Unwanted – Kristina Ohlsson

I read this, the first of the series by the author, to fill in the gaps. As a debut novel – a police procedural with new characters to introduce to the world – I found it a strange mix.

For example, too much of the characterization was, to put it bluntly, boring. Too much tell, and not enough show.

As another example, I had worked out the missing link in the mystery in 5 seconds, and I am sure many will do it faster. There’s a limit to making the police characters human, and this crosses it because it portrays them, to my mind, as imbeciles. And they aren’t.

But on the plus side, if you ignored the obvious link, the plot was well delivered. There was tension, misdirection, and a grand finale worthy of the name.

The story, not so incidentally, features the disappearance of a young child, and the efforts of the police to find her. Any more would be spoiler material, and there is no need.

The main police characters, Recht, Bergman, Rydh, and Lind, have reasonable depth, but some cliche padding to help them stand tall. There is a delicate balance in portraying real life problems that cut across the police work, and sometimes the balance seemed wrong to me. However, that was very minor.

Overall, a bit uneven. Worth reading, but not the author’s best work. (See here and here.)