Monday 23 May 2011

Guest Reviewer: Book: Between Summer's Longing And Winter's End by Lief G W Persson

My good friend Colin has kindly agreed to review a book for the blog. He is a man with wide & varied tastes in both books and movies and I value his opinion highly. He doesn’t have his own blog yet but I’m working on that. Now over to the man himself…..

Following the huge success of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy it seems the world can’t get enough gritty, Swedish crime literature. So, here we have the first instalment in a new trilogy by renowned criminologist Leif G.W. Persson. With it’s suitably Bergmanesque title, assurances that it is “one of the greatest ever Swedish crime novels” and the jacket passing reference to James Ellroy, I was itching to get it cracked open.

It begins with an apparent suicide and we are soon introduced to the main protagonist – savvy, misogynist (is there any other kind of cop?) Supt. Lars Martin Johansson. I took an instant dislike to this character, which was maybe the point, but that coupled with the unconvincing translation make the first 150 – 200 pages an almighty slog. We are not in the hands of a master storyteller here.

However, if you can work through the many convolutions and questionable characters, this doorstop of a novel does have its rewards. The plot is haunted by the (real-life) assassination of Sweden’s Prime Minister Olaf Palme and it’s when Persson focuses on this while developing the idea of layers upon layers of corruption that the novel is most successful. There are some more deaths before the end of the book but it’s pretty difficult to care by the time you reach the sleep inducing 551st page.


Col Calls It: 40%


  1. It kinda annoys me when the publishing industry jumps on a bandwagon and it makes me suspicious of any offerings coming from it. SO, thanks for the heads-up.

  2. I had hopes for this one Michael but I'm starting to think that they might all be just a bit too dreary.

  3. I've struggled through enough long, boring books - pass.

  4. Nowadays I tend to ditch them Alex, life's too short.

  5. Great review, well written. Nice one, Colin !

  6. Hmm. A doorstop of a novel ... I'll pass.

    Great review! Thanks.

  7. Tom, Colin will be glad to hear that you enjoyed his review.
    Margo, that comment brought wry smile to my face too.

  8. I'm not into the genre, but I love the title of the book.

  9. It is pretty unusual Dez.

  10. Thanks for the review! :)

    Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
    YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

  11. No probs Elizabeth, I'll be sure to check out Darkspell


Let me know what you think. I value all comments and fully intend to reply.