The Tunnel

Written by Carl-Johan Vallgren

Review written by Adam Colclough

Adam Colclough lives and works in the West Midlands, he writes regularly for a number of websites, one day he will get round to writing a book for someone else to review.


The Tunnel
Quercus
RRP: £8.99
Released: May 18 2017
PBK

Seedy Stockholm private eye Danny Katz is searching for an old friend from his days as an addict who has vanished after coming into possession of a supply of high grade drugs. Elsewhere in the city an armed robbery goes violently wrong.

The two events are linked by secrets hidden behind the spotless frontages of seemingly respectable lives, uncovering them will put Danny in the path of people with money and connections who are willing to kill him to preserve their reputations.

This novel digs deep under the ordered surface of Swedish society to show the shattered lives of those on its margins. His prose is as unsparing as his vision is painfully clear. There are no easy cop outs to be found here, Vallgren starts his characters off at rock bottom in the certain knowledge that it is all downhill from there.

Along the way he writes with agonising accuracy about the monotony of addiction, describing lives that are hemmed in by hopelessness and the endless quest for money to buy the next hit. He also portrays with sickening honesty the exploitation to be found beyond the thin veneer of glamour covering the sex industry.

His books may not become the source material for a hit Sunday night television, or help to send the sales of chunky knitwear soaring; they do however make for a gripping, if often unsettling, read and if his subsequent books match the standard of this one make Vallgren's one of the more interesting voices in European crime fiction.

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