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on 7 September 2012
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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on 31 May 2015
I liked this even more than The Unwanted which was good. That introduced us to the police team and all their little idiosyncrasies and this one was better for knowing them all, I thought.Then learning more about them all as this investigation progressed.
There were some horribly sad happenings in this story, though. However, I really look forward to the next in the series.
I was very happy to see the Americanised spellings had been dropped in this translation though at odd times we still had the odd word mixed up but nothing frightful. I spotted objection and think she meant observation and say where mean should've been used and one got a little lost when he got used and not she. Exhorted was used at one point and while I don't know what word I'd have used it wouldn't have been that one !! Prenuptial was misspelled and speechmarks were misused in a couple of places and that was it.
There were the odd lighter moments despite the murders going on and I liked how it featured two sisters and you never quite knew which one was being referred to. It kept it interesting. Really look forward to the third in the series.
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on 18 March 2015
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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on 18 March 2015
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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on 28 April 2015
It took a while to get into this book, mainly because of the what at times seemed to be clumsy/jerky translation,but once accustomed I enjoyed the complexity and unpredictability of th plot. The ending was, how, slightly disappointing as though Kristina had run out of steam.
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on 31 May 2017
Great story - couldn't put it down ! Will be reading more from this author.
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on 10 June 2017
Was determined to finish this book but must admit it has been a struggle bit disappointing
Not for me I'm afraid
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on 7 June 2017
Excellent gripping read. Loved it!!
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on 26 April 2017
Good book
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on 5 May 2014
Couldn't put this down it is the first by this author but I will be reading the others twists and turns to the story all the way through and when you think you know what is going to happen it all changes
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