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Frozen Moment Paperback – 1 Sep 2011

3.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; Reprint edition (1 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753827727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753827727
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Terrific (SUNDAY TIMES)

Book Description

The new kid on the block in Scandinavian crime!

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'Frozen Moment' is a very enjoyable and accomplished debut novel
from a new Swedish crime fiction writer.
The story is told in two strands .Shortly before Christmas in
2006,a man is found dead,shot and run over in his car repair yard.
Later a second murder using the same methods is discovered.The
somewhat isolated and sensitive Detective Inspector Christian
Tell and his team endeavour to find a connection between the two
murders.Running in tandem with this,we follow the tale of Maya
Granith,a troubled youth who escapes from her dysfunctional mother
in 1995 to attend a crafts boarding college.Painstakingly for the
investigating police but thrillingly for the reader ,the strands
gradually come together.

This is a well-plotted novel,with a distinct sense of place.It is
peopled by well-developed characters,and in common with much
Nordic crime fiction addresses current social issues.
I look forward to the author developing D.I.Christian Tell and his
colleagues in further novels.
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Format: Paperback
FROZEN MOMENT is a substantial, rounded novel and a welcome newcomer to Scandinavian crime fiction. It is set in the remote hamlets and countryside in the Gothenberg region, providing a rich sense of the hard lives people lead there, as they struggle with out-of-date farms and small businesses, or just don't have much of a living at all and have to cope as best they can, often alone. It's a pretty grim place, and very cold indeed, as most of the book is set around Christmas time.
The plot begins when Ake Melkersson drives to work early one morning, on his last day before retirement. He has trouble with his ancient car and, recalling a garage where he once stopped for fuel, drives there, only to discover the dead body of a man on the workshop floor. In a panic as the death is clearly not a natural one, he calls his neighbour, a younger woman called Seja, to ask her to come and wait with him while he calls the police. Seja has a strong but strange reaction when she sees the body, and asks Ake to pretend to the police that they discovered it together, in the hope that she can find out more about what has happened.
Subsequently, we follow the police investigation, getting to know Christian Tell and his colleagues as they struggle to find any reason why the garage owner has been killed. Some long-standing family grievances come to light, but nothing that provides any motive for murder. In parallel with the investigation, the personalities of the police team come into focus, as we share the internal monologues of several of them.
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Format: Paperback
The cover proclaims `Move Over Wallander'. The book is set in Sweden, there are the ubiquitous scenes of the murder team in briefings, and an acknowledgement of Sweden's racism problem, but there the comparison ends. Mankell's detective's brooding presence pervades almost every page of his books. Here, by a quarter of the way through, the main cop, Inspector Tell, has appeared only fleetingly, and not much more by halfway.

The author studied psychotherapy and works in counselling and social work. It shows. A lot of time is devoted to the inner thoughts and angst of the characters, particularly the females. A lot of the non-cops are damaged and fragile and have come into contact with social services. Maybe a better comparison would be with Gunnar Staalesen's series about Norwegian ex-social worker turned private eye, Varg Veum.

The action takes place in and around Gothenburg. Normally a place for happily married police officers as per the work of Helen Tursten and Ake Edwardson, but the hero here is the stereotypical conventional single maverick,whose work prevents enduring relationships. There are two main plots set 10-15 years apart which inevitably come together. This is handled quite well, but maybe just too conveniently, with a lot of lucky coincidences.

If I had to give a one word summary it would be - derivative. Inspector Tell could be Harry Hole from Jo Nesbo's books. As mentioned there is the social work aspect from Staalesen, the barren landscapes from, well almost all of them really, (I have spent a lot of time in a lot of towns and cities, in Sweden, it is a beautiful country, nowhere near as bleak as it is painted.), several references to the characters (author's?) taste in music, done to death by Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yet another Scandanavian author setting out on a road (usually frozen) already trodden by many more talented authors.

This is a slow - very slow burner of a crime thriller. In fact, after starting off intriguingly well, I soon became disorientated, not so much with the change of time scales but more the use of the first page of a new chapter to describe what somebody was doing/thinking without knowing who it was.

In fact, the two time scales do come together quite well as the book progresses. It's just that it doesn't progress clearly or cleanly. Christian Tell is a character with whom I cannot find much empathy. Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole is a much better maverick than Tell will ever be.

And I have to say I'm getting fed up with all this frozen world which is, according to these latest authors, the way most of Scandanavia appears to be. Well, I've been there, the sun was shining, the weather was warm and people were jolly, not something we find in this book. Thanks to two or three authors who've been around a while and thanks to both TV and Film, some have come to the forefront of crime thriller writing - justifiably. But there are others and, regrettably, Camilla Ceder is one who have jumped on the bandwagon of this popular vogue and well, not really done it much good.

If, as a reader, you are fascinated by troubled murderers, troubled victims, troubled police people, troubled scene setting, this book will give you plenty of food for thought. Personally, I prefer more action and less angst in a thriller otherwise the thrill disappears and my own angst appears as I try to finish the book in an optimistic frame of mind.

I'm also fed up with publisher's blurb. My book suggests this is a woman's take on Lisbeth Salander: what a load of cobblers.
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