Monday, 23 July 2018

The Hanging by Lotte and Sören Hammer

Summertime is crimi time, and I found this book by a Danish brother and sister on my shelves. It turned out to be quite a page turner, although I was a little bit reluctant in the beginning. Why is that?

Well, I am rather tired of all these chief inspectors who are middle aged, overweight, living an unhealthy and unhappy life. They seem to appear everywhere these days. I cannot believe that real life is like that. The other thing a lot of crimi novels have these days, is gruesome, sadistic and violent murders. What is wrong with a quiet, country murder like in the Agatha Christie novels? Why do the murders have to be so horrible?

Having said that, I did enjoy the book. From the back cover:
"On a cold Monday morning before school beings, two children make a gruesome discovery. Hanging from the roof of the school gymnasium, in a clear geometric pattern, are the bodies of five naked and disfigured med. Detective Chief Superintendent Konrad Simonsen and his team from the Murder Squad in Copenhagen are called in to investigate these horrific murders. When the sinister motivation behind the killings, becomes apparent to the police, and is leaked to the press, Simonsen finds himself battling against public opinion, vigilante groups, and even some of his own team in his mission to catch the killers. "
The story follows both the police work and the perpetrators.  The story has a moral dilemma and as such, the authors use both sides to highlight it. They show how easy it is to manipulate the public through the open media, where only one side tells the story. It is very interesting considering everything that is happening in the world today. It gives food for thought.

It takes all the skills of Simonsen and his colleagues to find a way to nail the murders. We follow the day to day work of the police, including how they have to deal with the outside; press, chief of police and ministers. This time the police have to take extraordinary measures to catch the murders. It makes for interesting and exciting reading, and the more you get into the story, the more difficult it is to put the book down. It is mixed with a little bit of private life of the characters, but does not take over the main story.

This is the Lotte and Sören Hammers first book in the series, and in July this year book number six will be published. I like when the crimis have a good story to go with the mystery, and this seems to be the case for Hammers following books as well. More to find there it seems.

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