Tonight You’re Dead is the fourth in the Sandhamn series of books – a place I love the sound of (multiple murders aside). It sounds beautiful, set of the coast of Sweden and home to a mix of fascinating character – not least of which (and central to all the books) is Nora, a single mom to two boys and best friend of Thomas, a local detective (and another central character in the book).
The last three books have been set on the island itself. This one isn’t. It is set on the mainland and, also unlike other books, has a lot less interaction between Nora and Thomas. Previously, they have spoken and met often and Nora has been involved in all Thomas’ investigations. Here, they have little interaction and Thomas works closely instead with another detective, Margit.
I wasn’t sure how I felt, at first, when I realised that they wouldn’t be working together at all but, actually, I got used to it pretty quickly and actually found myself enjoying the difference it brought to the book. Nora, who I like a lot, was still in the book all the way through but, beyond a few enquiries made on Thomas’ behalf, what I heard about instead was her life as a newly single mom. Others might find this a distraction but I can’t say I did. It would have been strange for her to not be included in the story at all but also forced if there a place created in the investigation which didn’t feel natural.
The case itself was simple but cleverly conceived I thought. It starts with a young student found hanged, an apparent suicide. Thomas is convinced by the young man’s mother to look into it further and, when he does, he finds a connection to another group of young men, Coastal Rangers who trained to be part of an elite fighting unit in the 1970s but are now also turning up dead, again looking like they have taken their own lives.
As Thomas and Margit try to find the connections, time seems to be running out for the men left alive. It leads to a tense ending, one I didn’t see coming – which is always good. Put up against the other books (all of which I’ve read), this is up there with the best. It’s well written, well translated and I really loved it. Highly recommended!
About the book…
Soon to be divorced, attorney Nora Linde is finding her way as a single mother, and even falling in love again, when she’s asked by her childhood friend Detective Thomas Andreasson to help in a disturbing investigation. Marcus Nielsen, a university student, has apparently committed suicide, but it’s what he’s left behind that’s so suspicious and damning: his research into the Coastal Rangers, an elite military group where, in 1976, a young cadet died under questionable circumstances, a sadistic sergeant went free, and a case went cold.
When two of Nielsen’s contacts are also found dead—and diaries of their tortuous training turn up missing—Thomas and Nora are certain that whatever happened three decades ago is unforgivable. And for someone who wants to keep those secrets buried—unforgettable. Now they must fight against time to expose a cover-up that hasn’t yet claimed its last victim.
Publisher: Amazon Crossing
Publication date: 14th November, 2017
Number of pages: 416
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Note: I received this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.