by Roslund & Hellstrom (Quercus) ISBN: 978 1 84916 147 3
This crime novel starts with John Meyer Frey on death row for murder but he dies before the sentence is carried out. Later he is found alive in Sweden and Detective Ewert Grens wants to return him to death row.
Despite the duo authors’ previous success in the genre, Cell 8 is a difficult read. The scenes frequently jump from the past to the present. I believe the authors did this to create tension but I found that it created unnecessary confusion.
Cell 8 has all the elements of a great crime novel but is overshadowed by the authors’ perceived moral dilemma of the death penalty. I found a disconnect with the characters which are presented as stale and one dimensional. Unconvincing explanations of major events erodes the credence of the plot.
If you can look past these aspects the book is fast paced and filled with action, and I believe fulfils the basic expectations of a crime novel. Kari Dickson does an excellent job in presenting the original Swedish text in English.
Michele van Eck
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