- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 8 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Penguin Book Limited
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 10 April 2014
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00J3ZTEEQ
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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The Gingerbread House Audiobook – Unabridged
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A loner takes revenge against the kids who bullied him at school. That's the first plot. Then we get a second plot about a police officer who may or may not have been raped, which is more interesting than the main plot, but which has obviously been crow-barred in from another book, because (spoiler alert) the two storylines are completely unrelated to one another. Without giving too much away, one of these plots is bizarrely unresolved.
Worse that that are the pointless diversions. We get a five page lecture on the politics of Lebanon. We get an equally long diversion about the lead policeman cooking a meal for his family. None of the characters, other than our loner (who is a walking cliche) get any personality development at all (unless you count playing tennis as a defining trait).
And the title makes no sense... AVOID
Scandinavia. Despite assertations on the cover that this was of the same
standard as "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", it wasn't. So please
don't go into this book expecting an outstanding, well constructed story
with wonderful characters. This is a fairly average detective novel
with a few flaws, some predictibility but good characters.
lady coming home from hospital finds a murdered man in her kitchen. She
doesn't know who he is or why he is there. Conny Sjoberg heads the team
who need to find answers and end up discovering more questions as they
piece together a string of seemingly unconnected murders.
This is a
book with potential but which hasn't quite become a great read. It was a
good read but with some very glaring issues - some of which could be
explained by the difference in culture or translation. I was somewhat
surprised when the murderer (we have insight to their thoughts via diary
pages although we aren't told their identity until the end) rang the
tax office and asked for the address of someone they were looking for -
the tax office gave it to them? Really? I can't believe that Sweden is
that lax over security/privacy. This was a totally unconvincing piece of
the story which I feel the author was hoping to gloss over as they
couldn't find a better solution. I also found some of the translation
and Americanisms slightly jarring. They didn't fit with the style of the
story which led me to wonder if the translation had been done with the
American market in mind.
I have written in the past about
dysfunctional detectives. I have often wondered why no detective has a
normal home life and why they are often so bad at dealing with the
general public. Sojberg is a normal, family man with a wife and 5
children. They have family days out shopping and visit family for
dinner. This did make a nice change and I admire the author for creating
her detective in this way. Did this make him boring? I don't think so
but perhaps others will feel differently.
There is a sub plot in this
book concerning a female officer (sorry - I struggle to recall the
Swedish names). The author failed to integrate this into the plot and it
felt totally out of place. I do wonder if this is going to be taken
forward in further books in this series which would make more sense.
had worked out the murderer quite early on in the book despite the
twist at the end. I had forseen this and was way ahead of the police.
There were times that the police were quite incompetent - such as
ignoring important phone calls and taking several days to upload and
process fingerprints. I know I had the advantage of the murderer's diary
but at times the author gave the impression that the Swedish police
force were decades behind the rest of the world. I am sure this isn't
the case in reality.
So why have I given this a 4? After all I seem
to have found a great deal wrong with this book. Something kept me
interested in this story but I am not entirely sure what. Maybe it was
the novelty of a detective with a functioning home life or perhaps it
was the good description. Whatever it was, I do think that I would read
the next book in the series. Maybe the glaring mistakes and slightly
predictable criminals will be refined and the story will work much
better than this one. I am prepared to give it a chance and try another.