Still Waters

I’ve been trying to read books from my shelves, both physical and digital. I was sort of craving a mystery this weekend, so I decided to try this Swedish crime novel by Viveca Sten, and translated by Marlaine Delargy. I got it as part of an Amazon giveaway a few years ago to promote their Amazon Crossing translation publishing program. I knew absolutely nothing about it, other than that it was the first in a series called the Sandhamm murders and that it has been adapted for TV.

The book begins with the discovery of a dead body off the shores of Sandhamm island. It all appears to be an accident until the dead man’s cousin is found dead. The detective on the case, Thomas Andreasson, comes in from the mainland, but he has some local knowledge and connections to help him interpret some of the clues he finds and uncover more details about the people involved. In particular, his longtime friend Nora is able to offer some insight, but she’s worried about her own future as she considers an important career move and what it might mean for her marriage.

I found this to be a reasonably good mystery/thriller. The solution to the mystery was satisfyingly unexpected, and on looking back, I could see there was at some information that pointed to the solution sprinkled throughout. And there’s a really gripping race against the clock toward the end that I enjoyed. However, I found most of the characters pretty bland. Nora was the only one who really stood out and that’s mostly because of her personal dilemma outside the crime. Thomas had some personal history that was supposed to give him layers, I think, but it mostly stays in the background. I’m guessing it’ll be developed later on. There’s also a lot of talk about who is going on vacation when that seemed like a lot of distraction in a first book but might be meaningful once you get to know the characters more. But none of it was quite enough to make me want to seek out more books in the series.

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1 Response to Still Waters

  1. I like the way you say “The solution to the mystery was satisfyingly unexpected,” I still enjoy Scandi-noir but I tend to follow authors I know – or Finnish authors.

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