Midwinter Blood

Malin Fors, #1

Malin Fors is a police detective in a small, isolated town, of Linkoping in central Sweden. This story takes place in central Sweden during one of the coldest winters ever. She is a bit reckless in both her private and professional life. A divorced mother of a teenaged daughter, Tove, she constantly questions her decisions and actions, but only to herself, and always playing her cards close to the vest.

Malin is assigned to a murder case that starts a long deep story of disturbing secrets. She soon discovers that not all of them can or will be solved. If you enjoy dark mysteries, this book is your cup of tea.

The mystery starts with a fat man, dead and cold hanging in the forest. This is where Malin Fors enters the picture. She is the police superintendent. In many ways, she's the ideal detective. Instinctive and driven. Intelligent? Absolutely. But in a good way. She finds shortcuts, dares to take chances but she does it with care. That's what Malin's chief says about her. Malin's all that and more. She’s began to drink and is an insomniac single parent of a teenaged girl. She works hours and hours and wonders about her daughter. Late home one night, Malin finds Tove asleep on the couch. She feels the heaviness of love, while all around her is the heaviness of hate. The voice of the dead man is speaking throughout the novel, but not being heard. His soul is hanging from a thread, even after he was cremated. He was still being tormented and tortured even as the coffin and body is burned.

It is so cold in Sweden almost to the halt of what is normal, of people, love and loneliness, dark and light. So many families that destroy everything they and others have, when only a little thoughtfulness and love might cure. When it gets so cold, you can't smell. Smell stimulates you in many ways. Smells hold thoughts, memories.

Could this be a cult or ritual murder? We soon find as the case proceeds, that this may actually be a ritual murder. Now here it goes, one clue after another and another until they start to pile up. Families, known thugs, associates of this man are questioned, looked at and visited. They leave nothing unturned.

As the case goes along we get to know Malin Fors, her ex, and her teenaged daughter. Her life is laid open for all to look at and to point fingers at. Malin does a lot of the investigating, but does not lead the investigations. She's pretty much a loner, which her fellow officers don't like.

This novel is a fast page turner. As the characters develop it is as if you know them, they're real. Some are likable like Malin. Maybe there will be a book two in the U.S. soon? Hopefully? I wish the books would go in series. It seems like the first book in the U.S. is the third book in the series. I hate that. I like reading my series books in order.

How did this obese man end up in the true, naked, cut, beaten and frozen? Who was this man and what did he do to deserve this? I liked that the story was told through different views. It was mainly Malin's but the victim's voice was more intriguing and interesting. The author did some amazing writing with this book. This is not your ordinary suspense mystery.

Malin is a very complicated person. She is so wrapped up in her work that her personal relationships suffer. Her shared custody of her daughter is being put on the back burner. She doesn't see that her daughter needs a lot of attention, which she isn't getting. The constant riff between her fathers makes the book more real life. How many of us experience this or have? Malin doesn't just have a cop's life but she has a personal life too, and that does include a child that being a teen needs lots of attention. The book did seem just a little bit too long. That didn't make it a bad book, it was just long. The vivid descriptions of everything in the book was great. He described the victim with such detail of the death. Very realistic.

As long as the victim's spirit is not at peace, then Malin doesn't rest. There was another murder several years before, a brutal rape and torture of a young woman found on the edge of the very same woods. Could this murder be connected with another case that involved a brutal rape and torture of a young woman found on the edge of the same woods? Will things run cold or heat up for Malin? The author waits until the perfect moment for the answers. I loved the spirit voice. It gave the novel that mystery and makes you think, could this be possible?

The voice of the dead man floats through the novel, seeing and hearing, speaking but not being heard. His spirit is in limbo, even after the cremation of his body, tormented and tortured but even so detached, as the coffin and then the body is burned.

Sweden's cold, cold winter shows the differences between humans, of madness and loneliness and abuse. Of the loss of light and love, replaced by darkness and fear and suspicion. Humans destroying what is when the only thing it would take would be a small amount of caring and love.

Thanks Mr. Kannentoft for such a good read and the chance for us to read and reviews. I will try to get more books of yours.

Book Blurb for Midwinter Blood


Thirty-four years old, blond, single, divorced with a teenage daughter, Fors is the most driven superintendent who has ever worked on the police force in her small, isolated town. And the most talented. In her job, she is constantly moving through the borderland between life and death. Her path in life is violent and hazardous.

Linköping, Sweden, is surrounded by a landscape of plains and forests—a fault line on the edges of society where time seems to have stood still and where some people live entirely according to their own rules. In the early hours of a frigid night, during the coldest February anyone can remember, the bloody body of an obese man, stripped bare and horribly mutilated, is found hanging from a lone oak tree in the middle of a frozen, snow-covered, and windswept plain not far from town.

The young superintendent Malin Fors is assigned to the case. Together with her colleagues from the Investigation Section of Linköping’s Crime Unit, she must track down the identity of the man in the tree and the reason why he ended up there. And at the same time they must follow in the frigid wake of a killer who has just begun his work. It is a manhunt that will take Malin into the darkest corners of the human heart where the sins of the past— hidden away—all too often wreak havoc from one generation to the next.

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2013 4.50