Posted: January 21, 2014 in review, Scandinavia, Sweden

515Lxi9mZ8L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX385_SY500_CR,0,0,385,500_SH20_OU02_Three couples from Terra Nova, Visby, who are close friends take brief trips together each summer without their children. They have 256px-Gotland_mapgone horse riding in Iceland and bicycled through Provence, and this year they would attend the annual Ingmar Bergman festival week on the island of Faro and then go on to see the young guillemots  at Stora Karslo. The friends are John, an American bar owner, his red haired model wife Beata, Andrea Dahlberg and her film director husband Sam, and the three time married Hakan with his beautiful younger wife Stina, who was adopted as a child from Vietnam.

The group of friends from Terra Nova found seats at a big table outdoors. The enticing aroma of grilled lamb drifted over the crowded restaurant. 

‘Great,’ exclaimed Sam as he sat down. ‘What a perfect evening. Don’t you think so, sweetheart?’ 


When tragedy strikes detectives Anders Knutas and his deputy Karin Jacobsson investigate while dealing with their own personal problems. In this book journalist Johan Berg, who was a major character in the earlier books, takes only a minor part as he is in the Swedish fashion on paternity leave. 

This is the seventh book in a fine series set on the island of Gotland off the east coast of Sweden. One feature of this series is that the personal relationships between the characters are just as important to the narrative as the criminal investigations. In the earlier books Johan’s affair with Emma, and their subsequent marriage, was a major part of the plot and in the last two books Karin’s past history of rape and the adoption of her baby many years before is a major theme. Anders Knutas is also having marriage problems, and is confused about his job and his responsibilities because Karin Jacobsson committed a serious breach of procedure in the previous book. 

I think my attempt to summarise may have given a clue as to the minor problem I had with this novel. It is well written with good descriptive writing, an easy to read translation from Tiina Nunnally, and good characterisation but there is just so much going on that I was at times a little lost. I am not keen on the format of short chapters changing rapidly from one perspective to another. It worked in the climax where it was successful in raising the tension, but I felt it was overdone because it broke my concentration and resulted in my reading becoming episodic. 

‘Hakan….’ she began, seeming at a loss for words. ‘ There must be some sort of misunderstanding. Stina wasn’t called in and she didn’t fly to Bangkok. She’s expected back on the job tomorrow at five a.m. I don’t understand….’

I was also amused by the naivete of these provincial police as it took them about 250 pages to work out what might have been going on between six attractive individuals in Scandinavia. 

My reservations about The Double Silence won’t stop me reading the next book in the series, because author Mari Jungstedt has me intrigued as to what will happen to the main characters Anders Knutas and Karin Jacobsson. 

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    Norman – I know what you mean. I find it a bit hard to keep up with a lot of different plot threads too unless they are really skillfully done. Still, this one sounds like good addition to this series. And you’ve reminded me that I”m woefully behind in it *sigh*.

  2. Rebecca says:

    I just finished the first book in the series so I’m not reading this review too closely yet.

  3. I have to keep a list of my plot threads and action in a tablet or I miss something and have to go back into the story and add it.

  4. […] Norm, at Crime Scraps, reviews Mari Jungstedt’s The Double Silence, a new entry in the Anders Knutas series set on Visby Island. In addition to a crime, the story involves the lives of its ongoing cast of characters. While Norm recommends this series, he felt this story jumped too often from one point of view to another and often left him mystified in ways the author likely didn’t intend. […]

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