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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling second book...
Another excellent offering from the newest addition to the Scandinavian crime stable following up on her exceptional debut novel 'Unwanted'. The plot, set in Sweden, centres on the currently prevalent topic of immigration with the murders of Jakob Ahlbin, a prominent supporter of immigrants rights and his wife Marja, with the story spiralling out to include an insightful...
Published on 7 Sept. 2012 by Raven

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Trials and Tribulations of Fredrika Part 2: Pregnancy
This book is a little better than Unwanted but only because KO has tried to be a little more adventurous and imaginative. Other reviewers have already given a synopsis of the novel so I will give my reasons for not being too impressed. For a special pólice unit the officers seem none too bright and prefer to take the obvious answer to any question put to them. The...
Published 13 months ago by Allan DB


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling second book..., 7 Sept. 2012
By 
Raven (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Silenced (Paperback)
Another excellent offering from the newest addition to the Scandinavian crime stable following up on her exceptional debut novel 'Unwanted'. The plot, set in Sweden, centres on the currently prevalent topic of immigration with the murders of Jakob Ahlbin, a prominent supporter of immigrants rights and his wife Marja, with the story spiralling out to include an insightful addressing of the dangers facing immigrants in their passage to a new country and a better life. Ohlsson concisely exposes the issues from both sides of the arguments through the voices of her characters and weaves an utterly realistic and engrossing portrayal of not only the political and social implications of this thorny issue, but the inherent dangers to those involved in this field of work. With the dynamics of family loyalty and the tests of friendships woven into the main plot, the reader becomes totally bound up in this gripping thriller as people continually reveal that they are not as they appear to be with the skilful use of double-crossing and dark tension throughout.

What I particularly admire in Ohlsson's work is her innate skill at characterisation and how she so effectively draws the readers into the lives of her main protagonists. In `Silenced' the character of Fredrika Bergman, still working with the police, spirals out as a new aspect is added to her character with the impending birth of her first child by her much older married lover of some years standing. There is a wonderfully drawn scene with Fredrika bowing to parental pressure and having to introduce Spencer to them over dinner with all the awkwardness and embarrassment of bringing home your first boyfriend/girlfriend as a teenager. On a more serious note, we get an accurate portrayal of an extremely focused and intuitive woman balancing the demands of the personal and the professional whose critical thinking always adds exponentially to the course of the investigation. Ohlsson's skill is not limited just to her female characterisation as we follow the continuing path to self-destruction through Fredrika's wonderfully tactless colleague Peder Rydh whose marriage has now deteriorated completely and whose lover has left him. Added to this is his conflict with a new member of the investigative team Joar Sahlin for reasons that I won't spoil here and Peder's steep path back to acceptance and reconciliation that the book takes us on. Alex Recht, the head of the investigative team is also subject to a heartrending and all too human story line throughout the course of a book whilst retaining his clear-headed and professional demeanour in the solving of this tricky investigation so this again adds another facet to Ohlsson's consummate skill at characterisation.

An extremely engaging read all round and yet another example of why the Scandinavian crime scene is producing such a fine body of work for crime fiction fans. Long may it continue...
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superior Scandinavian Crime, 28 Aug. 2012
By 
This review is from: Silenced (Paperback)
The cover of Silenced has a sticker on it that boldly proclaims "For fans of The Killing". I've seen the television series and now that I've read the book, and had a good think about it, I'm inclined to agree. Both stories feature strong heroines who are outwardly tough but also exhibit an emotionally fragility. There are other similarities as well - both cover events in real time and focus quite heavily on the procedural components.

Ohlsson spends the time fleshing out the character of the various investigators. I particularly liked Peder Rydh specifically because he almost like a petulant child trapped in a grown-up's body, good at police work but a spectacular failure at almost everything else. Nice to find a character in a novel that has such obvious failings. He is not prefect by any stretch of the imagination, is jealous of colleagues, throws the occasional strop and his attitude towards female co-workers is terrible. That said, all these faults make him all the more interesting to read. As the plot unfolds you get to learn exactly what makes all the team tick and there is valuable insight into their home lives. These aren't just police men and women, they are people too. It's probably fair comment that some may find this depth of detail too much or potentially distracting, but personally I felt it gave the story much needed human element. It helps to better understand various character motivations and makes them all seem that much more real.

Like the other experiences I've had with Scandinavian literature, Silenced starts off very small but quickly builds into something that manages to be thoroughly engrossing. I can understand why literature from this part of the world is gaining popularity here in the United Kingdom, I've not read a bad example yet. The likes of The Killing and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo have become a bona fide cultural phenomena and I don't see why Silenced can't follow suit. I'd certainly be interested in reading more novels featuring the same characters.

Ohlsson also manages to blend in elements from the political thriller genre into the mix. There are key scenes that take place abroad and some subtle social commentary regarding Swedish immigration policy. There are hints dotted throughout the narrative that there is something much larger going on and that the crimes are the tip of the iceberg but it is only toward the end of the story that all is revealed. These unexpected but welcome inclusions help to strengthen an already intriguing story. The skillful way that the seemingly disparate story threads eventually begin to weave together is very effective, and works well. The final revelations lead to a satisfying twisted conclusion.

If you like the sound of Silenced you may be interested to know that I've just had a little rummage around on Amazon and it appears Kristina Olhsson already has another title released, Unwanted. This is a prequel to the events in Silenced and features some of the same characters. I think I may have to add it to my to read list.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scandinavian crime fiction will not be SILENCED, 14 Nov. 2012
By 
Richard Latham (Burton on Trent) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Silenced (Paperback)
Well written especially in the unraveling plot that is deftly kept together; always leaving the reader's knowledge blurred so as one is unable to bring the plot into sharp focus.
As in the earlier book the humanity of the detective team is portrayed, their efforts are all consuming, but could they have done more?
The novel stays true to this modern reality. Unlike a keen ear,or magnifying glass to upturn that strategic clue, the reality is all about questioning the right people, hoping the witnesses disclose the truth and waiting for the case to break.
One of the strengths of this writing lies in the well drawn relationships that are explored between the characters especially of the detectives. As in real life no-one is fully the person they present; the facade is misinterpreted by some and family secrets are often taken to the grave.
I really enjoyed this book and its pace that builds as you find yourself enjoying the read along the way but keen to find the solution.
This is a clever murder mystery which cements Kristina Ohlsson's place as a talented writer of this genre.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tense and clever thriller, 24 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Silenced (Kindle Edition)
This is the second book by this author I have read. It is well written, the tension grips you from the start and builds to a dramatic finish and it all makes for a satisfying read. Once again the spoiler was a complicated plot that really lacked credibility because it required too many players behaving in a way which was contrived to fit the story, rather than with any authenticity. But then the idea of a novel is to push boundaries. This did that and deserves its success.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silenced--Kristina Ohlsson, 8 Sept. 2012
By 
Simon Clarke (Hackney, London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Silenced (Paperback)
'Silenced'features the small federal investigation unit based in
Stockholm,and is the second novel in a series.It is a splendid,
rich and enjoyable police procedural mystery.
The unit is dealing with two deaths,a man of Asian descent,killed
in a hit and run,and the seeming suicide of a clergyman,who was
active in the cause of refugees in Sweden.As the investigation
proceeds,whilst a possible link is found between the deaths,
neither the reader nor the unit are any the wiser whether the
deaths are related to illegal immigration or to an old family
feud,until the novel's final pages.
Aside from the skilful plotting,the characters of the four main
investigators in the unit are engagingly described,as they try
to place their personal issues on hold in order to focus on the
two cases.
This is an excellent read,and makes future novels from this
author ,ones to watch out for.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars another splendid tale, 18 Mar. 2015
By 
Jamazon (The Malverns) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Silenced (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this almost as much as the first. The only reason this was a teeny bit less enjoyable for me was the complexity of the myriad plot lines. This is possibly in part because I like to read at bedtime, who knows. The development of the main characters was very good, I do like how the author keeps a little space between them so we see them more fully as individuals with their own part to play. This is refreshingly different from most work in this genre that I have read. The characters are very human, their own lives complex, they all have input and resolution. I will definitely look forward to reading the next in the series or more by this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The better end of Swedish noir, 6 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Silenced (Paperback)
Better than the first book. Interesting character development of the police team involved. While one appreciates the story deals with a psychotic, you do wonder what would drive someone to the meticulous killing spree this contains. And while the identity theft of the character in Bangkok is plausible in some ways you kind of feel a mere paper copy of your passport would resolve the situation! For all that it's an entertaining read. This is the better end of Swedish noir and it's the personal issues of the cops that kept me hooked as much as anything.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book by a wonderful author., 18 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Silenced (Kindle Edition)
Great gripping book that holds you until the end. I have already read two books written by this great author and will buy anymore she writes. I particularly like the way in which the story is written through her main characters and while the story holds you the characters never cease to amaze you with their individual life struggles. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want a page turner?, 30 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Silenced (Kindle Edition)
Then this is one to buy. Couldn't put it down and was sorry to see it finish. Definately recommend this one :-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Trials and Tribulations of Fredrika Part 2: Pregnancy, 6 April 2014
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This review is from: Silenced (Kindle Edition)
This book is a little better than Unwanted but only because KO has tried to be a little more adventurous and imaginative. Other reviewers have already given a synopsis of the novel so I will give my reasons for not being too impressed. For a special pólice unit the officers seem none too bright and prefer to take the obvious answer to any question put to them. The Thailand connection implies something bigger and more sinister than turns out to be the case. Were I a Swedish national I would be appalled at the treatment given to the poor woman by the embassy official in Bangkok. The characters in the unit are too easily distracted by their personal lives, even Alex Recht, "the legend", as he was described in Unwanted. In modern crime fiction background information of the main characters seems to have become more important than the plot, KO seems to be taking this to Patricia Cornwell levels. Not one of the team has the home life of our own dear Wycliffe, Barnaby, Thanet et al. I have read that a film production company has secured the rights for the three novels. Perhaps KO can now concéntrate on writing scripts for a daytime tv soap. KO could do so much better. I shall read the next book and just hope that the unit has either been disbanded or that the three stars have come to their senses.
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Silenced
Silenced by Kristina Ohlsson (Paperback - 28 Feb. 2013)
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