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Verzwegen by Kristina Ohlsson

Verzwegen (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Kristina Ohlsson, Edith Sybesma

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130692,561 (3.73)5
Authors:Kristina Ohlsson
Other authors:Edith Sybesma
Info:Vianen The House of Books 2011
Collections:Read in 2012, Your library

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Silenced by Kristina Ohlsson (2010)



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Kristina Ohlsson has written such a skillfully complex story filled with nuanced characters that I wish I had read the first book in this series, Unwanted. Silenced is definitely an ensemble book in which the supposed lead, Fredrika Bergman, really doesn't play a substantially larger part than her cast mates.

The lives of the police officers play an important role and give the book even more believability and depth. Fredrika is in her thirties and has decided to have a child by a much older married man. One of the most touchingly honest scenes in this book involves a mandatory dinner at Fredrika's parents so they can meet the father of her child. Each police officer's private life (to varying degrees) is woven into the story to show how personal matters can affect their job performance. One officer in particular, Peder Rydh, has gone through a messy separation from his wife and children, and his life has begun to implode. He's become a boor, a jerk, and in many other books, that's how he would have remained-- a figure of derision. But in Ohlsson's hands, we are given the chance to understand him and to hope that he can pull back from the brink. It may sound as though all this character examination would bog down the plot, but it is enhancement, not hindrance.

Speaking of plot, Ohlsson's is first-rate, with several elements that I'm not going to mention so you can get the full effect if you decide to read the book. As I've said before, the plot is complex, with things not being how they first appeared. Layer upon layer of deception is gradually revealed, all the way to the book's conclusion. Silenced may not be quite as tough or as graphic as some of the other Scandinavian crime fiction we've been introduced to, but I like Ohlsson's approach to her subject matter. Her characters show us all the differing sides, and her conclusions pack a wallop. This is a series that I definitely want to continue reading. ( )
  cathyskye | Aug 3, 2014 |
Second book by author. Freedoms Bergman

Frederika Bergman returns in the latest installment from Swedish author Ohlsson. Frederika is the only civilian working with Alex Recht’s federal investigation unit, but you wouldn’t know this was her book until the very end. The novel opens with the rape of a teenage girl in Frederika’s own backyard. Then we fast-forward several years to a priest and his wife, who are killed in an apparent murder-suicide; in a seemingly unrelated incident, a man is killed in a hit-and-run accident. Alex and his team, including the very pregnant Frederika, start investigating, and things are not at all how they first appeared to be. Human trafficking is going on, from the Middle East through Bangkok and then to Sweden. OK, but then things really get twisty. The story slowly unfolds, revealing layer upon layer of deception. The interplay between the detectives adds another level of interest to this intriguing puzzle, as do the inner workings of a foreign police department. This Scandinavian procedural, though less gristly than most of the genre, should appeal to international-mystery fans. --Stacy Alesi --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. ( )
  Suzanne_Mitchell | Dec 26, 2013 |
In this, the second translated novel from Ohlsson involving a team of Stockholm detectives ably assisted by civilian researcher Fredrika Bergman, a number of different (yet somehow related?) cases occupy the team. The death of a vicar and his wife shortly after a daughter is reported dead, the whereabouts of another daughter, plus the death of an unidentified man, all prove challenging for the team. Then too there is the horrific attack on a young girl years before which the book opens with and which the police are not aware of, but of course the reader is. The book also sheds considerable light on the lives of three of the main characters, their trials and tribulations. The story involves immigration and people smuggling, persons having their identity taken from them, and of course the age-old crime motivators of jealousy and revenge. In regards to the plot, I think it is more than just complex, it is I think overly elaborate. Without giving the ending away, it does beg the question as to how likely such an outcome.

While in the first book (Unwanted) I thought the male-female divide overplayed, it's fair to say that it's not an issue here, largely because Fredrika has now been more or less accepted as part of the team. But wait, there was still something to irritate me here! I have never met so many instances in a book where so many characters have tears well up in their eyes, one more than the next! Otherwise the book is an ok read, but nothing to shout out loud about. ( )
  ebyrne41 | Feb 15, 2013 |
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Kristina Ohlssonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sybesma, EdithTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A teenage girl is assaulted and raped on a midsummer's eve fifteen years ago. Cut to present, and a man is killed in a hit and run. He has no identification on him, he is not reported missing nor wanted by the police. Simultaneously a priest and his wife are found dead in an apparent suicide. Fredrika Bergman and her colleagues are assigned to the seemingly unconnected cases.… (more)

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