Title: Stone Coffin by Kjell Eriksson
Ann Lindell Series Book Seven
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 303 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
nternational suspense superstar Kjell Eriksson produces another masterful work of murder, intrigue, and page-turning action in this latest thriller, which features his popular series-detective Ann Lindell.
One sunny summer morning a young woman and her six-year old daughter are run over by a car. Both are killed immediately. Is it an accident, or did someone kill them on purpose?
The same morning the husband of the deceased young woman disappears. During the police investigation, it turns out that the husband had recently bought a property that nobody knew anything about. A few days later a macabre discovery is made in a forest nearby.
Eriksson has been nominated for the Best Swedish Crime Novel many times, including for Stone Coffin—the seventh novel in his critically-acclaimed and internationally-loved Ann Lindell series.
Stone Coffin, the seventh outing in Kjell Eriksson’s Ann Lindell series, is an engrossing and complex mystery about the inexplicable hit and run deaths of a mother and her six year old daughter.
Ann Lindell and her fellow investigators are soon on scene of the accident where the tragedy deeply affects even the most hardened police detective. Quickly figuring out Josefin Cederén and her daugher Emily were deliberately run down, the investigators soon turn their attention to locating Josefin’s missing husband, Sven-Erik, a researcher and co-owner of a medical lab. The longer Sven-Erik is missing, the more convinced the police are that he is somehow involved in his wife and daughter’s deaths. A deeper look into his company yields startling information about his recent erratic behavior, a puzzling land purchase in a foreign country and a suspicious bank transaction. The discovery that Sven-Erik is involved with another woman also puts him at the top of Ann’s suspect list. Following an unexpected breakthrough, the police officially close the investigation, but Ann cannot shake the feeling there is much to this case than anyone believes.
Ann is a tenacious investigator whose intuition is just as valuable as her sleuthing abilities. She is relentless in her pursuit for justice and despite the popular opinion that Sven-Erik killed his wife and daughter, she has serious doubts about this theory. She continues to question his acquaintances and co-workers and what she learns just reinforces her misgivings. Incredibly thorough, Ann continues sifting through the various clues and leads but she finds insufficient evidence to fully exonerate Sven-Erik.
When the case heats up again after another murder, the investigation takes Ann and her fellow detectives to Spain where Sven-Erik’s medical lab also has a facility. With a few suspicious accounting discrepancies, a missing memo and a planned expansion of the company, the investigators continue trying to understand how this information relates to the deaths in Sweden. With the help of a local policeman, crucial evidence breaks the case wide open. Upon their return to Sweden, another piece of the puzzle drops into place which provides a stunning conclusion to the investigation.
During the investigation, Ann is quite introspective as she finds herself at a crossroads in her personal life. Her former lover, Edvard Risberg, tentatively reaches out in hopes of reconciling their relationship. While Ann is open to resuming their partnership, she is uncertain whether or not they can overcome the issues that lead her to end their romance six months earlier. Just as they are on the cusp of starting over, Ann receives unexpected news that could permanently derail their reconciliation.
While Stone Coffin is an intriguing police procedural, the novel is relatively slow paced. The investigation moves at snail’s pace and Ann’s personal problems play a significant role in the storyline. Kjell Eriksson does a brilliant job keeping the motive for the crimes under wraps until the story’s shocking conclusion. Since not all of the storylines are fully resolved, readers will be anxiously awaiting the next installment in the Ann Lindell Mystery series.