In complete contrast to my last blog, unfortunately, I’ve had much too much time to read this week. I had a fall two weeks ago which resulted in a bang on the head. What I thought was a 4 day hangover from an enjoyable final evening on a short cruise, now turns out to be a minor bleed on my right brain.
I don’t want sympathy but it’s meant I’ve been able to concentrate on reading in the peace and quiet of a waiting room in one of our wonderful hospitals. This unfortunate injury does however mean that sporadically I have a loss of feeling in my left arm and reduced minor motor function; those things that become second nature, and we take for granted, what we call ‘muscle-memory.’ Those actions have had to become more deliberate this week. A visit to hospital on Monday August 17, gave me an extended opportunity to read so I finished the subject of this blog ahead of time. Then on Tuesday, August 18 at home I read the last 100 or so pages of “Murder” and collected my thoughts for my blog.
In fact I am dictating most of my blog this time. This is because it would take me hours to do this with my left-hand being frequently useless at present; my consequent frustration would lead me very quickly to give up. I am quite impressed by how clever it is and despite my strong regional accent my MacBook hasn’t needed any tuition. I should warn you now if you haven’t read ‘Meet Me..’ Then you should, but also do not read this blog. Spoiler alert!!
The book of the Blog
Somewhat like me, Anita is down on her luck.
She’s been on ‘sick leave’ due to the last case and shooting the wrong man.
The right-guy who she fell in love with in ‘Meet Me’ is now in prison as the murderer from that book. She’s in conflict; his appeal keeps drawing her back to his prison which if found out could end her career.
Her nemesis, Westermark, knows this and tries to use it against her continuing to prey on her as he does with most women. He sees her as a sexual conquest and has power over her as a result of her apparent blindness on the previous case.
He meanwhile is in the ascendancy along with Moberg the overbearing and sexist boss who have claimed the credit for Ewan being locked up.
Anita like my other police heroes, has baggage. Her son, Lasse, away at University now has a girlfriend with whom he wants to spend the midsummer. This leaves Anita feeling very lonely. To add insult to injury her sidekick from ‘Meet Me’ has gone to Stockholm and she has a new trainee called Hakim whose parents are immigrants from Iraq.
When she returns, due to her failure, Moberg excludes her from the murder case, leaving her to work on two pieces of art theft, painted coincidently by the father of her childhood friend, Karin. The plot thickens when another art theft is perpetrated but the owner murdered in a bloody way.
With these two threads of crime, Moberg has another problem, someone is shooting immigrants.
Anita finds a tenuous but important link in the art crime thread as two other people from the Ad agency are also murdered. Hakim, finds a link between the murder victims. There are references to Wallander and Krister Henriksson in the text an homage to Henning Mankel in my view. Ystad is not far away and their force are involved in the police work.
Westermark’s weaknesses lead him astray and true to form he responds to flattery which puts Anita and Hakim in mortal danger.
There are obvious clues, red herrings and multiple layers to this excellent, police procedural. MacLeod sets the pace, builds the tension and weaves a complex plot to great conclusion finishing on the last page! I also like the social comment in the text as it highlights a current problem in Calais. There are historical and political references that play within the main theme too!
A well constructed and thoroughly enjoyable read with a surprising outcome of the crimes but if you’re concentrating early-on you get a good clue to a possible perpetrator of one of the murders.
You’ll have to read it. Excellent; page-turning and engaging! your turn.
McNidder & Grace @McNidderGrace for the pleasure and honour to be part of the Blog Tour. Thank you Linda.
Mr Macleod for writing great stories for me to read and write about.
QAH Portsmouth ‘AMU’ for their lovely care and coffee trolley!