Very good book about the Palme murder investigation. It if wasn't such a tragic event, the way the assassination was handled by the Swedish police would make for great comedy... Well-researched and well-written book. The only very slight criticism is the misconceived vision of pre-Palme Sweden as some kind of quasi-totalitarian state, but this only shines through a few times and does in no way affect the quality of the book, which is excellent. Highly recommended and a must read for anyone wanting to understand one of the seminal moments in Swedish history.
Even though the book contains no more then 230 pages it is an accurate description about the most common theories surrounding the murder of the Swedish Prime Minister in 1986. Still unsolved, the book provide the reader with a good and deeper understanding of the crime and why the investigation went wrong from the very beginning. And like Mr Bondeson writes in the Preface, the ghosts of the murder suspects are still dancing their dance macabre at the crime scene.
This book starts with an impressive recounting of the terrible events behind the assassination of 'Sweden's Kennedy', Olof Palme. And overall, if you don't know anything about this key moment in Swedish history, you are bound to learn something via this solid account. My main issues are with the proofreading and the way the book peters out inconclusively towards the end, perhaps reflective of the continuing mystery and confusion which surrounds the killing. It looks like this affected the author, too.
I deliberated over giving this the full star treatment. Firstly, I wanted the e-book and it was only available initially in hardback, which I hasten to add is a beautiful book and sits there attractively on my shelf, the blood red rose a metaphor for this tragic event. There are only a few books on the Palme assassination available in English, and I'm glad I chose this one for my continuing studies.
Being non-Nordic, Palme's Sweden has been an endless fascination to me. Having read this book, I can't help but realise why fictional detectives like Wallender were created. Indeed the endless conspiracy theories surrounding the attempted closure of this case have achieved the opposite. If a film producer decided to shoot this, s/he would end up with a packed DVD of alternative endings.
Other reviewers have picked up on the proofreading and editing. I can only assume that some of the errors were due to the constant editing and re-editing that must have been necessary for such a complex project. Some would argue quite justifiably that this is no excuse, but I would argue that small misprints didn't spoil my overall enjoyment of this text.
For anybody who is interested in pre-nineties Sweden in the final years of the Cold War, I would highly recommend this book. It is also of interest to those people who watch and study the current Nordic Noir programmes, as it provides insight into the Swedish police and political system. Also, if like me, you are writing a novel set in 1986, it sets the tone for the time before the Wall came down.