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Linda, As in the Linda Murder: Bäckström 1 Paperback – 7 Nov 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan (7 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552778362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552778367
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Leif GW Persson is the Grand Master of Scandinavian crime fiction. Over three decades, he has taken a scalpel to the political and social mores of Swedish society in his dark and complex crime novels. His work melds the social realism of a Balzac or a Dickens with the hard-boiled street smarts of James Ellroy.

Persson is Scandinavia's most renowned criminologist and a leading psychological profiler. He has also served as an advisor to the Swedish Ministry of Justice. Since 1991, he has been Professor at the National Swedish Police Board and is regularly consulted by media as the country's foremost expert on crime. He is the author of nine novels. This is the first one to be translated into English.

Product Description

Review

"Leif GW Persson’s sprawling, state-of-the-nation novels make deft use of crime fiction conventions to expose the faultlines of Swedish society. This more closely focused novel is a brilliant exploration of a young woman’s murder, press sensationalism, and the inner workings of a police investigation, with readers reintroduced to the blackly humorous and truly unforgettable police detective Evert Bäckström." (Petrona judges panel remarks 2014 Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year 2014)

"As the army of Scandinavian crime writers sweeps invincibly onwards, it becomes more challenging for aficionados of Nordic Noir to sort out the wheat from the chaff – although the former is (thankfully) in greater supply. The individual character of various writers’ work can seem similar, but certain talents stand out from the pack. Such is the gifted Leif Persson, whose massive, sprawling, state-of-thenation novels use the mechanics of crime fiction to expose the fault lines in Scandinavian society. Persson, very much his own man in the field, has written his best novel with this one, with its caustic, sardonic tone, it has all the vitality and pungency of its predecessors; its challenging, difficult hero is one of the most distinctive in the field" (The Good Book Guide)

"Persson’s sprawling, state-of-the-nation novels use the mechanics of crime fiction to expose the faultlines in Scandinavian society. Linda has all the vitality of Persson’s earlier books; its difficult hero is one of the most distinctive in the field." (Barry Forshaw Financial Times)

"An immense crime story, and not because of the number of pages, but thanks to the narrative energy and the skill to reflect on society and humanity." (Il Sole 24 ORE (Italy))

"Leif GW Persson has a very straight style, with no frills, and his novels show a very deep understanding of the world he writes about. The tough realism of his stories is tempered by irony and comic qualities." (L’unita’ (Italy))

Book Description

Winner of the Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel 2014

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By col2910 on 12 Aug. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Synopsis/blurb.......
In the middle of an unusually hot Swedish summer, a young woman studying at the Vaxjo Police Academy is brutally murdered. Police Inspector Evert Backstrom is unwillingly drafted in from Stockholm to head up the investigation.
Egotistical, vain and utterly prejudiced against everything, Backstrom is a man who has no sense of duty or responsibility, thinks everyone with the exception of himself is an imbecile and is only really capable of warm feelings towards his pet goldfish and the nearest bottle of liquor. If they are to solve the case, his long suffering team must work around him, following the scant few leads which remain after Backstrom's intransigence has let the trail go cold.
Blackly comic, thrillingly compelling and utterly real, Linda, As in the Linda Murder is the novel which introduces the reader to the modern masterpiece that is Evert Backstrom, a man described by his creator as 'short, fat and primitive'. He is, without doubt, the real deal when it comes to modern policing.
This was my third Persson book this year and after reading the 490 pages and finally finishing, my reaction was similar to that felt at the conclusion of the previous two...........interesting, enjoyable, entertaining, intriguing, educational and humorous - all positives, but offset frequently by spells of writing that were for me.......frustrating, dull, superfluous and infuriating.
We start with the murder initially investigated by the local police, but soon after the NCP are called in. The team is headed by Evert Backstrom, a character I have previously encountered in Persson's earlier books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Angie on 26 May 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've watched a few episodes of backstrom on tv, and bought the book for my kindle because I quite liked both the show and the character. Unfortunately, the only similarity between celluloid backstrom and the one on the page is the name - and, okay, both are disgusting slobs. But the tv version actually solves crimes, and spends most of the 50 minutes of the show doing it. The one on the book devotes his extremely modest intellectual gifts on boozing and thinking up ways of a: showing the troops he despises them with the fanatical fervour of the mentally superior; b: reviewing chat-up lines with which to entice the desperate and the blind in the Swedish female population; c: extracting money from the state and the victim's family so that he can buy yet more booze. There's no investigation as such aside from a indiscriminate collection of DNA, so this is not a police procedural; it's not a whodunit either, because neither the author nor his fictional keystroke cops could give a toss about victim or perp. The supposed protagonist is irritating to a fault, but thankfully easily forgotten. The plot is insipid, the style beyond boring. In fact, the author only seems to wake up from his coma at the end, when the culprit (who only at this point graces us with his presence) is suddenly sprung on the reader. Then, we are regaled with pages and pages of turgid psychological profiling; and that's when I found out that this most pretentious of writers is - quelle surprise - a pee-schologist and criminal profiler. Well, blow me down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Damo Green on 18 May 2015
Format: Paperback
The lead character in this book would be a nightmare to work with – he is bone idle, concerned with doing little but fiddling his expenses, thinks women shouldn’t be in the police and any man that doesn’t want to drink all night must be gay. Initially his non-pc thoughts are slightly amusing, and even the second and third time they raise a half-smile, but they quickly became tiresome as it is the same thing repeated over and over again.

There were other problems with the book
- the “lead character” contributes nothing to solving the crime and he disappears completely from the tale two thirds through
- the constant childhood dream sequences of another contributed nothing – if they were supposed to have some significance I missed it completely
- the murder mystery didn’t seem to be that difficult to solve
- when the culprit is caught two new characters are introduced who spend ages interviewing him but this adds nothing to the story – I became impatient to finish the book
- at 559 pages this book was at least 200 pages too long – while it all felt padded out the last 50 pages especially were not needed

I presume some of the passages that passed me by were a satire on Swedish life/police but unfortunately they lost something in translation.
This was the first in a series – I won’t be reading any more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Allan DB on 4 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A young woman Linda is raped and murdered in the town of Vaxjo. 6 members of the National Crime Pólice are sent from Stockholm to assist the local pólice. This group is headed by Inspector Backstrom, a policeman who would disgrace every pólice forcé in the world. Although written recently this book has the feel of a much older kind of writing. It is a pólice procedural in almost its purest form. It is long but it slowly and methodically charts the progress of the investigation, seen mainly through the eyes of Backstrom, Rogersson and Lewin, the three experienced detectives. The preliminary investigation involves the first 90% of the book leading up to the arrest of the suspect and I found it entertainig, if a Little long. The final 10% introduces two new officers, Young women, whose job is to question the suspect. I found this part hard going, but perhaps the author was trying to make a point about old fashioned policing with the newer approach. Recommended to fans of pólice procedurals and the Martin Beck books but not to those people who give 5 stars to the books of Kristina Ohlsson et al.
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