Policewoman Hannah Wester starts investigating the death of a wolf and her pup. When human remains are found in their stomachs, the search is on for a body. When a link is made to a drug deal gone wrong across the border in Finland, a task force is assembled and events rapidly escalate.
While Hannah is the main character, the story is told from multiple points of view (POV). Hannah is around 50 years old, sometimes too quick to draw conclusions, but relentless in her investigations, and is experiencing several personal issues. Readers get insights into many of the characters’ personal, professional, and criminal lives without detracting from the investigation. There was an amazing amount of depth to several characters without ruining the flow of the story. I don’t remember ever seeing this much depth in so many characters in a book before. One POV that stood out to me was that of the city itself. This lent a unique perspective to the story and how events can affect a city. I enjoyed the historical information as well.
The opening scene grabs readers’ attention and quickly pulls them into the investigation. The novel is interspersed with police investigations into the crimes, violence, and the personal troubles of various characters in the novel. While the transitions were somewhat abrupt, it seemed to work for me. One thing that was a little different is that readers occasionally got insight into a character’s future life situation. While this was interesting, it could sometimes be distracting to the flow.
The plot is well developed, the pace fast, and the story line is action-packed. The episodic writing style takes a little while to get used to but works for this novel. Descriptive writing gave a great sense of place while twists and turns take readers on the journey. This book is dark, clever, and gripping with great characters as well as a tense and spellbinding story line. Readers should be aware that there are some gruesome details and some chilling and emotional scenes. The ending wasn’t quite what I was expecting. However, the culmination was impactful and raised some questions and threads that could appear in a future book. Themes include murder, double-crosses, drugs, greed, social media effects on police investigations, infidelity, family relationships, and much more.
Overall, this book was suspenseful, intense, riveting, and thought-provoking. If you enjoy international crime thrillers and police procedurals that have strong characters, then this may be the novel for you. While this is the first book I have read by this author, I am looking forward to reading others by him.
Harlequin Trade Publishing – Hanover Square Press and Hans Rosenfeldt provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for December 28, 2021.
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