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Victim Without a Face by Stefan Ahnhem

My Christmas came early, thanks A.G.

The first thing you notice about this book is its physical presence: it’s over 550 pages long and comes with its very own built in woven bookmark, a nice feature I’ve not seen for quite a while.

The original book was written in Swedish, but has been translated into over 8 different languages. I’ve read many thrillers translated from Swedish over the years and not yet been disappointed: this one also hits the mark. – Spectacularly so!

The central character is a flawed detective, troubled by his past and his marriage. He moves back to the city he grew up in only to find that a maniac is killing off his old school class, one by one. The murders are gruesome and all seem to be making a point about the victim.

Several times I thought I’d solved the case, only to have my theories left in tatters a few pages later. Mind you, the team trying to solve the case were doing no better.

The plot is gritty, complex and quite chilling; the story is tightly written and there are more twists and turns than you’d find with a politician on the election trail. This book had me hooked from the first page: it was such a shame that Christmas interrupted my reading of it.

My only complaint about the story is that I wasn’t au-fait enough with Sweden’s geography to know where all the locations were.

A winner of Crimetime’s novel of the year award, I found it a superb and compelling read that I’ll happily award 41/2 anchors.