Murder in the Snow

“Don’t bother with Stieg Larsson…  Kallentoft is better.” – Magnus Utvik, Sweden’s leading critic

I’m not sure I’d go so far as Utvik—I loved Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, featuring the unforgettable Lisbeth Salander—but the Swedish author, Mons Kallentoft, has created another intriguing character in Malin Fors, superintendent of the Linköping police.  She is the tough, yet tormented heroine in Midwinter Blood, the first book in his series of crime fiction.  When a man is found hanging in a tree in the middle of a snow-covered field, she and her partner, Zeke, are put on the case.  Who put the man there?  Was it the local teenage boys playing a cruel prank that went bad?  Or the strange couple who follow the old Nordic Æsir belief system, which includes human and animal sacrifices?  Or was it one of the rough Murvall brothers, who live by themselves out on the plain and live by their own rules?
Not only is the plot engaging as we watch Malin follow leads, hit dead ends and get closer and closer to the killer, but the writing itself pulls you in.  It makes you feel like you’re the one getting chilled to the bone in the Swedish winter snow or longing for Malin’s cup of hot coffee on an all-too-early morning shift at the station. 
Right now, this is the only novel by Kallentoft that is readily available in our catalog (or in the US, for that matter).  The American publication of Summer Death, the second book in the Malin Fors series, is set for next June.  (However, it has already been published in the UK, so if you really can’t wait, you can try to get your hands on one of those through an online bookseller.)  And I’m hoping that the rest of this series, as well as his other books, are soon to follow!

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