgettable lead in Backstrom and an intriguing murder case to resolve. Backstrom on his own in an empty room would be interesting and funny, when he interacts with his underlings and crosses paths with his frustrated superiors, multiply that x 100.
Probably the best Scandi Crime Fiction I have read all year.
I obtained access to this via the Net Galley website.
My previous reviews on Persson’s books are as follows: