A young man falls to his death from a window in a student dorm in Stockholm, his loose shoe striking and killing the little dog being taken for his evening walk by an old man. It seems to be a mundane suicide—at least that’s what the police choose to think. But the young man is American, not Swedish, and there are a couple of odd things about his room when they search it. . . .
From these tiny beginnings, Leif GW Persson slowly begins to unravel a puzzle that gets larger and larger as it becomes more and more complex, until it sweeps us into a web of international espionage, backroom politics, greed, sheer incompetence, and the shoddy work of Sweden’s intelligence force that leads to the murder of the prime minister.
The first novel in a dark and dazzling trilogy that has become the defining fictional account of the unsolved 1986 assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme—an event that triggered the biggest criminal investigation in recorded history—Between Summer’s Longing and Winter’s End is a riveting insider’s combination of black satire, thriller, psychological drama, and police procedural by a writer universally acknowledged as Sweden’s leading criminologist.
The apparent suicide of an American journalist in 1970s Stockholm propels Persson's ponderous English debut, the first of a trilogy. The victim, John Krassner, was working on a book detailing the exploits of his uncle, Col. John Buchanan, an OSS agent in the years following WWII and Buchanan's ties to a now high-ranking Swedish politician known by the code name "Pilgrim." The Swedish secret police, who were hearing chatter concerning threats to the Swedish prime minister, had been keeping an eye on Krassner at the time of his death. Curious about Krassner after discovering a personal connection to the case, police superintendent Lars Johansson begins his own inquiry and unearths more than he bargained for, including disparate pieces of a vast political conspiracy. In contrast to the work of Stieg Larsson, this thriller lacks both memorable characters and a streamlined plot.