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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 14 June 2012
Another dark, convoluted, meandering political thriller from this master of subtle innuendo and intricate plots extending over years. Yes, the sexism that marked the first book is here again in even stronger terms. And yes for many readers it will seem slow and plodding, but clearly Persson doesn't care and isn't going to change his writing style. Either you are willing to go with him, and to take the time to become totally immersed in his complex worlds, or you are not the kind of reader he is writing for. I admire his integrity in this regard. His books are not page turners in the style of the justly famous Stieg Larsson, they are something else altogether, and I finish his works feeling like I've just returned from the forbidden planet.
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on 7 February 2013
This novel is the second part of 'The story of a crime' trilogy.
I found the first part almost unreadable,but I am glad that I
persevered ,as 'Another Time,Another Life' is unusual and splendid.
The story starts with an event,based on fact,in 1975 when the German
embassy in Stockholm is raided by terrorists ,with some staff being
murdered.The subsequent investigation by the Swedish police is
curtailed when the terrorists are flown back to Germany,leaving the
question of whether they were assisted by any Swedes ,unanswered.
The plot then moves onto 1989,and the murder,in his flat, of a male
statistician.The murder enquiry comes to nothing ,as it is sabotaged
by the loathsome D.I.Backstrom,who considers it to be a gay murder.
We are then taken to events surrounding the collapse of the Berlin
Wall,and the present,as the Swedish Security Police become involved
in checking security clearance for a prospective new cabinet minister.
As all the strands come together in fascinating fashion,it becomes
clear that this is not just an interesting thriller, but a subtle and
intelligent critique of some aspects of Swedish society ,particularly
the justice system/
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on 6 August 2012
This 2nd part of Persson's trilogy is great, and the following two books (including a post-scriptum: Dying Detective) make the series a wonderful reading. It is a different type of a crime book - being a crime book lover, I had initially problem with a different type of narration, but once you got used to it (in the first book) then you cannot wait for the next ones. What I liked the most was the self-irony of the characters. Superb!
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on 20 November 2014
A remarkable tale that hammers home the edict that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Swedish policemen and politicians are for the most part shown in the poorest of lights. It is a long and occasionally difficult read. There is a degree of repetition and at times the writing style grates.
Translation is often a fraught exercise, the more subtle aspects of language or nuance lost at times. Here, though, the task has been expertly done. "I'm listening" or "He thought but did not say" are phrases littered throughout this long book and while there is one shining light--yes, a policeman--the incompetence and downright murderous intent of others is salutary, even frightening. This book is the second of a trilogy, the first having been equally testing to the reader. Can I manage the third? due course.
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on 7 January 2014
This book became overlong and boring after starting out with promise. Instead of moving along the long winded details became bogged down and I lost interest.
O was going to read some more but need to think about it now.
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on 9 April 2015
This is the 2nd of a trilogy , the first being Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End which is largely meandering conjecture . This on the other hand is a genuine detective thriller with political undertones , it can stand alone as a novel , ie you don't need to have read the first in the series to enjoy this one . Compared to other Nordic Noire and even Uk and Us detective novels , Leif Persson 's complexity of plot and intrigue is most superior and he could be on a level with John le Carre in this area . I was captivated by this one .My only regret is that he hasn't written more books.
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on 14 June 2013
Stockholm, 1975: Six young people take the entire staff of the West German embassy hostage. The long siege ends with the deaths of two hostages and the wounding of several others. Jump to 1989: When a Swedish civil servant is murdered, the two leading detectives on the case find their investigation hastily shelved by a corrupt senior investigator. Ten years later: Lars Johansson, having just joined the Swedish Security Police, decides to tie up a few loose ends left behind by his predecessor: specifically, two files on Swedes who had allegedly collaborated on the 1975 takeover of the West German embassy, one of whom turned out to be the murder victim in 1989. Johansson reopens the investigation and follows the leads--right up to the doorstep of Sweden's newly minted minister of justice.
Well after a month's break from this author having oscillated between enjoyed/endured/enjoyed/endured for Between Summer's Longing And Winter's End, I saddled up on got back on the horse for another trip in Persson's company this time around. Thankfully it was somewhat shorted that our last stamina test at just under 480 pages long.
Persson again blends fact and fiction into his novel, reminding me of James Ellroy in regards to grabbing hold of a seismic event in recent Swedish history and constructing a fictional narrative around it.
We start with the occupation of the German Embassy in Stockholm which ends violently with an explosion after the deaths of a couple of the hostages. Several of Persson's recurring police characters are present at the events in 1975, mainly Jarnebring; best friend of Lars Martin Johannson.
We fast forward to 1989 where Jarnebring discovers the death of Kjell Eriksson after responding to an emergency call from a neighbour. The investigation into his murder is led by the corrupt, homophobic Backstrom and very quickly descends into farce with Backstrom's insistence that the crime is because of Eriksson's obvious homosexuality, consequentially routing the investigation down a blind alley. Jarnebring, aided by the capable Anna Holt pursue other more probable avenues of enquiry but eventually the case is shelved unsolved. Eriksson; a nasty, controlling, unloved, unmourned, friendless victim is apparently forgotten.
We jump forward another 11 years to the year 2000, and the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Johansson, head of the internal Swedish Security Police is asked to sign off on the prospective appointment of Helena Stein to the higher level of the Swedish government. When the checks uncover a link between Stein and Eriksson and the German Embassy seizure, Detectives Holt get the opportunity to re-open the investigation into Eriksson's murder; this time without Backstrom's interference.
Overall, I enjoyed this slightly more than the first book in loose "The Story of a Crime" trilogy. Persson expertly knits together a narrative that had me constantly marvelling at the skilful way in which he layers detail into his plot. It was an interesting and educational read, as I learned something more about Sweden's recent history. Persson's policemen and women are always entertaining and readable, even the abhorrent ones - Mr Backstrom!
Whilst the minutia last time was a wee bit excessive, I didn't experience the same frustrations this time around. Being shorter than the first book by approximately 200 pages definitely helped. Slightly less challenging than last time, but well worth the time invested in it.
I'm looking forward to the next book of his - Linda, As In The Linda Murder, though I will probably take another month off before tackling it.
4 stars from 5.
I borrowed my copy from my local library.
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on 30 October 2014
very very intetesting book!
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on 26 May 2012
The first few pages of the book were good with an attack on the German embassy in Stockholm in 1975 but then the story moved forward to 1989 which boringly covered almost the first half of the book with one murdered civil servant. To be fair the second half of the book was a little better but not outstanding by any means - I did complete the book hoping it would improve or there would be some surprises but there were't. There was hardly a mention of the murdered Prime Minister Olaf Palme (1986). I would advise readers not to waste their time or money on this book.
To give you an idea of where I am coming from; I thought all the Stieg Larsson books were great and some of Henning Makell, Jo Nesbo and John le Carre are good - but on a different note try Rory Clements - similar to C J Sansom but with a lot more actiton - really good.
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