Book Review: Stefan Ahnhem ~ Motive X (Translator: Agnes Broome) (2019)

Scandi-Noir emerged about twenty years ago and powered across the world with a series of brilliant writers. Their stories were tightly written and usually contained ultra-violent scenes. A strong stomach is recommended for readers. Ahnhem stands in this tradition. His scenes of ultra-violence are stomach churning and yet placed within a narrative arc that (sort of) justifies them.

Motive X is a complex novel, which is multilayered. As is usual there are serial killers killing with apparent impunity and gallant, if flawed police officers, battling crime and domestic melt downs. The complexity emerges with all of this being placed within the Swedish social and political context. Racism alongside vicious right-wing neo-Nazis is chillingly plausible.

If you enjoyed Steig Larsson, Jo Nesbo and Henning Mankell’s novels then you’ll love this too. The conclusion signals the beginning of a series, which is always nice to know if you want more from a particular author.

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