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The Fire Witness by Lars Kepler

The Fire Witness (2011)

by Lars Kepler

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English (12)  Dutch (5)  Finnish (2)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All (23)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
A book that I'm very happy with.
Fast paced action, a chief of police who wants to investigate but is hindered by an ongoing investigation by internal afairs, a murderer who múst have done the deed and many different characters who also mingle with the investigation and/or the plot. A nice read! ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Dec 29, 2016 |
Tråkigt. Orkade läsa bara halva vägen. ( )
  RistoZ | Jun 6, 2016 |
FIRE WITNESS is set in Sweden and arouses all of the gloomy noir ambiance of its Scandinavian counterparts. The intricate plot has many moving parts but these sometimes appear to be contrived and a bit clunky. Elements seem to have been added by a committee (indeed Lars Kepler is a committee of two) designed to drop multiple clues that only Linna will understand. Certainly, his bumbling colleagues have no hope of either finding them of correctly interpreting their significance. The plot moves along at a brisk pace with multiple wrinkles that are designed to keep the pages turning as fast as possible, but many seem implausible. There is no theme unless, as the epigraphs and title suggest, liars can expect to be punished by fire.

Birgittagarden is a youth home for troubled teenage girls. One of these, Miranda, has been brutally murdered and the body posed with the hands over her face (see the book jacket). A caregiver, Elisabet, also has been bludgeoned to death in an outlying building. The case seems open and shut since one of the other girls, Vicky Bennet, has disappeared leaving behind a bloody murder weapon. The search for Vicky drives the story.

The protagonist is Joona Linna, a detective who is assigned to observe the case, but can’t resist taking over. Linna appears in other crime mysteries written by Kepler. He is pretty much a cliché in modern detective fiction. He is brilliant, tenacious and compassionate; but has a troubled past, many personal flaws and a tendency to flaunt authority and go-it-alone. The other characters lack nuance and thus are difficult to care about. Instead they act like puzzle pieces designed to drive the plot forward while adding mystery. Vicky is a tough, but almost irredeemable hard luck kid with a heart of gold. Anja Larsson is a wealthy divorced philanthropist who was once briefly Vicky’s foster mother and, for some reason feels guilty about how she turned out. Flora Hansen is a fake mystic, bilking people by purporting to commune with the departed. The police and Linna dismiss her as a crank; Daniel Grim is the psychological counselor at Birgittagarden. At first one wonders why each of these fairly minor characters is even there but as the plot heats up, one begins to see that they have important roles to play in resolving the mystery—just examples of some of clunky plot elements. The girls in the home are all pretty extreme, not well developed as individuals and tend to blend together.

FIRE WITNESS clearly deserves all of the blurb superlatives: it is cinematic, cleverly plotted, suspenseful, fast-paced, and a page-turner with a surprising climax. It, however, is not for the faint hearted because of extreme and brutal murders, violence, mental illness and sexual abuse. The novel is definitely light reading fare designed for commercial success. The final chapters are a testament to Kepler’s marketing savvy. They have nothing to do with the plot, but instead seem to be there merely to set the stage for future Joona Linna mysteries. ( )
  ozzer | Jan 28, 2016 |
Book 3, in Detective Inspector Joona Linna series

Before you read this novel be warned it is one of those rare stories that are truly difficult to put down. Once started you will be reading till the wee hours….This pulse-pounding third outing sends Joona to a home for troubled girls where one of them was brutally murdered, one girls is gone missing and one girl claims to have witnessed it all.

The story weaves puzzles into puzzles and is as dark, gritty and as brutal as you can imagine. It starts slowly at first but fast gain momentum. Brilliantly written in short and exciting chapters combined with a present tense narration the action is largely centered on trying to find the prime suspect, the missing girl. Giving us only the information we need, no long back stories the author’s proceeds in giving clues as the investigation moves along and draws us deeper and deeper. In every turn there is a reversal of fortunes and the horrendous set of circumstance is what kept me glued to every single page till I reached the conclusion.

“The Fire Witness” has a more violent side than the previous installments. What brings this page-turner to new heights is the mystery behind the issues covered, the minutia of the details, the originality in which it is delivered and not forgetting the intriguing characterization.

Although part of a series “The Fire Witness” can easily be enjoyed on its own. ( )
  Tigerpaw70 | Jan 18, 2016 |
A staff member and a girl get murdered at a special home for troubled girls. Detective Joona Linna takes on the case despite being investigated for foul actions in a previous case. Could have been a good crime novel if it hadn't been so easy to figure out what had happened that brutal night of the murders. Instead, Joona Linna's private storyline is the more interesting. ( )
  eclt83 | Jan 15, 2016 |
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"I tots els falsaris tindran la seva part a l'estany de foc atiat amb sofre." Ap, 21:8
'en alle leugenaars: hun deel is de poel, die brandt van vuur en zwavel' Openbaringen 21:8
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Elisabeth Grim ist einundfünfzig Jahre alt, und ihre Haare sind bereits leicht ergraut.
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When a medium contacts the police department with claims about a murder at a rural home for wayward girls, detective Joona Linna investigates bizarre clues only to find himself confronting more violent truths and a figure from his past.

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