"The Next Steig Larsson" says the sticker on the front of The Redeemer, though that's not why I took it home from the library the other day. I'm not that easily fooled, thank goodness. Of course some of you may be thinking that would be a reason not to take it home, but I was hugely impressed with the Millenium trilogy and I'm afraid there never will be another Steig Larsson. Nevertheless I'm keen on Scandiavian crime and Jo Nesbo has had some good press lately, so worth a try. I quite enjoyed this novel, which I think is the sixth in a series featuring the alcoholic detective Harry Hole. Perhaps I should have read the other five first? as there were references to Harry's past which didn't mean a lot to me. The Redeemer of the title is a hitman who, at the start of the novel, shoots the wrong person, and spends the rest of the novel trying to find the right one. The plot is interesting, well-constructed, and complex, and the denouement quite a surprise. I just didn't really relate all that well to Harry -- so, though I'm certainly not seeking out another in a huge hurry, I might have a go sometime to see if he grows on me.
Meanwhile, I've been listening to Camilla Lackberg's The Preacher as an audio book. I have to keep myself well supplied with these as I spend a lot of time going up and down to London on the bus, and I can't read on buses or in cars without getting sick. I knew nothing at all about Lackberg when I ordered this, and only got it because it was Swedish and sounded interesting. And, in fact, I ended up liking it a lot. It's the second in a series, the first being The Ice Princess, and all of them are set in Lackberg's own birthplace, the small Swedish west coast town of Fjällbacka. This is real good domestic crime fiction -- we get to hear about the home life of the detective Patrik Hedstrom and his pregnant wife Erica, as well as that of the local family who seems to to concerned in some way with the mysterious deaths of several young girls, some of whom died in the 1970s.
It took me a while to get into this one, but that was less to do with the plot than with the quality of the reading. That's something you really so get influenced by in audio books. I listened to all the Larssons on audio and the reading was superb. But this reader was really poor, I thought, and that spoiled it for me rather. I've had the same problem with Andrea Levy's The Long Song, which she is reading herself -- I'm afraid I actually abandoned it because I didn't enjoy her way of reading it. Luckily the next Lackberg, which I have waiting for me, is being read by someone different and, I really hope, someone better.