Death Angels: A Chief Inspector Erik Winter Novel Paperback – Sep 29 2009
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About the Author
Åke Edwardson is one of Scandinavia’s most successful crime writers. He has won numerous awards, including the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award three times.
Top Customer Reviews
In this novel, Erik teams up with Scotland Yard to solve a mysterious case that has the same M.O. as other cases in which British and Swedish young men have been found murdered in extremely violent ways. The discovery of filming equipment suggests the killer maybe recording his deeds to gain notoriety in the snuff film world. While Winter works the UK side of the case his colleague in Sweden questions a stripper named Angel, who he believes knows more than she is telling, her beauty and her expertise in handling people prove to be daunting challenge'.... However the key to solving the case may lay with the thief who found a sack full of bloody clothes....
I found the story to have a sluggish start and be a touch less captivating than the other books I have read so far in this series. It is intensive in police procedural and takes a while before the action kicks in however just when you think it has peaked you are thrown a few more curves to keep you guessing. The effects a homicide has on the officers working the case and on the victims' families is quite emotional and well done. I was quite fascinated by the in depth psychological characterisation of the Chief Inspector and his British associate. There are many sub-characters and keeping up with their Swedish names and their parts can be challenging at times. I have the feeling I was on the wrong track at times and missed out on some of the important nuances between players.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"Death Angels" is the first book in the Erik Winter series, although two of the subsequent books were previously published in English, but with a different translator. If you want to read the series chronologically, "Death Angels" is the place to start. And if the rest of the books are as compelling as this one, bring `em on.
The plot of "Death Angels" spins around some grotesque murders of teenage boys that are being committed in both Sweden and London. It makes for some intriguing give and take among investigators in both cities who decide to pool their resources. You're into the first murder right away, and I do mean right in the middle of it. Did I mention I couldn't do Winter's job?
One of the things I liked best about the book was Edwardson's depiction of the toll on the living that the homicide grind takes, not just on the families of the victims, but on the men and women who are working the case. The way they talk to each other, the camaraderie, the shorthand, the dark humor and odd bravado, all ring true. You could slap this up on a movie screen just as it is.
I liked Erik Winter right away. This detective is not one of those gnarled characters with a wise-acre attitude and hot temper. He's coolly elegant, keenly able, admired and envied by his colleagues in homicide. But he is exceptionally young to be their boss, and he's a complete enigma to them.
Turns out Winter is also an enigma to himself and to his family, which makes him an excellent character for Edwardson to build a string of crime novels on. How can you not like a guy who says of soccer, "I could have been something, but I wasn't injured often enough." Or, my absolute favorite, when Winter passes by his sister's house, noticing the lights aren't on, and says to himself, "Nobody's home, you can call tonight." For somebody who works that hard to keep his distance from people who want to get inside his head, he turns out to have terrific intuition for drilling right into the brains of criminals.
The supporting characters are great. One bizarre twist involves a young detective, about to become a father, who gets thrust into the world of illicit porn to track down some clues, and you get a real sense of the destabilizing threat that this kind of work involves, and how weird and sometimes touching the coping mechanisms can get to be. I don't want to give away any more of it, but Edwardson does his homework when it comes to character development. The case painfully affects Winter, too, and with good reason.
I got caught up right away in the icy-clear language of the saga. Everything that had to do with Swedish half-darkness and sunlight and the penetration of the cold and the intense awareness of any hint of spring -- all that is wonderfully evocative in tone. I could feel Scandinavia in my bones. And music's really important to the story, both indie rock and jazz. You'll pick up a tip or two.
I won't spoil it for you with a precis - just get this and ENJOY!
Mankell watch out, there's someone better (or at least as compelling!).
And as a fellow Swedish to English translator, I can only say that the translation was excellent. Nowhere could I see the Swedish skeleton; nowhere could I say, oh yeah, I know what *that* author wrote in Swedish. Together, the author and translator brought to life this chiller that took place, in part, on streets and parks and waterways in Gothenburg that I know so well.
Kudos to the author, for a good thriller, and kudos to the translator - for bringing to life, in our English words, a story that doesn't say "foreign" anywhere.