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Death Angels (1997)

by Åke Edwardson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Erik Winter (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5831641,786 (3.32)20
The debut thriller in the internationally acclaimed series? available for the first time in the United States A long-time number one bestseller in his native Sweden, Åke Edwardson's profile was conspicuously raised when his novel Frozen Tracks was chosen as a finalist for a 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Until now, however, the novel that launched Edwardson's critically acclaimed Erik Winter series has never been available in the United States. With a new series translator who fully captures Edwardson's signature atmospheric style, Death Angels is America's introduction to Sweden's youngest Chief Inspector as he teams up with Scotland Yard to solve the mysterious parallel killings of young British and Swedish tourists. Richly evocative of mid-nineties South London and Gothenburg, Sweden, Death Angels is a brilliant opening to a mesmerizing series that has become a phenomenon in international crime fiction.… (more)
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» See also 20 mentions

English (14)  German (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
The original title of this is Dans med en ängel and the English version is Death Angels. The English version is probably cheaper because of the fixed book prices in Germany, but for some reason I prefer reading Nordic Noir in German.

There were many excellent aspects in this novel, and others that were not so good, but altogether it was a fantastic reading experience.

To begin with, I really like the investigator in this novel. Erik Winter is in his late thirties, he has affairs with several women, and his parents are so wealthy that he does not have to work for a living, but only does so because he likes it. His lifestyle is very luxurious. All of this would usually make me loath the character, but somehow it is not so with Winter - because he has a lot of empathy, I like his work ethics, and he treats his fellow policemen rather well.

The story takes place in Göteborg where a young man from London is murdered in a hotel room. Shortly after, it is discovered that the same also happened reversed - a Swedish young man was killed in a hotel room in London. The murders are very gruesome and the police are at a loss.

Well, the plot is interesting, but what is even more striking is the language. In the beginning the author includes many metaphors and similes, the language is sometimes almost lyrical. It seems a bit too forced, though, and hems the reading flow. After a few chapters, this is toned down, and from then on I loved the language and the atmosphere it creates, creating pictures in my mind and slowing down the reading to make room for emotions like fear and uncertainty.
I became totally engrossed in this story and did not want to put it down. The language remains a bit uneven from time to time, but I am quite sure that it is due to the translation. Other reviewers have commented on that as well and I am happy to see that the translator (Wolfdietrich Müller) changes after the second book.

The only thing that could be improved is the ending because there are several investigation lines left hanging:
Why did the murderer wear a wig?
Why did he dance, or what else did the footprints signify?
What about the aspect of homosexuality? Was it a coincidence or does the murderer hate gay men?
What happened to the burglar who found the clothes?
Why did the murderer choose to kill in two cities, and why London and Göteborg? Was it just to confuse Winter? I thought there might be a deeper meaning.

I also think that the motive is too weak and could have been made stronger by giving more of a background story, by explaining more about the childhood/teenage stories of Winter and Bolger.


I have not read as much Nordic Noir as many others, but I do think that this is very good novel apart from the few points I mentioned above. I am looking forward to continuing with this series very much. ( )
  MissBrangwen | Oct 30, 2022 |
Difficult to follow, difficult to care about the characters and difficult gruesome murders to read about left me wondering why writers such as Henning Mankell wrote their praise on the cover. ( )
  Stephen.Lawton | Aug 7, 2021 |
The first book in this series, focusing on Erik Winter, who is a police officer with flair in Göteborg. In this first case he has to deal with murders that are committed in his home town and in London -- the two places are well described, the characters are interesting, and the plot works well for me -- you have to pay attention in order not to miss a comment or a small detail. ( )
  WiebkeK | Jan 21, 2021 |
London. Ein junger schwedischer Tourist wird in einem Hotelzimmer brutal ermordet aufgefunden. Kurz darauf geschieht in Göteborg eine ähnlich sadistische Bluttat. Das Opfer diesmal: ein junger Engländer. Besteht eine Verbindung zwischen den beiden Verbrechen? Spuren an beiden Tatorten deuten auf eine Verbindung zur extremen Hardcore-Pornoszene hin. Hauptkommissar Erik Winter muss sehr bald feststellen, dass ihm der Mann, der den tödlichen Tanz mit dem Engel perfekt beherrscht, näher steht, als ihm lieb ist.
  Fredo68 | May 14, 2020 |
La traduzione (italiana) e' senza dubbio pessima, e c'e' sempre il rischio che questo condizioni un po' troppo il romanzo. Ma il fatto che spesso e volentieri l'autore ripieghi sul sesso senza che ce ne sia bisogno fa capire come le idee complessivamente siano proprio poche, e non sia solo un discorso di traduzione. Poliziesco quasi illegibile, non cattura il lettore, non si riesce a seguire la vicenda che pecca anche di originalita', la caratterizzazione dei personaggi e' decisamente debole. ( )
  Mlvtrglvn | Jan 5, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Åke Edwardsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Eschlbeck, RolandCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Müller, WolfdietrichÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rumberg, KorneliaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Mirabilia (117)
Mirabilia (117)
Ullstein (25127)
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Meinen Brüdern

Dank an Bendix, Rita, Dan, Tulle, Anders, Lasse, Göran, Bengt und Cliff
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He was no longer able to move. He couldn't remember how long it had been this way. Movement was like a shadow play now.
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The debut thriller in the internationally acclaimed series? available for the first time in the United States A long-time number one bestseller in his native Sweden, Åke Edwardson's profile was conspicuously raised when his novel Frozen Tracks was chosen as a finalist for a 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Until now, however, the novel that launched Edwardson's critically acclaimed Erik Winter series has never been available in the United States. With a new series translator who fully captures Edwardson's signature atmospheric style, Death Angels is America's introduction to Sweden's youngest Chief Inspector as he teams up with Scotland Yard to solve the mysterious parallel killings of young British and Swedish tourists. Richly evocative of mid-nineties South London and Gothenburg, Sweden, Death Angels is a brilliant opening to a mesmerizing series that has become a phenomenon in international crime fiction.

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Erik Winter joins forces with his British counterparts after a series of brutal murders of young men in London and his own city of Gothenburg. The killer, dubbed Hitchcock, appears to have filmed the butchery, as evidenced by traces of a tripod stand in the victims' blood.

The trail naturally leads into the seamy world of snuff films, but the big break comes from a burglar who noticed some blood-stained clothing in an apartment he broke into.
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Average: (3.32)
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