Time for a crime novel – legal crime (!) – translated legal crime (!!) and on top of that, it’s translated Scandi- legal crime. I should have loved it. (sigh) Unfortunately, it’s really more of a YA story of love gone bad – really bad. (There is more to it than that but that’s what’s behind a school shooting in an upscale Swedish school. There is a major theme of race/class/immigration etc. which is interesting.
by Malin Person Giolito
(translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles
2016 / 513 pages
read by Saskia Maarleveld .. 12h 53m
rating: A / legal crime
Also, although not the real focus at all (imo), the legal parts were nicely done if limited. Finally, Giolito does a fine job of creating complex characters and building tension.
From Other Press:
Named an NPR “BEST BOOKS OF 2017”
Named the Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year by the Swedish Crime Writers Academy
An incisive courtroom thriller and a drama that raises questions about the nature of love, the disastrous side effects of guilt, and the function of justice
A mass shooting has taken place at a prep school in Stockholm’s wealthiest suburb. Eighteen-year-old Maja Norberg is charged for her involvement in the massacre that left her boyfriend and her best friend dead among others. She has spent nine months in jail awaiting trial and now the time has come for her to stand trial. How did Maja—popular, privileged, a top student—become a cold-blooded killer in the eyes of the public? What did Maja do? Or is it what she failed to do that brought her here?
The book is divided into Parts and Chapters and then little sections. It works nicely to help make sense of all the time and place changes.
The Prologue is the immediate aftermath of the shooting and then comes Part 1 which is the 1st day of the trial in which the 18-year old Maria Norberg, (known as Maja) finally goes to court after already spending 8 months in jail without bail.
The charges against her basically concern her participation in the shooting, allegedly instigated by her deceased boyfriend, Sebastian. The book is mainly the background which led up to the shooting and includes themes of race, immigration and class and mental stability.
It’s clear fairly early on that Maja was responsible for at least parts of what all came down but there are a lot of questions and Maya, our narrator through all this, is not helpful in her attitudes.