The Woman Inside by M. T. Edvardsson
Less dark than others of the genre, this Scandinavian murder mystery is cleverly plotted and crafted skillfully using only the voices of the principals: victims, suspects and perpetrator. Briskly moving narrative helps maintain a high level of interest throughout.
It is usual to find Scandinavian crime fiction extremely dark: the works of Steig Larson and Ake Edwardson (Swedish), Joe Nesbo (Norwegian) and Jussi Adler-Olsen (Danish) are all delightfully grim, visually and literally. This, while an exception to the midnight-all-day for months character of most Nordic mysteries has plenty of the anticipated noir feel without the atmospherics.
Utilizing a quick-cut alternation between the viewpoints of the principals the murder in question evolves from being what looks like a straightforward suicide pact to a much more complex and vexing problem. Another departure from the norm is that the detective(s) here are invisible. Everything comes from the victims, suspects and perpetrator. The number of factors driving the motivations of all the characters grows and becomes part of the fabric. Because the reader is hearing the story in the voices of the people involved there is a personal feeling that is compelling: empathy becomes natural and we begin to fret that one of the cast we like may be more culpable than it is comfortable to contemplate. Tension is maintained in this clever way and the reader doesn’t miss the dark-streets/basement-imprisonment/insane-perpetrator nature of much of the aforementioned authors’ works.
The author is clearly accomplished and adroitly weaves a story that keeps one’s interest without seeming to work hard at it. It looks (reads) easier than it might seem. The craftsmanship is evident without being overbearing. He is a novelist and teacher living in Löddeköpinge Municipality in Sweden, and has multiple works to his credit.