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Book review: “The Hand That Trembles” by Kjell Eriksson

Swedish author Kjell Eriksson's latest crime thriller “The Hand That Trembles” is a compelling double mystery.
BY BETTY LYTLE Published: August 21, 2011

“The Hand That Trembles” (Minotaur Books, $24.99) by Kjell Eriksson is a compelling double mystery. It is the fourth in the Swedish author's series featuring detective Ann Lindell.

Sven-Arne Persson is a married man, a Swedish county commissioner and a member of the Socialist party. One day he walks out of a meeting and disappears. Many years later, one of his old neighbors is convinced he sees him while in Bangalore, India.

A human foot in a sandal washes up on the beach, and Lindell is assigned to investigate. Her superior, Berglund, is recovering from brain surgery, and he uses the time to study the file of Nils Gottfied Dufva, an elderly man in a wheelchair who was beaten to death in 1993. Berglund was a patrol constable at the time, but the cold case has always bothered him.

As Lindell tries to identify the foot, Persson returns to Sweden to reveal the true reason he fled the country. The story moves back and forth between decades and locations. Persson's uncle, Ante, is a Communist who went to Spain to defeat the emerging fascist government. Sven-Arne is a committed Socialist, who finally becomes disillusioned with politics altogether.

This good mystery has strong, well-developed characters and a lot of suspense.

— Betty Lytle


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