Book Review – Unwanted by Kristina Ohlsson
One mistake changes everything…
In the middle of a rainy Swedish summer, a little girl is abducted from a crowded train. Despite hundreds of potential witnesses, no one noticed when the girl was taken. Her distraught mother was left behind at the previous station in what seemed to be a coincidence. The train crew was alerted and kept a watchful eye on the sleeping child. But when the train pulled into Stockholm Central Station, the little girl had vanished.
Inspector Alex Recht and his special team of federal investigators, assisted by the investigative analyst Fredrika Bergman, are assigned to what at first appears to be a classic custody fight. But when the child is found dead in the far north of Sweden with the word “unwanted” scribbled on her forehead, the case soon turns into the investigation team’s worst nightmare — the pursuit of a brilliant and ruthless killer.
“Expect Ohlsson to join Nesbo on most readers’ can’t-miss lists.” –Booklist (starred review)
About the Author
Kristina Ohlsson is a counterterrorism officer in Europe and has worked as a security police analyst for the National Swedish Police Board.
I wanted to try out other Scandinavian mystery writers, so I picked up Unwanted by Kristina Ohlsson (together with the sequel Silenced). This police procedural got starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist, so I was really looking forward to reading it although I did have my apprehensions since the victims here are all children (not my favorite topic).
Unfortunately, I’m going to have to say I’m pretty disappointed with this one. Hopefully, the next book will be better (since I already bought it!)
I figured out pretty early on what all the victims and their mothers had in common, so I was just waiting for the investigators to get around to it in the end (while wondering what was so supposedly legendary about the chief Investigator Alex Recht). Which you have to admit is pretty boring (when reading a crime thriller).
I did like that they finally figured out the killer in the end just using good old-fashioned police work. It didn’t make for much excitement, but it did ring as realistic to me. Which is more than I can say about the characters.
Because, really, my main problem with Unwanted was with the poor characterization – I didn’t like any of the investigators! I thought they were so flat & one-dimensional, and just didn’t seem like real adult people to me at all. They acted like they were emotionally aged thirteen or something like that. It was so weird – maybe it was a translation problem?
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