Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Review: Midwinter's Blood by Mons Kallentoft

I jumped on the Scandinavian Writer bandwagon like two years ago and I haven't found one I didn't like.  Mons Kallentoft is the next Swedish writer that I took on and I wasn't disappointed.  (And OMG check him out)

His first American release is Midwinter Blood.  Thank you publishing people for releasing the first book in the series first!  I really don't like when the first book released in the US is like the 5th book in the series.

Midwinter Blood is about the case of an obese man found hanging in a tree on a cold, lonely morning.  He has been cut and beaten and his body is frozen in the tree.  Malin Fors is the detective on the case.  She, along with her coworkers, are tasked with finding out who the man was and what happened to him. 

The story is told through shifting viewpoints, mostly Malin's but sometimes the victim's as well.  I liked the victim's voice.  I thought that was an interesting approach to take. 

Malin is a complex character that is so compelled to do her work that it is putting her personal relationships in jeopardy.  She shares custody of her teenage daughter with her ex-husband.  She's so embroiled in her world that she doesn't see that her daughter needs attention.  The flashbacks with her ex-husband I felt were unnecessary and made the book overly long.  The weird relationship she had with her dad didn't make much sense to me and again the squabbling between them just added more pages to the book and not element to the story.

Midwinter's Blood incorporated a lot of the elements that make the Scandinavian writers so interesting.  The cold was a constant factor throughout.  The deep history of the area was present in the book.  Old world religions came in the play in this book as well.

I did find myself skimming the last quarter of the book because I felt like it was just going on forever.  I did like Midwinter's Blood though and whenever the 2nd book is released I will keep reading this series.   Hopefully it'll be a little trimmed down in comparison to this book.

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