The Cruel Stars of the Night
When The Princess of Burundi was published by Thomas Dunne Books, American critics hailed Kjell Eriksson as Sweden's Ed McBain, and they compared him to Henning Mankell. Now The Cruel Stars of the Night, the next in this internationally acclaimed crime series, unveils a spellbinding new tale again featuring police inspector Ann Lindell.
The Cruel Stars of the Night opens one snowy day when thirty-five-year-old Laura Hindersten goes to the police to report that her father, a local professor, is missing. Inspector Ann Lindell and her colleagues can find no motive for the man's disappearance. And when the corpses of two elderly men do turn up, neither of the dead men is the missing academic.
Unexpectedly, the police get help from one of the professor's colleagues, who believes there is an astonishing link between the murders and the disappearance of Professor Hindersten. But as the pressure on Lindell increases dramatically, she is shocked to discover that the killer has many more diabolical schemes in store.
Combining heart-pounding suspense with brilliant psychological insight, The Cruel Stars of the Night moves like a comet as it approaches the cliff-hanging climax. It is sure to win Kjell Eriksson a whole new galaxy of American fans.
In Swedish author Eriksson's fine second ensemble procedural (after 2006's The Princess of Burundi), members of the Uppsala Violent Crime Division try to connect the dots linking the separate murders of two old men and the disappearance of a third. Eriksson eschews crackling dialogue and facile descriptions in favor of longer, slower developing profiles of the principal men and women of the police unit: Ann Lindell, Ola Haver, Sammy Nilsson, Allan Fredricksson and others. Their investigation proceeds in parallel with the story of Laura Hindersten, daughter of the missing man. Eriksson balances these stories nicely as the detectives reach for clues. Lindell, the single mother of a young boy, emerges as the most compelling investigator, but the others are also distinct individuals. The author's squad of detectives displays the kind of interdependency and fractious loyalty that endeared Ed McBain's 87th Precinct squad (Cop Hater, etc.) to fans for so many decades.