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Frozen Tracks [Hardcover]

Ake Edwardson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 32.50 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Aug. 7 2007
From the land of the midnight sun, a compelling and dark thriller by Sweden?s master of crime fiction:

The autumn gloom comes quickly on the Swedish city of Gothenburg, and for Detective Chief Inspector Erik Winter the days seem even shorter, the nights bleaker, when he is faced with two apparently unrelated sets of perplexing crimes. Mysterious assaults on college students in Gothenburg?s parks are carried out in the dark of the night, while during the day toddlers are abducted from their nursery schools and quickly returned, seemingly unharmed, before anyone even notices they are missing.

Investigating these bizarre cases, D.C.I. Winter and his team follow their scant leads to ?the flats,? the barren prairies of rural Sweden, whose wastelands conceal crimes as sinister as the land itself. Winter must deduce the labyrinthine connections between the cases before the culprit?or is it culprits??closes in on his own family.

Haunting and psychologically astute, Frozen Tracks is another triumph from the award- winning master of Swedish noir.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

The reader stays perpetually ahead of the irritatingly slow detectives in Swedish crime writer Edwardson's third Erik Winter police procedural to be translated into English (after 2006's Never End). DCI Erik Winter and his team are baffled by a rash of beatings in Gothenburg that have nearly killed several young men, who are linked only by the distinctive mark left by the attacker's mysterious weapon. Meanwhile, nursery school children begin to report being lured to the car of a strange mister, who gives them candy. The police brush off these incidents until one boy is found badly beaten in the woods. Soon Winter is thrown into a race to save a kidnapped boy from the clutches of a monster. Readers will connect the dots faster than Winter, whose investigation is jarringly interrupted by scenes from the abductor's point-of-view. The denouement leaves too many loose ends, making for an uninspired take on the tired topic of child abductions. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Christmas is fast approaching, but life is anything but festive for Detective Chief Inspector Erik Winter. Days of dwindling daylight find the Swedish detective haunted by two puzzling—and seemingly unconnected—sets of crimes. Several university students have been viciously attacked at various points around the city. At the same time, children are being abducted from metropolitan nurseries, a situation that hits much too close to home for Winter, who dotes on the young daughter he shares with longtime live-in lover Angela. Leads followed by Winter and his colleagues take them to the parched prairies of rural Sweden, whose inhabitants are every bit as bleak and desperate as the landscape. Something sinister has happened out here, Winter tells his partner. He can feel it in his bones. Though his police procedurals lack the suspense of fellow Swede Asa Larsson's, Edwardson (Sun and Shadow, 2005) creates endlessly interesting characters, in particular Winter, who tackles crime after crime with a shrewd mind and a heavy heart. Recommend this one to readers of Henning Mankell. Block, Allison

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dark Thriller Feb. 15 2012
By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER
Book3, in the Erik Winter series

This author is slowly growing on me or is it that I am now becoming more accustomed to his style, a style that is haunting and psychologically shrewd.''Frozen Tracks'' is a superbly crafted crime novel, a compelling and dark thriller, definitely the best I have read from this author so far.

A glimpse into the story:

DCI Erik Winter and his team are baffled by a rash of beatings in Gothenburg that have nearly killed several young men, a distinctive mark left by the attacker's mysterious weapon leads them to believe they have a serial offender on their hands. The mystery is: why is someone doing this and how far will he go...

At the same time, the police force is faced with another high priority that is also escalating. At first, police treat reports of nursery school children being lured to a car of a strange 'mister' offering candy with importance but when a boy is found badly beaten in the woods and another is kidnapped from a school yard the s..t hits the fan ' One of the children at the school is Winter's daughter, without question he wants in on the investigation and his first instinct tells him there might be a connection between these two major cases. Gradually the plot lines converge and the suspense and intrigue rapidly intensifies when the monster the police are hunting for targets Winter's family in order to fulfill his sadistic needs.

The story highlights the importance of team work and good leadership, the dialogue is heavy in nature and many facts are revealed through a free flow of vital and trivial information among team members.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brooding and Tense Oct. 13 2007
By A Discerning Reader - Published on
Set in the gray December of Gothenburg, Sweden, Frozen Tracks is a wonderful find for those of us who enjoy psychological police procedurals. Four college-aged men are brutally attacked from behind, leaving them the awful sequela of severe head trauma. The victims seem unconnected in their day-to-day lives and acquaintances, but the attacks continue in spite of a careful investigation into the incidents.

In a seemingly unrelated spate of creepiness, four-year-old children are returning home after preschool and reporting to their parents that they were enticed by an offer of candy to sit with a "mister" alone in his car. The children appear unharmed, but who lured them away and why becomes more and more important as DCI Erik Winter investigates.

Erik Winter is a nice addition to the famous policemen we know and love--Kurt Wallander, Inspector Sejer, Morse, Rebus, and others. He is well grounded in intelligence and common sense, and he is without crippling vices or depression as are many enigmatic police-heroes. Ake Edwardson writes well and has a real forte in characterization. His detectives are likable, believable, and unique enough for the reader to be interested in their separate lives--and it makes us want to read more novels featuring Winter and his crew of police officers.

And the atmosphere! Edwardson manages to expertly convey cold, gray autumn days turning into winter. The ever colder wind; the damp, rotting leaves; and the falling snow all contribute to the sense of escalating tension as more crimes are committed. Frozen Tracks' pace never flags; and although the resolution of the plot is not as fleshed out as it should be, the novel is deeply satisfying and clearly the work of an expert author in the genre.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read in my opinion Nov. 18 2009
By maximum verbosity - Published on
I've read all of the ┼ke Edwardson novels that have been translated to english this far, so I'm always happy when a new one shows up at my library.

Two story lines in one, the first being about brutal (and bizarre) attacks against young university students, the other told from the point of view of a man who, for no apparent reason (at least not at first), abducts young children from their nursery school playgrounds, only to return them several hours later, seemingly unharmed. Until the one time he didn't....

I'm confused at the review about the poor translation, I found this no more/less poorly translated than many translated books I've read. I think they dialogue he/she pointed out made perfect sense and went along with the personality of the characters. It's always weird to read translated books, especially when you're dealing with difficult languages, but I think Laurie Thompson has done a great job in any book I've read translated by him.

Anyway, if you like Scandinavian thrillers, you wont be disappointed by Frozen Tracks. The only irritating thing about it is the first novel in this series has not been translated to english, so I'm still missing some of the background!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Burgeoning Swedish crime drama Nov. 12 2007
By Cory D. Slipman - Published on
Ake Edwardson's "Frozen Tracks" is another noteworthy Scadinavian police procedural whose somber moods reflect the nature of the crimes being investigated and the psychological manifestations reflected in the characters. Where Edwardson shines is in his extensive character developement, imparting substance and making them significantly more than cardboard cutouts.

The novel begins around the environs of Gothenberg and once again features Detective Chief Inspector Erik Winter. Winter and his team are probing a rash of assaults on male university students, who have been bludgeoned from behind suffering severe head trauma. Seemingly unconnected are a concurrent rash of abductions of 4 year old nursery school students. The children are lured into the car of a "mister" with the enticement of candy but then released unharmed. Winter in particular is alarmed by the danger as his daughter Elsa attends one of the hopelessly understaffed schools hit by this predator.

Christmas time is approaching and Winter's plan for a holiday in the Costa del Sol with his partner Angela and daughter will have to be postponed until the crimes are solved. Members of his squad are portrayed to also be dealing with intense personal issues which affects their focus on the spate of crimes.

The pedophilic predator is portrayed as an abused child, now grown up, fulfilling his unconsumated childhood. Interviews with a farm raised victim, lead Winter and his team to the bleak and desolate prairies of rural Sweden when a branding iron is considered as being the assault weapon. Winter and his sidekick Ringmar while interviewing possible suspects to the crime in the hinterlands have a foreboding that the unrelated crimes may somehow be connected. The plot slowly percolates until a young boy is kidnapped from a department store in the midst of the holiday shopping rush. Winter and his colleagues desperately try to learn the identity of the perpetrator before an even greater tragedy occurs.

Edwardson does an excellent job in believeably delving into the psycholgical implications wrought by the crimes in the abused and abducted children and their tormented parents as well as the assault victims. His meticulous developement of the characters, particularly the investigators, allows us to appreciate the emotional toll they experience as they despondently do their jobs amid their own stifling personal problems.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Left me luke warm Feb. 4 2010
By L. Cross - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love stories where I can follow the character's life from book to book. It is interesting to follow and see the development over a span of time and multiple books. I very much enjoy police mysteries. Most of my favorite authors write just these kinds of books. Now with that said, I was a bit disappointed with this book. I think perhaps some of the awkwardness in the plot may have been in the interpretation into English, or maybe I just was not able to really identify with the places and people. For whatever reason, the book just never really worked for me. This was the first of the "series" I read, and I might give another one of the Winter novels a try, but only if I find it on a library cart or at a yard sale...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book, a natural translation June 4 2010
By DakotaBoy - Published on
I can understand that some might not like the book. I cannot understand those who are critical of the translation. (By the way, it's not an interpretation.) The translator has vast experience and a great background. I find the language quite natural. He ("Laurie" is NOT a she, as one reviewer seems to think) has produced a most readable and enjoyable product. I read a lot of Scandinavian mysteries and find Edwardson's stories the best of the lot.
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