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Book 52: The Killing II by David Hewson

Book 52: The Killing II.
Author: David Hewson, 2013.
Genre: Nordic Noir. Police Procedural. Political Thriller. War. TV Tie-in.
Other Details: Hardback. 540 pages.

It is two years since the notorious Nanna Birk Larsen case. Two years since Detective Sarah Lund left Copenhagen in disgrace for a remote outpost in northern Denmark. When the body of a female lawyer is found in macabre circumstances in a military graveyard, there are elements of the crime scene that take Head of Homicide, Lennart Brix, back to an occupied wartime Denmark – a time its countrymen would wish to forget. Brix knows that Lund is the one person he can rely on to discover the truth. Reluctantly she returns to Copenhagen and becomes intrigued with the facts surrounding the case. As more bodies are found, Lund comes to see a pattern and she realises that the identity of the killer will be known once the truth behind a more recent wartime mission is finally revealed - synopsis from UK Publisher's website.

I am a big fan of David Hewson's novels as well as of the Danish TV crime drama, Forbrydelsen (The Killing), which recently aired its third and final series here in the UK. Again, as with The Killing (2012), I felt that Hewson did a great job in taking the story and characters and adapting them for a novel format.

Unlike The Killing, which I have watched at least four times, I have only viewed the second series once and so on starting this novel I didn't recall very much of the plot in advance. However, once the story got under way my memory started to return. Hewson again did make a change in the final chapter, which this time struck a discordant note with me. I do appreciate Hewson's desire to make the story 'his own' but this felt like change for change's sake and in my opinion diluted the powerful ending of the TV series. I did still enjoy the novel yet think I would have appreciated it more without this tampering.

The Killing II - turning a TV classic into a book - article in which Hewson talks about the process of adapting a hit TV show into a novel.
Tags: crime fiction, police drama, political thriller, television, war
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