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Unseen by Mari Jungstedt
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Unseen

by Mari Jungstedt

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Inspector Anders Knutas (1)

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English (16)  Spanish (4)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  All (24)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Unseen is the first in a series by Mari Jungstedt set in Gotland and featuring Inspector Knutas and journalist Johan Berg. The setting on the vacation island with a permanent population of 58,000 that swells to over ten times that during the summer is one of the main draws of the series, as is the emotional drama of both Knutas and Berg. The mystery itself was not my favorite part of the book because it featured a serial killer, but I liked the characters enough to compensate for that storyline.

The murders take place in the month of June as tourist season begins, and they begin with the murder of woman who is a native now living in Stockholm who is visiting for the weekend. Knutas and his team are deeply affected by the murders they are investigating, which is a good touch. Berg, a crime reporter for Regional News television, is embroiled in the murder story and some others, and his scenes are a good picture of the workings of the mass media for sensational stories. He also has a strong personal story that is a thread in this novel that must continue in other books in the series. If Jungstedt, a former journalist, weren’t critical of the press or hadn’t made Berg a human who is affected by the stories he reports, this story would be much harder to take.

This book was not overly innovative, but it was a fairly quick read that focused on characters, which made me able to stand the serial killer storyline. I also thought she balanced the personal story with the investigation very well instead of letting one take precedent over the other. However, I hope the murderer in the other books in the series is a bit more interesting than this one was. My mixed feelings are probably a sign that I need to read something besides police procedurals for awhile, and I am working on it.
  rkreish | Feb 21, 2014 |
Far out, Scandinavian crime month is brilliant! Unseen, had I not read The Ice Princess first, would probably have been my favourite book of 2011, but it is sitting solidly in second spot. This was Jungstedt's first novel, but you would never be able to tell. The story is captivating and full of twists and turns. The stunning climax was unexpected, and Jungstedt effortlessly fits all the pieces of the puzzle together in one of the best endings to a book I've read in a long time.

After a party goes wrong, a woman named Helena and her dog are found brutally murdered on a beach in Gotland, Sweden. Helena and her partner Per were involved in a heated argument the night before, and Per immediately finds himself on top of the suspect list. When a crucial piece of evidence points to him, Per is arrested for the murder of Helena. But while locked up, another murder occurs and the authorities and media are forced to start the search again. A murderer is terrorising the small community and the police are baffled as seemingly unconnected women begin piling up. The story is told in the third person, but follows Inspector Anders Knutas and a journalist named Johan as they try to solve the mystery before another woman is killed. When a connection is finally made between the women, Anders and Johan begin a desperate race to save a missing woman before it is too late.

What I liked most about this book is the back story to the characters. That's where the really chilling parts were... Not to downplay the novel, but the characters weren't too detailed and the story itself is quite simple. What makes it a masterpiece are the psychological threads that hold the basic storyline together; the interactions between people and the profound impact these actions can have in shaping the future, and the lengths people will go to extract revenge on those who have wronged them. The killer in this case was a particularly scary breed of psychopath, but intermittent flashbacks their childhood showed a different side to the usual killer - it gave the reader an insight into the psychology of the killer, why they grew up the way they did and how seemingly insignificant actions as a child can haunt us for the rest of our lives.

I've learnt a lot over the past few months about what I like and don't like in crime novels, and I think Unseen is a perfect blend of all the elements I like best. An intelligent story? Check. Lots of surprises? Check. An effortless look at family ties and how events shape us? Check. A highly recommendable novel? Check - now go read it for yourselves! ( )
  tonile.helena | Mar 31, 2013 |
I got confused which is nothing, absolutely nothing, new. But one night, for some reason, I plucked THE INNER CIRCLE by Mari Jungstedt from the stacks, and started reading. Then I got quite convinced I'd already read the book. So I went to check and found UNSEEN, which I then re-read, ending up very struck by the similarities between the two plots. Which got me wondering if there were similarities in all of them, and as I had a number of the books to hand, I thought I'd read them in order and see what was going on.

Still managed to screw up the order completely. Sigh. Oh, and THE INNER CIRCLE was also published as UNKNOWN just to add to the confusion.

So, anyway, I read UNSEEN, then THE INNER CIRCLE / UNKNOWN, then THE KILLER'S ART and finally UNSPOKEN which got me to the end of the books that were here, waiting to be read. Having spread this little exercise out over a couple of months, I was still struck by the similarities - sometimes in plot elements, always in the ongoing personal elements, and overwhelmingly in the way that the journalistic aspects take precedence over the police investigation, although the last part does seem to moderate a little in the final book - UNSPOKEN.

It comes as absolutely no surprise that the author of these books has worked as a journalist as that viewpoint is undoubtedly the strongest in all of these books. Whilst that aspect is obviously written with authority, it does rather skew the investigative aspects of the various cases. The personal complications of this particular journalist's personal life, absolutely did not help this reader as the whole thing lurched too much into melodrama for my liking. Add to that a rather journalistic, rather than storytelling author style and I will admit I was struggling.

A struggle obviously not helped by the idea of reading all of the books in rapid succession. I could really see the similarities after the second book, and the increasing predictability, and to be frank, tediousness of the personal life was increasingly boring and vaguely irritating. I definitely remember reading UNSEEN the first time round (of course I do, the similarities between it and UNKNOWN were what sent me off on this quest after all), and whilst I was not overly impressed at the time, I wasn't put off completely either. By the end of all four books though I have to confess I was increasingly underwhelmed with the series. Not one that I'd avoid, but not one that I'd shunt to the top of the pile by default.

http://www.austcrimefiction.org/review/unseen-mari-jungstedt ( )
  austcrimefiction | Nov 9, 2012 |
A serial killer appears on the island of Gotland just as the islanders are getting ready for the summer tourism season and the Midsummer holiday.

Women who appear not to have any connection are found murdered with their underwear stuffed in their mouths. The police have no clues with which to follow and with no witnesses, their frustration rises with the summer heat.

Adding to Inspector Knutas's irritations is a journalist who appears to have a source inside the police providing him with information about the murders the homicide team had not given out during the press conferences.

The mind of the serial killer is gradually exposed ...but will the homicide team find him before he kills again?

There were some rather obvious links, I thought, that I was surprised the homicide team didn't pick up, and the writing at times appeared rather stilted. Still, it's not bad for the first in the series and I hope the author will develop her main characters more fully in subsequent works. ( )
1 vote cameling | Feb 12, 2012 |
Lyckadlättläst deckare. Den blir trots sin lättlästa form inte torftig. Tillräcklig information som för handlingen framåt får plats. Jag gillar inte det enkla språket och det alltför uppenbara i Jungstedts romaner. Som lättläst funkar det bra!Kommisarie Knutas vid gotlandspolisen får utreda blodiga mord: kvinna, Helena, på strand ihjälslagen med yxa naken med trosa i munnen (maken misstänkt pga svartsjukedrama kvällen innan), kvinna på krog mördad på hemväg nedstucken naken med trosa i munnen, kvinnlig konstnär mördad påsamma sätt. Emma som var bästa vän med Helena uppvaktas av journalisten Johan, han blir kär i henne trots att hon har familj. Hon nystar tillbaka i tiden: hon och de 3 mördade har något gemensamt. De gick i samma klass i sexan. I samma klass gick mördaren. Kursivt varvas plotten med mördarens tankar och en bild av honom växer fram. Spännande - funkar bra för många läsare även de som endast är lite läsovana! ( )
  chawes | Nov 3, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mari Jungstedtprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pecharromán Miguel, Gemmasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pecharromán Miguel, GemmaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312351577, Hardcover)

Swedish crime at its best---dark, atmospheric, and chilling
 
The island of Gotland is in the middle of a busy tourist season and getting ready for Midsummer, the 4th of July of Swedish holidays, when a young woman and her dog are found brutally murdered. The dog has been beheaded and is missing a paw; the woman is naked, covered in gruesome axe wounds, and her panties have been stuffed in her mouth.
            What looks like a crime committed by the victim's jealous husband keeps the local police force on their toes. Then a second victim is found. A serial killer terrorizes tourists and locals alike, and Inspector Anders Knutas has to face additional pressure from the media and local politicians who are worried about bad PR for the island.
In his quest for the murderer, he is aided by Johan Berg, an intrepid young journalist from Stockholm who has been sent to cover the incidents and who gets involved with Emma, one of the first victim's close friends. Three women die before Knutas and Berg, each approaching the case in their own way, finally close in on the killer, who has always, until now, been the one unseen by everybody.
Jungstedt has written an atmospheric and exciting first mystery in clear, unadorned prose, in the tradition of Henning Mankell, Håkan Nesser, and Karin Fossum.
 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:41 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"The island of Gotland is in the middle of a busy tourist season and getting ready for Midsummer, the 4th of July of Swedish holidays, when a young woman and her dog are found brutally murdered. The dog has been beheaded and is missing a paw; the woman is naked, covered in gruesome axe wounds, and her panties have been stuffed in her mouth." "What looks like a crime committed by the victim's jealous husband keeps the local police force on their toes. Then a second victim is found. A serial killer terrorizes tourists and locals alike, and Inspector Anders Knutas has to face additional pressure from the media and local politicians who are worried about bad PR for the island." "In his quest for the murderer, Knutas is aided by Johan Berg, an intrepid young journalist from Stockholm who has been sent to cover the incidents and who gets involved with Emma, one of the first victim's close friends. Three women die before Knutas and Berg, each approaching the case in their own way, finally close in on the killer, who has always, until now, been the one unseen by everybody."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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