Winner of The Swedish Crime Academy Award for Best Crime Novel.
'But he took out all the Princesses and beheaded them. I don't get it.' 'The Princesses?' 'That's the name of the fish. The Princess of Burundi' When the mutilated body of tropical fish collector John Jonsson is discovered in Uppsala the police are baffled - he may not have been a saint, but who would want to kill him, and in such a brutal way? Inspector Ann Lindell, working the case, is convinced that the killer has been swiftly identified, but then doubts begin to creep in: what if she's wrong? As increasingly sinister events begin to unfold, and Jonsson's family get further involved, Lindell and her team must unravel the complex clues and stop the killer before it's too late - Kjell Eriksson is already an international sensation - it's time to see why.
Translated by Let the Right One In's Ebba Segerberg.
©2012 Kjell Eriksson (P)2012 Audible Ltd
I'm a Geordie/Danish lass living in Southampton. I love audible as it means I can get my book fix when I'm out and about!
If you're a fan of twists and 'who done its' this book is for you. The book steadily builds up the characters who seemingly seem unconnected but it all comes together. The main characters are the police detectives who you really get to know through the book. I look forward to reading more of Kjell's books. This was the first audible book I listened to and now I'm hooked.
Allow the Ann Lindell character to enjoy her maternity leave without yoking her into the investigation. And re-write the Amazon/Audible blurb because it is inaccurate.
The other detectives.
Detective series have particular pleasures, as is evident when the next novel in a popular series is published or a good series ends, for instance another Swedish one, Henning Mankell’s “Wallander”. Kjell Eriksson’s “The Princess of Burundi” (2002) highlights the downside of a focus on the individual detective hero or heroine, however. I hadn’t realized that “The Princess of Burundi” is book 4 of the Ann Lindell series and when that character appeared and then assumed a centrality, in spite of being on maternity leave, it proved to be a distraction from an otherwise thoughtful police procedural that, unusually, generates interest in a constellation of characters gathered around the crime in the city of Uppsala. I’ve seen comments along the lines of Erikssen is a successor to Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo’s ten Martin Beck novels (1965-1975), still the most perceptive, as well as influential contribution to what is now Scandinavian noir – and I can see this in the interest in police procedures and a cast of detectives who have at least the rudiments of character-depth. But Sjowall and Wahloo mostly achieved an almost perfect balance – better, even, than in the Wallander novels (1990s onwards) -- between the requirement that a detective story have a lead-detective and the pull of other characters, including Martin Beck’s colleagues (whose names I still remember), and a more than generic interest in society and politics.In spite of the Lindell character, “The Princess of Burundi” succeeds in catching a Sweden of public service cuts, worn-down but still functioning police (two steps forward and one back in their investigations) and an increasing gap between the affluent middle-classes of famous university town, Uppsala, and the outlying estates where financial insecurity is widespread. Since the 12th century and 15th century, respectively, Uppsala has been a centre for the church and higher education, though this side of “the two Uppsalas” is used more as a counterpoint to the lives of struggling working and not-working people, than as a factor in the crimes that are committed.
This book was slow to get into, once you got into it you were moderately intrigued- well, enough for you to listen until the end. The ending was rushed and confusing which just makes you regret having battled through the sometimes laborious narrative.
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