Unseen : Anders Knutas Series 1 Paperback
Part of the Anders Knutas series
"There is an icy, dispassionate grip to Jungstedt's writing that recalls Henning Mankell". (Metro). The first body they found was the dog. The poor creature's throat has been cut, and one paw severed completely.
Then they found the body of the woman. She had been stabbed, again and again; she was naked, a piece of cloth had been stuffed into her mouth.
The picturesque holiday island of Gotland is in the middle of a busy tourist season when the young woman is discovered murdered.
Suspicion falls on her husband - the couple had been seen fighting the evening before.
Inspector Anders Knutas is hoping it will be a straight-forward case; the local authorities are hoping so too, but more out of an interest in protecting the tourist trade than any desire to see justice served.
Then another victim is discovered, again she is a young woman and she has been murdered in the same chilling manner.
Inspector Knutas must face up to the horrifying prospect that there is a serial killer loose on the island.
Knutas, aided by investigative journalist Johan Berg, begins to piece together the tragic history that unites the two victims, and alarmingly points to more murders to come. The killer remains unknown, moving freely, unseen, on the island.
All that is clear is that the two victims are just the beginning, unless Knutas and Berg find the killer before he strikes again.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 368 pages
- Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
- Publication Date: 01/01/2008
- Category: Crime & mystery
- ISBN: 9780552155090
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.
Review by haloolah
This summer I decided to expand my mystery horizons and try out some Swedish authors. This one is a debut novel by Mari Jungstedt, who worked as a journalist. It's not surprising that one of the main characters is a reporter from Stockholm, who comes out to Gotland to cover a gruesome murder.I'm not sure why, but all the Swedish mysteries I've read so far have a really dispassionate tone. Maybe that's a function of the translation, but it's keeping me from really getting into the stories. I should really start studying Swedish again and try to read something simple in the original language, but it will take me a while to get to that point.Unseen follows the investigation of the murder, which is followed by two more deaths. The serial killer has a pretty cliched motive, and I figured out who did it too early to really enjoy the climax of the story. Still, it was a good story. I think Jungstedt is a good writer and I'll be on the lookout for her other stuff.
Review by smik
Gotland is an island off the coast of Sweden that blooms with summer visitors. It is a sought-after holiday destination with cabins, holiday shacks, and a few permanent residents. Visitors come by ferry from Stockholm for weekend getaways and short holidays. It is the sort of place the young generally leave to find work.Summer is just beginning when Helena, Per and their friends gather in the limestone cottage for a Whitsun weekend holiday. Helena has brought together people they haven't seen for a while, but unfortunately Per's jealousy destroys the evening. Within a matter of hours Helena is dead, killed in the nearby sand dunes by an axe wielding murderer.At first Per is the obvious suspect, but there are a couple of other possibilities among the guests. Within days there is a second murder, a woman of similar age, same "calling card."The investigation is handled by Inspector Anders Knutas and his team fromVisby, while an investigative journalist, Johan Berg, from Stockholm conducts a parallel inquiry, which seems at times more successful than the police one. Knutas is a methodical investigator, but there are tensions in his team, and he is under pressure to find the murderer before it impacts on Gotland's fragile tourist industry. On the other hand, Berg's mind is not always on the job as he falls in love with a woman linked to the case, but he seems to be able to get people to open up to him in a way that the police can't.It is Emma, Helena's best friend, one of the guests at the Whitsun weekend, who eventually realises what connects the murders, by then numbering 3, and then the tension really builds.This was an excellent read. Apart from the murder mystery aspect, it is really a story about relationships on a number of levels, and a tale that points out how our actions from our days of innocence can reach out into the present.
Review by cathyskye
First Line: The evening was turning out better than expected.No couple wants their party to end with thrown punches and jealous accusations, but the party thrown by Per and Helena in their cabin on Gotland ended exactly that way. The next morning, Helena's body is found-- she's been the victim of a brutal axe murder. Normally a quiet island that bustles when all the summer visitors arrive, Gotland puts Inspector Anders Knutas in charge of the investigation. Clues may be slow to piece together, but two more grisly murders follow in rapid succession. Knutas has his work cut out for him, and he has yet to decide if the presence of reporter Johan Berg is more help or hindrance.After reading two of Johan Theorin's novels which are also set on the island of Gotland, I felt as though I were already familiar with the location, but Jungstedt's focus is on the towns and not the natural world. Through her descriptions of communities like Visby, I am now more aware of the history of the area.I enjoyed Jungstedt's characterizations of Knutas and his wife as well as the reporter Johan Berg, but the secondary characters were two-dimensional and didn't really come to life. I also found the killer's motivations to be a bit cliched, and the police slow to jump at some rather obvious clues.On the whole, however, I enjoyed Unseen and thought it shows quite a bit of promise. I'll be looking for other books in this series.
Review by tonile.helena
Far out, Scandinavian crime month is brilliant! Unseen, had I not read The Ice Princess first, would probably have been my favourite book of 2011, but it is sitting solidly in second spot. This was Jungstedt's first novel, but you would never be able to tell. The story is captivating and full of twists and turns. The stunning climax was unexpected, and Jungstedt effortlessly fits all the pieces of the puzzle together in one of the best endings to a book I've read in a long time. <br/><br/>After a party goes wrong, a woman named Helena and her dog are found brutally murdered on a beach in Gotland, Sweden. Helena and her partner Per were involved in a heated argument the night before, and Per immediately finds himself on top of the suspect list. When a crucial piece of evidence points to him, Per is arrested for the murder of Helena. But while locked up, another murder occurs and the authorities and media are forced to start the search again. A murderer is terrorising the small community and the police are baffled as seemingly unconnected women begin piling up. The story is told in the third person, but follows Inspector Anders Knutas and a journalist named Johan as they try to solve the mystery before another woman is killed. When a connection is finally made between the women, Anders and Johan begin a desperate race to save a missing woman before it is too late. <br/><br/>What I liked most about this book is the back story to the characters. That's where the really chilling parts were... Not to downplay the novel, but the characters weren't too detailed and the story itself is quite simple. What makes it a masterpiece are the psychological threads that hold the basic storyline together; the interactions between people and the profound impact these actions can have in shaping the future, and the lengths people will go to extract revenge on those who have wronged them. The killer in this case was a particularly scary breed of psychopath, but intermittent flashbacks their childhood showed a different side to the usual killer - it gave the reader an insight into the psychology of the killer, why they grew up the way they did and how seemingly insignificant actions as a child can haunt us for the rest of our lives. <br/><br/>I've learnt a lot over the past few months about what I like and don't like in crime novels, and I think Unseen is a perfect blend of all the elements I like best. An intelligent story? Check. Lots of surprises? Check. An effortless look at family ties and how events shape us? Check. A highly recommendable novel? Check - now go read it for yourselves!