Discovering a ‘new-to-you’ author is one of the real privileges of reading crime fiction. Those great new finds add zest and interest to one’s reading life (I know, and books to the TBR…). That’s why I’m so pleased that Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise has created a terrific New (to me, anyway) Authors meme. Each quarter, crime fiction fans are invited to share blog posts about authors whose work they’ve discovered for the first time. Sound good? Do join in if you’d like! And while you’re at Kerrie’s excellent blog, have a look around. It’s a top source of great crime fiction reads, and one of my must-stops.
This quarter, my choice is Håkan Östlundh. Östlundh was born in Uppsala, and raised in Stockholm, where he still lives, except for summers, which he spends in Gotland. His background is in journalism and television, and he’s written for Sweden’s most well-regarded paper.
Östlundh is the author of the (thus far) seven-novel Fredrik Borman series. I first got to know him through The Intruder, the fifth in that series. Borman is a police detective based in Gotland. Unlike many modern sleuths, Borman is functional, and has stable, loving relationships with his wife Ninni and his two sons, Joakim and Simon. In this novel, he and his police partner Sara Oskarsson investigate a bizarre case involving professional blogger Malin Andersson and her husband, photographer Henrik Kjellander. When they and their children travel for two months, they sub-let their home to temporary residents as a way to make some extra money. But they regret that choice very soon when they return. First, they find several dishes and utensils missing. There’s trash everywhere, several sticky messes, and much worse. At first, they put it down to sloppy, rude tenants. But then, Malin finds that one of the family photographs has been mutilated. Others are missing. Now it seems clear that this is some sort of personal attack, so Borman and his team are called in. As they look into the case, other, more frightening, things happen, and it’s clear that the police are going to have to find out who’s responsible very quickly, before worse happens. In the end, it’s all connected to past events, and to a complex family history.
This is a series that hasn’t all been translated into English. I know that Fredrik Borman #4 (The Viper) has (at least in the US), and I am hoping that more of this series will be available in English.
Want to know more about The Intruder? It’s right here.
Want to know more about The Viper? Here it is.
*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from The Softies’ About You.