Book Review: Killer's Island

Loosely tied into an ancient Nordic myth called the White Sea-Lady about a young bride that died on her wedding night who went on to lure unwary men to a watery death, this thriller starts with policewoman Maria Wern attempting to rescue a boy from a vicious attack. Despite her efforts, the boy died and Wern received a severe beating from the same group of men and to make things worse, she is unable to identify the attackers who may also have injected her with tainted blood. Nurse Linn Bogren had a quiet temperament, never bothering anyone so it was even more disturbing when she was found in a public park, beheaded and carefully arranged as a bride. With another murder, Wern’s colleague Erika Lund takes over the investigation and a link between the victims and Dr. Anders Ahlström is uncovered. Unfortunately, the case is complicated because Dr. Ahlström is also Lund’s love interest. With a psychotic killer on the loose and no clear trail to follow, Gotland residents are understandably shaken and unless investigators find some answers soon, the death toll will go higher.

Set on the picturesque Swedish island of Gotland, this mystery/thriller suffers from some hitches in the translation to English so expect a few odd phrases and out of place words. As the eleventh book of the Maria Wern Police Detective series, it can be difficult to fully connect to the many characters, especially the protagonists who seem rather one dimensional if you haven’t read the previous titles. There are several subplots that don’t begin to come together until about mid-way through the story and it takes a while to sort out who’s who but once they converge, the pace picks up. For most readers the killer’s identity will not come as much of a surprise and the blatant red herrings do little to obscure that so unfortunately, this is not a much of a thriller though the setting is quite nice.





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