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Lethal Investments by Kjell Ola Dahl
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English (3)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All (5)
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Back to some Scandi-crime and a rather routine offering unfortunately.

A young woman is killed rather brutally and the crime is linked firstly to her one night stand. However when he is also killed then the clues point to her employers. She works for a small IT company who are clearly operating a scam. The owner has a track record of setting up bogus companies and disappearing with the investments. He had also had an affair with the first victim.

There is some good characterisation in the book but the outcome is easily worked out by about halfway. Having said that it is a logical conclusion and a believable plot, unlike many in this genre the novel does not go into the realms of extreme fantasy.

This is a sound example but does not set the pulse racing. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |
his first mystery. not exactly good writing or characterization (yet?), but the two cops have an excellent eye for detail, and for extrapolating from that detail, that suggests this team might be interesting to follow. ( )
  macha | Nov 20, 2014 |
LETHAL INVESTMENTS published nearly 20 years ago (1993) and has only recently been published in English. The first of the Frohlich series, it introduces Oslo detectives Gunnarstranda and Frolich. Gunnarstranda is the older man, a bit of a bulldog once he has his teeth into a case, but also the one who worries at the evidence, trying to work out the sequence of events. The duo reminded me a bit of Dalziel and Pascoe from P.D. James, or A.C. Baantjer's DeKok and Vledder.

Once Gunnarstranda, recently widowed, is on the trail he seems to persist beyond above the call of duty:

Frank [Frohlich] stared at him. The older policeman with the cigarette and coffee cup had blue bags under his eyes. The thread-like hair lay in unruly tufts across his balding head, his coat was creased and his face sallow under the grey stubble.
So here is another Swedish police procedural and you are probably thinking you don't need to read another. I really enjoyed the way the reader is made privy to the detectives' deductive processes. Gunnarstranda forces Frohlich to explore with him possible scenarios to fit the evidence, putting themselves in the roles of victim and perpetrator, thinking their way through how and why things have happened as they did.

Another of things I really liked about the style of this novel is the almost shorthand descriptive passages:

The light from the windows fell on two other desks. On one there was a white strip of paper taped to the side of the telephone. Reidun Rosendal’s. Her name in neat blue writing. Small flattened loops between the curves. Her place, he thought, and sat down. Opened the drawers. Examined them without finding anything of interest. They were empty. No engagement diary. No personal papers. Just loose pens, a coloured ribbon for a printer and some files. An empty Coke bottle rolling around in the bottom drawer when he opened it. On top, under glass, a passport-size photograph. He lifted the sheet of glass, coaxed the picture out and studied it. Black and white photograph. Face in half-profile. A blonde leaning back, tossing her hair while looking in the mirror. Self-satisfied expression. A woman who liked what she saw in the mirror. But she was young.

The novel gives us yet another view of Swedish society at the end of the twentieth century. LETHAL INVESTMENTS is in part about the sort of get-rich-quick schemes that characterised that time. ( )
1 vote smik | Dec 17, 2012 |
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Original title: Dødens Investeringer
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Although this is the fourth novel featuring the Oslo detectives Gunnarstranda and Frolich to be published in English, it is actually the first in the series. The author freely admits to a total disregard by the publishers to release in the correct sequence! An apartment building. A woman clearing up the mess her young son has made on the stairway. A child staring into an open doorway. The naked leg of a woman sticking out of that doorway. Blood. A woman's scream. Reidun Rosendal's murder presents Oslo detectives Gunnarstranda and Frolich with their most intriguing case yet.… (more)

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