Black Lies, Red Blood
Review: Swedish police detective Ann Lindell is in love, passionately in love, but it isn't until her lover, Anders Brant, disappears and is later a person of interest in a homicide that she wonders how much she really knows about him, in Black Lies, Red Blood, the fifth mystery in this series by Kjell Eriksson.
A man has been found dead, killed by a blow to the head. Bosse Gränsberg was at one time a construction worker, but an accident left him unable to work. Depressed, he turned to drinking and living the life of the all but homeless until a former co-worker suggested they team up to form a consulting company based on their combined experience. The future suddenly looked brighter for him … until someone killed him. The only clue the police have is the name of a man found on a slip of paper in his pocket: Anders Brant. Ann had concealed her relationship with him — it was, after all, a personal one — but now that he is apparently involved in a police investigation as someone known to a victim, and indeed may have been the one to kill him, she's confused how to proceed. She desperately wants to hold on to him, but by saying nothing is she protecting a killer? Separately, she's been assigned the cold case of a missing teenager, one that she's determined to solve but one that seems to have no leads to its solution.
The two primary storylines of Black Lies, Red Blood are set up well, with the situation Ann Lindell finds herself in with respect to Anders Brant probably the more interesting of the two. (Ultimately, the missing girl investigation is little more than a straight police procedural case.) Ann is caught up between her desire for Anders, her concern as to why he disappeared just before a man he apparently knew is found dead, and justice for the victim. A little melodramatic, to be sure, yet handled well for what it is. But all this is overwhelmed by narrative representing multiple points of view from numerous characters that have little to do with either storyline. It's confusing at the very least and unnecessarily adds considerable length to the book (that really isn't that long to begin with). In the end, none of the principal characters come out undamaged, which may mirror real life to one degree or another, but is kind of unsettling for a series crime novel.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Black Lies, Red Blood for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Demon of Dakar
Minotaur Books (Trade Paperback), June 2009
ISBN-13: 9780312366704; ISBN-10: 0312366701
Location(s) referenced in Black Lies, Red Blood: Uppsala, Sweden
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Black Lies, Red Blood by Kjell Eriksson — An Ann Lindell mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: April 2014
List Price: $25.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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