Mons Kallentoft ~~4 1/2 and 5 Star Reviews

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Summer Death

Mons Kallentoft
Atria Books

     Summer Death
is classified as a representation of a Swedish crime novel. The story takes place in the city of Linkoping. Normally, that part of the world is cold, but now there is a heat wave and forest fires. However, a serial killer in their midst is the real problem and police superintendent Malin Fors must find the perpetrator. The first attack involves a girl found naked at a park. She is bleeding, but alive, and doesn't remember anything.
     The victims who follow her are not so lucky. Malin has a daughter the same age as the first victim and is understandably worried. The killer is very elusive and deranged.
     One very unusual device the author uses in the story is let the reader hear the thoughts of some of the characters. This allows us to know them a lot better. Most novels that have serial killers portray them as males. Maybe this is because a male serial killer seems more frightening. However, the serial killer in Summer Death is a woman and just as scary as if she were a man. She is like something out of a Stephen King novel. She doesn't even look upon what she is doing as killing. She thinks she is helping her victims become "reborn."  After they are killed, they are washed in bleach to "purify" them. The reader hears all of her thoughts. The bleaching doesn't provide forensics much to go on, and the killer's unpredictable behavior makes it difficult to know where she will hit next. The story is very well done.
Paul Zunino

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