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The crow girl / Erik Axl Sund ; translated by Neil Smith.

By: Sund, Erik Axl [author.].
Contributor(s): Smith, Neil, 1964- [translator.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Harvill Secker, 2016Copyright date: ©2016Description: 767 pages ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781846557576 (Trade paperback); 9781846557569 (Hardback).Uniform titles: Kråkflickan. English Subject(s): Serial murder investigation -- Sweden -- Stockholm -- Fiction | Women detectives -- Fiction | Women psychotherapists -- Fiction | Serial murder investigation -- Fiction | Detectives -- Fiction | Psychotherapists -- Fiction | Stockholm (Sweden) -- FictionGenre/Form: Scandinavian fiction. | Detective and mystery fiction. | Mystery and detective stories. | Thrillers (Fiction). | Suspense fictionDDC classification: 839.73/8 Scope and content: The newest international crime novel sensation: a fiercely suspenseful psychological thriller in which two women--a police detective and a psychotherapist--are faced with the question: how much suffering can one human being inflict upon another before he ceases to be human and becomes a monster? In a Stockholm city park, the hideously abused body of a young boy is stumbled upon. Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg heads the investigation, which quickly dead-ends: no trace of the boy's identity can be found. But with the discovery of two more children's bodies in similar condition, it becomes clear that a psychopathic serial killer is at large. Jeanette turns to therapist Sofia Zetterlund for help in identifying suspects, and as their lives become increasingly intertwined, professionally and personally, as we begin to know their particular histories, needs, and desires, as they draw closer to the truth about the killings--working together but, ultimately, each on her own--we come to understand that these murders are only the most obvious evidence of a hellishly insidious societal evil. As viscerally dramatic as it is psychologically intense, The Crow Girl is a tale of almost unfathomably heinous deceit and deeds, and of the profound damage--and the equally profound need for revenge--they leave in their wake.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

THE INTERNATIONAL SENSATION

It starts with just one body - tortured, mummified and then discarded.

Its discovery reveals a nightmare world of hidden lives. Of lost identities, secret rituals and brutal exploitation, where nobody can be trusted.

This is the darkest, most complex case the police have ever seen.

This is the world of the Crow Girl.

This translation is comprised of three works that were originally published separately in slightly different form in 2010, 2011, and 2012 as: Krakflickan (2010), Hungerelden (2011) and Pythians Anvisningar (2012).

The newest international crime novel sensation: a fiercely suspenseful psychological thriller in which two women--a police detective and a psychotherapist--are faced with the question: how much suffering can one human being inflict upon another before he ceases to be human and becomes a monster? In a Stockholm city park, the hideously abused body of a young boy is stumbled upon. Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg heads the investigation, which quickly dead-ends: no trace of the boy's identity can be found. But with the discovery of two more children's bodies in similar condition, it becomes clear that a psychopathic serial killer is at large. Jeanette turns to therapist Sofia Zetterlund for help in identifying suspects, and as their lives become increasingly intertwined, professionally and personally, as we begin to know their particular histories, needs, and desires, as they draw closer to the truth about the killings--working together but, ultimately, each on her own--we come to understand that these murders are only the most obvious evidence of a hellishly insidious societal evil. As viscerally dramatic as it is psychologically intense, The Crow Girl is a tale of almost unfathomably heinous deceit and deeds, and of the profound damage--and the equally profound need for revenge--they leave in their wake.

Translated from the Swedish.

Kotui multi-version record.

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Excerpt provided by Syndetics

The house was over a hundred years old, and the solid stone walls were at least a meter thick, which meant that she probably didn't need to insulate them, but she wanted to be absolutely sure. To the left of the living room was a small corner room that she had been using as a combination workroom and guest bedroom. Leading off of it were a small toilet and a fair--sized closet. The room was perfect, with its single window and nothing but the unused attic above. No more nonchalance, no more taking anything for granted. Nothing would be left to chance. Fate was a dangerously unreliable accomplice. Sometimes your friend, but just as often an unpredictable enemy. The dining table and chairs ended up shoved against one wall, which opened up a large space in the middle of the living room. Then it was just a matter of waiting. The first sheets of polystyrene arrived at ten o'clock, as arranged, carried in by four men. Three of them were in their fifties, but the fourth couldn't have been more than twenty. His head was shaved and he wore a black T--shirt with two crossed Swedish flags on the chest, under the words "My Fatherland." He had tattoos of spiderwebs on his elbows, and some sort of Stone Age design on his wrists. When she was alone again she settled onto the sofa to plan her work. She decided to start with the floor, since that was the only thing that was likely to be a problem. The old couple downstairs might  have been almost deaf, and she herself had never heard a single sound from them over the years, but it still felt like an important detail. She went into the bedroom. The little boy was still sound asleep. It had been so odd when she met him on the local train. He had simply taken her hand, stood up, and obediently gone with her, without her having to say a single word. She had acquired the pupil she had been seeking, the child she had never been able to have. She put her hand to his forehead; his temperature had gone down. Then she felt his pulse. Everything was as it should be. She had used the right dose of morphine. The workroom had a thick, white, wall--to--wall carpet that she had always thought ugly and unhygienic, even if it was nice to walk on. But right now it was ideal for her purpose. Using a sharp knife, she cut up the polystyrene and stuck the pieces together with a thick layer of flooring adhesive. The strong smell soon made her feel dizzy, and she had to open the window onto the street. It was triple--glazed, and the outer pane had an extra layer of soundproofing. Fate as a friend. Work on the floor took all day. Every so often she would go and check on the boy. When the whole floor was done she covered all the cracks with silver duct tape. She spent the following three days dealing with the walls. By Friday there was just the ceiling left, and that took a bit longer because she had to glue the polystyrene first, and then wedge the blocks up against the ceiling with planks. While the glue was drying she nailed up some old blankets in place of the doors she had removed earlier. She glued four layers of polystyrene onto the door to the living room. She covered the only window with an old sheet. Just to be sure, she used a double layer of insulation to block the window alcove. When the room was ready, she covered the floor and walls with a waterproof tarpaulin. There was something meditative about the work, and when at last she looked at what she had accomplished she felt a sense of pride. The room was further refined during the following week. She bought four small rubber wheels, a hasp, ten meters of electric cable, several meters of wooden skirting, a basic light fitting, and a box of light bulbs. She also had a set of dumbbells, some weights, and an exercise bike -delivered. She took all the books out of one of the bookcases in the living room, tipped it onto its side, and screwed the wheels under each corner. She attached a length of skirting board to the front to conceal the fact that it could now be moved, then placed the bookcase in front of the door to the hidden room. She screwed the bookcase to the door and tested it. The door glided soundlessly open on its little rubber wheels. It all worked perfectly. She attached the hasp and shut the door, concealing the simple locking mechanism with a carefully positioned lamp. Finally she put all the books back and fetched a thin mattress from one of the two beds in the bedroom. That evening she carried the sleeping boy into his new home. Excerpted from The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

It begins with the discovery of a perfect, recently mummified, body of a teenage boy. It also starts with a visit to a plastic-lined room, soundproofed and hidden behind a locked bookcase. Stockholm Det. Jeanette Kihlberg and psychotherapist Sofia Zetterlund team up to investigate what ends up being a series of murders and cover-ups of the mistreatment and violence done to children. The reader is immediately sucked into a grim world where no one is who they seem, where lies are told and revised. To say much more would spoil the tangled, engrossing web this best-selling, award-winning psychological thriller weaves. Sund is the pen name of Swedish authors Jerker Eriksson (a former prison librarian) and Håkan Axlander -Sundquist; their collaboration is the first volume in a trilogy that will complete the story of the enigmatic Victoria Bergman, the "crow girl" of the title. Verdict This disturbingly fascinating look at revenge, abuse, and the impact of childhood on adult choices is not for the faint of heart, but it is highly recommended for those that appreciate dark, psychological mysteries. [See Prepub Alert, 1/4/16; 100,000-copy first printing.]-Katie Lawrence, Grand Rapids, MI © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Horrors abound in the pseudonymous Sund's scathing first in a trilogy that rips asunder the appearance of Sweden's contemporary welfare state to reveal just about every conceivable human crime-including torture, pedophilia, and child abuse and trafficking. Det. Supt. Jeanette Kihlberg, who's soul-sick from 20 years supporting her artist husband and early-teen son as a Stockholm police officer, and her solid colleague, Jens Hurtig, investigate an apparent serial killing spree that leaves bodies of homeless boys, drugged and mutilated, across the city. Soon Jeanette becomes romantically involved with Sofia Zetterlund, a psychotherapist with her own dark secrets, including a succession of multiple personalities, headed by the mysterious Victoria Bergman, who becomes the central figure of this challenging multifaceted descent into the abyss of evil and madness. Sund is the pen name of the Swedish writing duo Jerker Eriksson and Håkan Axlander Sundquist. 100,000-copy first printing. Agent: Niclas Salomonsson, Salomonsson Agency (Sweden). (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* In Stockholm, young boys' tortured and mutilated bodies are being dumped in public spots. DS Jeanette Kihlberg catches the serial-murder case but is left with dramatically shrunken resources after the children are pegged as undocumented immigrants. Jeanette's instincts pull her toward the case of Karl Lundström, a pedophile who claims that he knows another pedophile who purchases child victims from the Russian Mob. Hoping for a connection to her stalled case, Jeanette contacts the psychologist, Sofia Zetterlund, who performed Lundström's forensic examination and finds she has a strong personal and professional attraction to Zetterlund. At the same time, Sofia is mired in an obsession with her client Victoria Bergman, called the Crow Girl, who developed alternate personalities after sexual abuse by her powerful bureaucrat father. As the story swings between Jeanette's investigation, Victoria's muddled recollections, and the Crow Girl's vengeful perspective, threads between the sexual-abuse cases develop a larger image of a powerful cult's ritualistic abuse. While sometimes difficult to digest, this epic psychological thriller's unflinching portrayals of violent sexual abuse create ultradark atmospheric suspense and a jolting examination of a cycle of abuse and revenge that spans generations. Like the novels of Karin Fossum, Stieg Larsson, and Camilla Läckberg, this award-winning U.S. debut builds a powerful indictment of society's willingness to turn a blind eye toward powerful, privileged abusers preying on the weak.--Tran, Christine Copyright 2016 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

"How sick can a person get?" So, rightly, wonders a character toward the end of Sweden's newest entry in the race to claim Stieg Larsson's throne. This pseudonymous mystery, the first in a trilogy newly translated into English but published in Swedish in 2010, has been a hit across continental Europe. It's easy to see why: full of chills and spills, it incorporates numerous hot-button themes, including non-European immigration, extreme-right-wing politics, and slavery, elements of an already dark tale that encompasses incest, genocide, and murder. Add to that a heady brew of shifting identities: a girl flees a dark memory of the Holocaust, abandoning every vestige of the past to become someone new and not altogether wholesome; a psychiatric patient takes on numerous personalities, one of whom is startled to realize, "I'm just a means of survival, a way of being normal, like everyone else." But everyone else in this story is far from normal: someone is murdering young immigrants from such faraway places as Kazakhstan, former child soldiers from Africa are wandering mad in the streets of Stockholm, and it becomes ever plainer why someone would want to escape the daily grind in the birch and pine woods of the far north by changing masks and dispatching neighbors in spectacular ways. Larsson, of course, covered much of this territory, and even Maj Sjwall and Per Wahl got to some of the unpleasantries in their mysteries of old. Sund updates their scenarios with a well-realized romance between two professional women, a probing look at post-traumatic stress delivered in part by a police inspector who has immigrated north from Bosnia, and many other matters taken straight from the headlines. The story is well-told, though the dramatis personae is daunting thanks in part to all those multiple personalities. It loses momentum about two-thirds of its long way in, too, but it revives as the plot snakes its way into some strange territory indeed. A smart, rewarding psychological thriller, with an emphasis on both of those genre terms. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.