Gwen Moffat lives in Cumbria. Her novels are set in remote communities ranging from the Hebrides to the American West. The crimes fit their environment, swelling that dreadful record of sin in the smiling countryside cited by Sherlock Holmes. The style echoes this: rustic charm masking horror.
A collaboration between a psychologist and a publisher, this is a clever novel featuring the elaborate stalking of a Stockholm psychiatrist already vulnerable after the death by drowning of her husband.
It has been said that in order to understand and treat neurotics one must be super neurotic, and grieving Siri is driven to the edge of madness by a person who hates her so much that he kills one of her patients in order to frame her. He is a killer who announces himself from the beginning with intrusive ramblings - but not to the extent of identifying himself.
Consequently he could be among Siri's friends, perhaps the investigating officer who becomes her lover; he could be one of her colleagues, a member of her staff, even a patient, or the partner of any of these. The suspects are innumerable and the murderer is unmasked only at the end when one of the cardinal rules of crime writing is broken.
Doom laden throughout. Scandinavian gris.
Translated by Paul Norton