Last summer, Mons Kallentoft made his crime fiction debut in America with “a superb literary thriller” (Bookreporter), Midwinter Blood. Set in the small, isolated town of Linköping—Kallentoft’s childhood home, the very place he had spent most of his adult life running from—this chilling murder mystery added an intriguing edge to the classic Scandinavian crime novel. Along with the traditional social realism, Kallentoft featured magical elements, such as the voice of the dead victim. He also focused the crime-solving spotlight on a woman—a divorced thirty-four year old, with a teenage daughter. “One of the best-realized female heroines I’ve read by a male writer” (The Guardian, UK)—that’s how one critic described the driven, restless, complex-ridden, and utterly brilliant detective, Malin Fors.
This summer, readers will get the chance to again follow police superintendent Malin Fors on a path that frequently collides with violence and evil. The second installment in Mons Kallentoft’s series of murders for each season, SUMMER DEATH (Emily Bestler Books; June 4, 2013) returns to Linköping in the midst of a record-breaking heatwave, with forest fires raging on the horizon.
With her daughter and ex-husband away on vacation, Malin is forced to endure hell on earth alone, with no murders or mayhem to relieve her boredom. Then, one afternoon, a teenage girl is found in the city’s loveliest park—alive but naked, badly bruised but scrubbed clean, and bleeding but with no memory of being raped, beaten, or abducted, or anything beyond her name. Then, another teenage girl is reported missing. Soon, these two unsettling cases converge and Malin is engrossed in finding a monster that preys on vulnerable young women. In the face of each victim, she sees her fourteen-year-old daughter.
As SUMMER DEATH unravels, Kallentoft raises unsettling questions about the role of prejudice in police investigations. With almost no evidence, either forensic or eyewitness, to act on, Malin and her partner, Zeke, first target the usual suspects: immigrant thugs accused but never convicted of a gang rape. Then, they move on to society’s misfits. Throughout the novel, Kallentoft also offers more insights into the troubled past of his fascinating heroine.
A sizzling, heart-pounding murder mystery and a masterful work of literary fiction with a compelling female character at its center, SUMMER DEATH lives up to the promise of its predecessor. Kallentoft’s seasonally-themed crime series has been translated into twenty-six languages and sold over 1.5 million copies. Two more installments—Autumn Sonata and Spring Remains—are slated for publication under the Emily Bestler imprint in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Thanks to the success of this series, Mons Kallentoft has emerged as a rock star on the international crime scene and won the highest accolades from critics too. To quote Magnus Utvik, Sweden’s leading critic, “Don’t bother with Stieg Larsson...Kallentoft is better.”