A man is out walking his dog on the beach in Sandhamn, in the Stockholm archipelago. It’s a beautiful summer morning, but then his dachshund comes upon the body of a man caught up in a fishing net at the shores edge and the storybook idyll is shattered.
Thomas Andreasson is a detective in the serious crimes unit at Nacka, a municipality that is considered a suburb of Stockholm. He’s looking forward to his upcoming vacation, which he will spend on the island of Haro, but first he’s been asked to assist in a suspicious death inquiry on Sandhamn. He is very familiar with the island, as he spent his summers there when he
was growing up. While he begins his investigation, he runs into his best friend Nora, now an attorney and a mother of two. Thus sets the stage for this very busy mystery story.
Thomas is your typical tortured detective, trying to heal from the loss of his infant daughter to SIDs and the
subsequent end of his marriage to Pernilla. Nora has her own family issues, what with disapproving in-laws and a simmering disagreement with her doctor husband over a promotion that would mean relocation. Much of the novel is taken up with these domestic issues, weaving in and out of the investigation that lengthens on and on as the body count rises. Nora does some amateur sleuthing and even happens upon a body herself. Even in this picturesque setting (and a lot is made of that, too), people are people, in all their flawed glory. And like clockwork, at then end of the book, her curiosity puts her in grave danger and she’s got to be saved by Thomas and her husband Henrik.
This book was okay, more gentle English mystery than anything by Larsson, Mankell, Lackberg and the like, but I’m not curious enough about the characters to pursue any more in this series. Thankfully it was a freebie via the Kindle First program.