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Kragepigen by Jerker Eriksson
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Kragepigen (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Jerker Eriksson, Håkan Sundquist

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2511645,873 (3.75)7
Member:mai-britt
Title:Kragepigen
Authors:Jerker Eriksson
Other authors:Håkan Sundquist
Info:Kbh. : Lindhardt og Ringhof, 2011.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund (2010)

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» See also 7 mentions

English (10)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (16)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
This is a tough book to evaluate. On one hand I loved it and did not want to put it down, but had to due to its length and weight – it is 768 pages long and a rather hefty tome. On the other hand the descriptions of the numerous victims in the story are horrific, and there are many victims in this tale, so reading so much of this is rather repulsive. However, the writing is wonderful, the storyline is intriguing and the end is something I did not anticipate. When I learned that the original Swedish version was three separate books that the English version combined into one, its length made more sense. I gave it a high rating because while I both loved and was repulsed by it, I never wavered in my desire to find out what happened next right up to the end. ( )
  Susan.Macura | Aug 19, 2016 |
I wanted to like this book, but it's slow and plodding, taking far too long to get anywhere interesting and then randomly telling you what's going to happen in advance of plot twists. My eyes glazed over at the thought of finishing it; I'm giving up at the end of Part One. ( )
  jen.e.moore | Aug 5, 2016 |
Boy, this is a difficult book to try and explain and I'm still going back and forth on whether it was a 3.5 or 4 star read for me. It's very long and can be a little confusing but I have to admit, it kept me reading until I finished it. I really liked the character of Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg, but wasn't crazy about the others. The subject matter is just horrible and I don't recommend this book for the tender hearted. The first third of the book leads you in one direction, and the last third of the book undermines everything you believed. While The Crow Girl is one of the more challenging books I've read, I am glad I read it because it gives you a glimpse into the mindset of the mentally ill. It's also a pretty good murder mystery that takes you down several different paths before coming to a heartbreaking end. ( )
  Dianekeenoy | Aug 1, 2016 |
The Crow Girl is not a novel that is going to garner a lot of attention this summer. It is long, which always scares off potential readers for some reason. Moreover, it is dark. So, so dark. Its subject matter is not for the faint of heart by any means. Yet, for those who do finish it, what they discover is a book that manages to discuss some of the most difficult topics in society with dignity. It does so without resorting to graphic descriptions or other forms of sensationalism. It is a book that dredges the very bottom of mankind but still leaves a reader hopeful.

That is not to say that The Crow Girl is perfect. In fact, it is anything but perfect. For one, while the authors do an admirable job presenting severe mental illness, the narrative becomes extremely difficult to follow at times as a result. This is in part because the narrator is the one suffering from mental illness, so it is as if readers get an intimate look into her mind. However, for this complex story with a large cast of characters, this intimacy also makes it difficult to figure out what is happening.

There is also an issue with the specificity of location. The authors have what could be termed a compulsion to be as specific as possible about the location of the narrative as it progresses. There is an overabundance of street names within the story, which may mean more for someone familiar with Stockholm and the surrounding areas but means absolutely nothing to the average American. That being said, the story gains nothing from this specificity. The authors do this to show that such horrific crimes can occur within any neighborhood with the most unassuming people as its perpetrators, but they could have just as easily made their point with fewer street names and a more generic statement.

Lastly, there is a dullness to the entire novel, as if the authors are so afraid of making a misstep in regards to its touchy subject matter that they omitted emotion from all of the characters. One sees this most in Sofia and Jeannette’s relationship which grows from suspicion to mutual admiration to friendship to love with no fanfare. There is just no connection between them that would indicate a growing closeness. The same holds true for almost everything Jeannette and Sofia face individually. There should be rage and horror, despondency and a deep sense of betrayal. Instead, their stories are simply flat.

In a way, this lack of emotion is a good thing as the subject matter is just so difficult. Severe child abuse, child sex slave trade, severe mental trauma, gruesome murders – The Crow Girl has it all. None are easy subjects, but this novel layers them together in a creative fashion that works surprisingly well. Still, were there that added emotion that would make the characters more realistic, the story might prove to be too difficult for readers to tackle.

The Crow Girl is admirably ambitious in its scope, and the authors succeed fairly well in their attempts to present a grand novel about abuse, mental illness, and murder. The characters might feel flat, but they do grow and develop. More importantly, as hideous as the crimes committed within the novel are, the story ends on a note of hope. It does not have a fairy tale ending in which everyone lives happily ever after, but there is sufficient closure for readers to understand that this is as good as it could possibly get from some of the characters. The fact that some of the cast is able to move on and look towards the future is the greatest indicator of hope there is – hope that good will triumph, hope of survival against life’s greatest traumas.

While The Crow Girl is not the type of novel that will be popular or will generate even a modicum of buzz from the publishing world, I am still glad I read it for it is a fascinating study into the mindset of the mentally ill. This is on top of the fact that it is a decent murder mystery that takes you down several twisty paths before arriving at its heartbreaking conclusion. It is one of the toughest books I have ever read due to its subject matter, but that makes it that much more satisfying upon finishing it.
  jmchshannon | Jul 14, 2016 |
Dark and despairing!

A hard read that I had to keep putting aside for a while.
The abuse and trafficking of children is not something of which humanity can be proud. Add torture and sadism and the absence of light is completed.
The story (actually three novels extended into one which makes it a very long read!) drops into lines that are chilling and arresting. The two main character voices of Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg who leads the investigation the therapist Sofia Zetterlund wrap around each other in interesting ways. Sofia has several cases / patients / requests she's looking at. The sentencing of Tyra Mäkelä, the following up Victoria Bergman (a client she finds profoundly puzzling), a request from a social worker to see a war affected child from Sierra Leone, that sparks forgotten nightmare. All build a carefully weighed background to this extreme psychological thriller.
I found the writing style fascinating and the subject matter extremely challenging.
I love Scandinavian noir but this was way to black for me.
To sum up this is a five star, well written novel where the translator has worked their word smithing seamlessly and superbly all wrapped up in a two star appalling topic.
A novel for the most dedicated.

A NetGalley ARC ( )
  eyes.2c | Jun 14, 2016 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Erik Axl Sundprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Axlander Sundquist, Håkanmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Eriksson, JerkerAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Dunkelt är vårt liv. Stor vår medfödda bevikelse - vilken gör att så många sagor överhuvud blomma i Skandinaviens skogar - dystert kolnar vårt hjärtas hungereld. Många blir kolvaktare vid sitt eget hjärtas mila; lägga i fördrömmelsens krymplingsskap örat till och höra hur det susande förbrinner.

Ur Nässlorna blomma av Harry Martinsson
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Till minnet av en syster
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Huset var hundra år gammalt och de gedigna stenväggarna var metertjocka, vilket betydde att hon antagligen inte behövde isolera dem, men hon ville vara på den säkra sidan.
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