July 12th, 2019


Book 55

The Demon of DakarThe Demon of Dakar by Kjell Eriksson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This my second or third by this author but unless I have another one hiding out in the tbr pile, it's the last one. I have to admit it: Scandinavian mysteries aren't my thing. Some I've liked, most I haven't and I'm just not enjoying Eriksson's work, especially when this is two in a row that the main detective, Ann Lindell does stupid, unprofessional things and thinks boy that was stupid and unprofessional. If that's what you have to do to make the narrative work, I don't need to read it. Also she's judgmental and irritated by literally everyone (and she irritated me).

This was boring and dour and had too many subplots about completely uninteresting characters. We don't even see Lindell until more than 50 pages in. We have all the people working in and around the titular Dakar restaurant (the blurb is far more exciting than this book). Eva and her sons take up a large chunk of this book and really only exist for the dumb ending which could have worked other ways and honestly been more interesting without her endless worrying about her self confidence, her mean friend and her boys. Slobodan (who we're endlessly told is fat and sweat-smelly) who is a minor crime boss owning the restaurant and his friend Armas are vaguely more interesting.

Their drug dealing ended up killing one of their carriers, Angel, imprisoned his brother Patricio and brought their eldest brother Manuel over from Mexico to try to help find out what happened to his brothers. And Manuel is a pivotal character.

We know who the killer is (technically self defense) there is NO tension about anyone else being next. Lindell and the other cops do investigate but it's like Columbo without the charm, especially with the homophobia running through the narrative.

If I hadn't been reading this for a challenge prompt, I doubted I'd have finished. I know Eriksson wins awards, has a following and a long series with Lindell but this just isn't the series for me. And there were some really bad things in it an editor should have caught (same issues as last time). While translating is an art, these problems weren't translational. Cocaine is a major point in the novel. Someone (author or translator) has it grown in Bolivia in South Africa. Um....how did no one catch that?

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