The Hand That Trembles
A Swedish county commissioner walks out of a high-level meeting and disappears. Many years later, one of the town's natives is convinced that he's caught a glimpse of the missing man while traveling in Bangalore, India. When the rumors reach his hometown, a veteran police officer stumbles across a seemingly unrelated case. Ann Lindell, Eriksson's series detective, must investigate a severed female foot found where a striking number of inhabitants are single men. But the owner of the house where the victim believed to have lived is no longer able to answer any questions….

The Hand That Trembles Details

TitleThe Hand That Trembles
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 2nd, 2011
PublisherMinotaur Books
ISBN-139780312605056
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Crime, European Literature, Scandinavian Literature

The Hand That Trembles Review

  • Mary Gilligan-Nolan
    January 1, 1970
    My sister put me on to this book and as she has never let me down yet with recommendations, I got it from the library and gave it a go. I only discovered afterwards, that she had bought it, but had not actually read it. The books starts out in 1956, with the story of Sven-Arne, then a fourteen year old and tells of his relationship with his uncle, Ante. Then, it moves forward to 1993, where Sven-Arne is now a county Commissioner in his hometown and one night, in the middle of a meeting he is att My sister put me on to this book and as she has never let me down yet with recommendations, I got it from the library and gave it a go. I only discovered afterwards, that she had bought it, but had not actually read it. The books starts out in 1956, with the story of Sven-Arne, then a fourteen year old and tells of his relationship with his uncle, Ante. Then, it moves forward to 1993, where Sven-Arne is now a county Commissioner in his hometown and one night, in the middle of a meeting he is attending, he walks out and is not seen again. No-one know where he went, he left everything behind, passport, clothes etc., so it is presumed he is dead. Then, we move forward again to present day and Sven-Arne is living in India and has been all 12 years he has been missing. Also, in present day, Anna Lindell, a police officer, is looking into a rather curious case of a foot of a female that has been found in a forest. Her closest colleague, is recovering from brain surgery and asks her to bring him a cold case file that has always troubled him, in that he never managed to solve it. So, there are two separate cases going on here in the story and the cold case, which connects to one of them. When I initially started reading the book, I was a little unsure. When you read a book that has been translated from Swedish to English (or indeed, any language), you can get a little lost in translation. The names of people and places take a little getting used to, but it comes good if the story is good enough. This story did just that. I knew quite soon, I was reading out of sequence, that Anna Lindell must have appeared in some more books before this one, but it's o.k., it does not take away from the story. Kjell Ericksson is a good storyteller, as are all of the Swedish/Icelandic/Scandinavian writers I have come across to date. They don't sensationalize the story, they tell it like it is a story that could well be true and how the police actually would investigate a case and follow up on information, which will hopefully lead them to the truth. I have now ordered the first and second books of this series. Can't wait for them to arrive.
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  • Nancy Oakes
    January 1, 1970
    The Hand That Trembles is really three stories woven into one. The first strand is the story of Sven-Arne Persson, a county commissioner who in the midst of a deep depression, takes a break in the middle of a meeting, and that's the last anyone sees of him. Some years later he is declared dead, but in reality, Sven-Arne has been in India, where he lives a very simple life tending plants in a botanical garden. Once a year he returns to the same restaurant in Bangalore, takes the same seat and pon The Hand That Trembles is really three stories woven into one. The first strand is the story of Sven-Arne Persson, a county commissioner who in the midst of a deep depression, takes a break in the middle of a meeting, and that's the last anyone sees of him. Some years later he is declared dead, but in reality, Sven-Arne has been in India, where he lives a very simple life tending plants in a botanical garden. Once a year he returns to the same restaurant in Bangalore, takes the same seat and ponders whether or not he'd made a good decision. For the last twelve years it's been a ritual that proceeds without incident; this year, however, he is horrified when he sees someone he knew from his life in Sweden. And that someone recognizes him. The second storyline begins with the discovery of a severed foot wearing a sandal. It has washed up on a beach, and as Ann Lindell works with the Osthammar police to try to figure out who the foot belongs to, she arrives in the small community of Bultudden, where the past has left its mark on the present. Finally, back in Uppsala, while recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor, Berglund goes to work revisiting a cold case -- the murder of Nils Dufva, who was beaten to death back in 1993.The three plotlines are well thought out, well delivered and although the novel starts out slow, readers should not give up. The groundwork that Eriksson lays in the first part of the novel is necessary to understanding how the past interacts with the present; it also puts the reader into the mindsets of several key characters, many of whom carry secrets from the past. Underneath the crimes and the police work there is an ongoing examination of loneliness and isolation, as well as a constant reminder that the past does have a direct effect on the present. The subplots in The Hand That Tremble are well constructed, easy to follow and all tend to come together in a believable fashion, although it does take some time for the reader to put two and two together. I think that most readers will be a bit frustrated with the length of time that it actually takes to get to a point where something actually happens. That was my own reaction at first, to be very honest. But I came away from this book thinking that taking this attitude does a disservice to the author. In some cases, it's not always about the action. Eriksson's novels, for example, are much more character driven than those of most Scandinavian writers; he's very much into developing the people who populate the story -- getting their pasts involved with their individual or collective presents -- in a very realistic way. Although sometimes I don't always agree with the amount of development he throws into his main character, Ann Lindell (seriously...why do I as a reader care if she shaves off all of her body hair?), character is Eriksson's forte. He's also very good at getting underneath the politics, the social problems and their impact not only the country as a whole, but on communities and individuals as well. In this sense, he's falls more into the writing camp of Sjöwall and Wahlöö. But I think most readers are after the action: after the popular, more action-packed novels of Nesbø, Mankell, Stieg Larsson and others, the less hectic, more character-driven stories are often written off as not being as good, or worse -- as boring. That's not the case here, but because of the fast-paced, more gritty content of what many readers of the above-mentioned authors have become accustomed to enjoying, some people will not appreciate this book as fully as it should be appreciated. That is a definite shame. There is a real variation of writing styles among authors of Scandinavian crime fiction, and that is something to keep in mind while reading. Other than hoping that Lindell finds someone soon because her love life issues are getting old and grating on my nerves, I actually enjoyed this novel, and I'd definitely recommend it.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    This wasn't a bad mystery, but it wasn't great, either. This is actually two (and a half) mysteries: the years-old murder of Nils Dufva, a woman's severed foot found on a remote beach, and the years-old disappearance of a politician, Sven-Arne Persson. The link is the detective squad, with Ann Lindell being the prominent tie. Set in Uppsala, Sweden (and even remoter areas near the Sea of Aland) and - for a while - in Bangalore, India, these stories unfold rather slowly. The severed foot is our f This wasn't a bad mystery, but it wasn't great, either. This is actually two (and a half) mysteries: the years-old murder of Nils Dufva, a woman's severed foot found on a remote beach, and the years-old disappearance of a politician, Sven-Arne Persson. The link is the detective squad, with Ann Lindell being the prominent tie. Set in Uppsala, Sweden (and even remoter areas near the Sea of Aland) and - for a while - in Bangalore, India, these stories unfold rather slowly. The severed foot is our first mystery: whose? how did it get to the beach? This strand takes us to a peninsula inhabited by three couples, and a bunch of bachelors. Their lives are interrupted by the investigation, but one senses that for most it's one of those passing storms. The other strand starts in India, with Sven-Arne Persson living a semi-precarious life as an illegal inhabitant after having walked out of his life as a county politician in Uppsala. When a former neighbor recognizes him, he returns to Sweden to confess to the murder of Nils Dufva (an unsolved - or cold - case). The question of why he did it is the more critical one, and the answer might surprise the reader.My problem was that it seemed that the author had two mysteries, neither particularly substantial, and decided that rather than fleshing either out she'd merge them into one book. Maybe it's a translation issue?ARC provided by publisher.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    The Hand that Trembles has so many trembling hands that it seems at first as if one is reading several very sad novels critiquing Swedish society. Here are a die-hard commie from the Spanish Civil War who is writing his memoirs, a local politician who without any apparent reason leaves Sweden for Bangalore, an unsolved murder, a small, stray female foot without a body, a hypersensitive woman artist who lives alone among a set of odd couples and lonely bachelors on a sparsely populated Northern p The Hand that Trembles has so many trembling hands that it seems at first as if one is reading several very sad novels critiquing Swedish society. Here are a die-hard commie from the Spanish Civil War who is writing his memoirs, a local politician who without any apparent reason leaves Sweden for Bangalore, an unsolved murder, a small, stray female foot without a body, a hypersensitive woman artist who lives alone among a set of odd couples and lonely bachelors on a sparsely populated Northern peninsula, a Violent Crimes Unit that functions like a family, and the detective Ann Lindell, who, as Kjell Eriksson has set out to do, feels like with talent she would be writing "the story of Sweden. Most of the people she encountered in her work were actually innocent, even the guilty ones...." Sweden is a relatively small country, so the trembling hands come together as a touching novel. Finally, as the crimes are solved with deep understanding, it is hard to say who is guilty. This was a worthy sequel to Ericksson's riff on Petrarch, Cruel Stars of Night.
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  • Jmm
    January 1, 1970
    When Sven-Arne Persson—a leader in Uppsala, Sweden’s city politics—walked out of a council meeting and disappeared twelve years ago, people generally believed he had committed suicide even though no body was ever found. But twelve years later Jan Svensk, on a business trip to India from Uppsala, has no doubt whatsoever that the man he passed in the street and saw later at a restaurant is, indeed, the “the county commissioner who went up in smoke.” And, when Sven-Arne recognizes his former Uppsal When Sven-Arne Persson—a leader in Uppsala, Sweden’s city politics—walked out of a council meeting and disappeared twelve years ago, people generally believed he had committed suicide even though no body was ever found. But twelve years later Jan Svensk, on a business trip to India from Uppsala, has no doubt whatsoever that the man he passed in the street and saw later at a restaurant is, indeed, the “the county commissioner who went up in smoke.” And, when Sven-Arne recognizes his former Uppsala neighbor, he knows that his simple, peaceful life as an illegal alien in India has ended. Meanwhile, back in Uppsala, Detective Ann Lindell announces to a hospitalized Detective Berglund, “A foot has washed ashore outside Öregrund.” Just a foot in a boot—no body.As the fourth title in the Ann Lindell series, Kjell Eriksson’s The Hand That Trembles does not begin as a mystery. Rather, Eriksson begins his complex plot in 1956 by describing how as a boy Sven-Arne came to identify with his Uncle Ante, a man changed forever by his experience fighting the fascists in Spain. The narrative then jumps briefly to 1993, then 2005 with Sven-Arne living a laborer’s life in Bangalore, India. When Detective Lindell enters the narrative, however, the past and present begin to coalesce into the familiar rhythms of the police procedural. Lindell, a single mother, reluctantly agrees to investigate the severed foot found in Öregrund, even though the location is painfully close to where her former lover still resides. The investigation leads her to the small, isolated community on Bultudden Point where three bachelors, each living alone, appear the most likely suspects. At the same time, Lindell is drawn into the investigation of another murder in Uppsala, a cold case from 1993 that still haunts Berglund, Lindell's colleague and mentor. These multiple stories, skillfully woven together, keep the narrative moving and the reader engaged.The Hand That Trembles is one of those mysteries that allow the reader to vicariously experience another country and culture from the inside and to view history from a different mindset than our own. Kjell Eriksson’s Ann Lindell will definitely find a home with those who love Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallender or Arnaldur Indriđason’s Erlendur Sveinsson. It’s a lonely job but somebody’s got to do it.The previous three books in this series, in order, are The Princess of Barundi, The Cruel Stars of Night, and The Demon from Dakar.
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  • Jane
    January 1, 1970
    Somewhere someone must be planning a course to be titled "Murder in Scandinavia in the Early 21st Century." I believe I am inadvertently reading my way through the course list. I have learned that snow and cold play a large part in the lives of Norwegians, Finns, and Swedes, and that the long dark winter days cause them to go slightly crazy. Whether or not this insight is in fact true, it has become a basic premise of Scandinavian murder mysteries. I have enjoyed my earlier ventures into this ge Somewhere someone must be planning a course to be titled "Murder in Scandinavia in the Early 21st Century." I believe I am inadvertently reading my way through the course list. I have learned that snow and cold play a large part in the lives of Norwegians, Finns, and Swedes, and that the long dark winter days cause them to go slightly crazy. Whether or not this insight is in fact true, it has become a basic premise of Scandinavian murder mysteries. I have enjoyed my earlier ventures into this genre, but with this novel I am declaring a recess. Enough already!Gruesome details, tramping around in snow looking for blood droplets, becoming stuck on impassable roads, taciturn Norwegians, Swedes, or Finns, I've had my fill.Interestingly, the last two novels of this type I've read have both placed more than a little emphasis on Scandinavian visits to Thailand for unsavory reasons. Save Thai girls from oversexed Norwegians. . .. Oh, I should've said that it's the men to travel to Thailand. . . well, you knew that. The opening of this novel reminded me of being at a cocktail party filled with chattering people and lots of background noise and finding oneself in conversation with an arrogant person who loves the sound of his/her own voice and without caring if you are following or not rapidly overwhelms you with details of his/her life. "Whoa, slow down, explain," you long to interject, but no, your temporary conversational partner takes a deep breath and continues the verbal onslaught. Sometimes escape is not possible. The novel I could put down and return to St. Francis, whom I've been tracking through Italy for a month or more. Finally, in coming back to the novel the third or fourth time, I caught on to the story and read to the end. I like Ann, the single-mom detective who is lonely at the beginning, in the middle, and in the end. I'm not sure I like her enough to recommend the novel to you.
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  • Ted
    January 1, 1970
    Huge disappointment. As a Swedish crime fan I had high hopes. The book succeeds in creating the bleak, quiet and somehow small word of the north of Sweden. But the character of our heroine, Anna Lindell, is too wooden, the story is too disjointed and the case resolution too weak. The mystery just kind of ends, like a beach balloon slowly losing air. There is no dramatic conclusion, no real twist at the end, no blaze of glory. Anna doesn't solve the case as much as outlast it --which was kind of Huge disappointment. As a Swedish crime fan I had high hopes. The book succeeds in creating the bleak, quiet and somehow small word of the north of Sweden. But the character of our heroine, Anna Lindell, is too wooden, the story is too disjointed and the case resolution too weak. The mystery just kind of ends, like a beach balloon slowly losing air. There is no dramatic conclusion, no real twist at the end, no blaze of glory. Anna doesn't solve the case as much as outlast it --which was kind of how I felt getting through this book. Her character feels constructed rather than felt, as if the male author is imaging how the single middle aged mom rather than recording it. Consider this passage of her interior monologue from page 233, "She was starting to believe that if there was going to be a change she would have to do something more radical. It was not enough to shave herself and prance around in front of the mirror, reflecting her own anxiety. She chuckled suddenly as she visualized herself desperately vacuuming or interrogating suspected murders, while her sex cried out for hands and a pulsating member. She would give everything for a hot breath against her throat."Really? I can only hope this bit and the novel itself suffers from translation because the Lindell series has several books and earned some good reviews from what I can gather. Anyway, Mankell fans should be forewarned and Stieg fans need to stay clear altogether.
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    I've read and enjoyed several of Eriksson's previous books featuring Swedish detective Ann Lindell but, alas, this was my least favorite of the bunch. The problem for me was that Lindell doesn't appear into about a third of the way into the book; instead, we are treated to an extensive description and interior monologue of a Swedish expatriate living in Bangalore. Sven-Arne abruptly abandoned his life as a local politician in Sweden, resettling in an Indian as a landscaper/gardener. I felt that I've read and enjoyed several of Eriksson's previous books featuring Swedish detective Ann Lindell but, alas, this was my least favorite of the bunch. The problem for me was that Lindell doesn't appear into about a third of the way into the book; instead, we are treated to an extensive description and interior monologue of a Swedish expatriate living in Bangalore. Sven-Arne abruptly abandoned his life as a local politician in Sweden, resettling in an Indian as a landscaper/gardener. I felt that this story, which is largely unconnected to Lindell, slowed down the beginning of the book. When we get to Lindell, she must investigate the discovery of a human foot, obviously a murder victim's, and the investigation will take her back to the part of Sweden where she left the love of her life Edvard.The problem with "The Hand That Trembles" is that it takes to fair-to-middling plot lines and combines them into a single book, but neither is really interesting or fully developed enough to merit the treatment. Instead we are left with too much about Sven-Arne and his flight from Sweden, and not enough about Lindell's mystery, which is solved rather quickly.
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  • Helen
    January 1, 1970
    A missing politician who reappears after an absence of 12 years, a cold case from the same period, and a severed foot found on the coast. Ann Lindell agrees to work on the case at the coast, which centres around a rural peninsula with few inhabitants, not far from where the mysterious Edvard lives (so we are always half expecting him to show up). The politician has created a new life and new persona for himself in Bangalore, but is seen and recognised by a Swedish visitor, which sets off a chain A missing politician who reappears after an absence of 12 years, a cold case from the same period, and a severed foot found on the coast. Ann Lindell agrees to work on the case at the coast, which centres around a rural peninsula with few inhabitants, not far from where the mysterious Edvard lives (so we are always half expecting him to show up). The politician has created a new life and new persona for himself in Bangalore, but is seen and recognised by a Swedish visitor, which sets off a chain of events which leads him to return home. His aged uncle's wartime experiences also have a bearing on his behaviour, a mystery which is gradually uncovered along with some more recent political murkiness. The cases are more or less solved, with some collateral damage (and with no body, in the case of the foot).
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  • Calzean
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting crime novel from Sweden. Tells two separate cases being investigated from the office of violent crime. Discusses the role of some Swedes during the Spanish Civil War and the politics of the country post war. Also discusses the impact of the west has to the lives of the poor in Asia.The two stories - a missing politician who reappears after living 12 years in India and a murder in the wilds of Sweden - were both standard whodunits but I kept waiting for the link between the stories An interesting crime novel from Sweden. Tells two separate cases being investigated from the office of violent crime. Discusses the role of some Swedes during the Spanish Civil War and the politics of the country post war. Also discusses the impact of the west has to the lives of the poor in Asia.The two stories - a missing politician who reappears after living 12 years in India and a murder in the wilds of Sweden - were both standard whodunits but I kept waiting for the link between the stories which never happened.Nonetheless worth the read.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Standard Scandinavian detective stuff but much better than average. Lots in it and well put together. The translation was pretty clunky and needed much better proofreading but a good satisfying read.
  • Nick Davies
    January 1, 1970
    This I didn't much enjoy. At the start I thought it was just the translation - a curious lack of any real colour in the language made for a disappointing first impression - but the longer I read on, the more I found that the source material wasn't really to my tastes either. Three or four strands not clearly delineated, Swedish names which I found hard to keep track of, and an extent to which this as #8 in the series didn't properly describe the recurring characters with the assumption that the This I didn't much enjoy. At the start I thought it was just the translation - a curious lack of any real colour in the language made for a disappointing first impression - but the longer I read on, the more I found that the source material wasn't really to my tastes either. Three or four strands not clearly delineated, Swedish names which I found hard to keep track of, and an extent to which this as #8 in the series didn't properly describe the recurring characters with the assumption that the reader had read preceding episodes. This made for a confusing read at times. On top of this, the central plot had a political/historical basis that I just didn't find convincing or interesting - a little like the Henning Mankell I read a few years ago. So, not a Scandi crime author I will return to.
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  • Janellyn51
    January 1, 1970
    Maybe I liked this one better than the previous 3 of the Lindell books. I don't care as much for this series as the other Scandinavian police procedural I've read. But, I feel like I'm getting to know Lindell better and I liked the Marksson character. I liked the Bultudden, it's the kind of place I'd like to live, except the whole murder part!
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    THE HAND THAT TREMBLES is three stories that merge into one statement about society and the ties that hold people to a communal past as well as a personal one.Sven-Arne Persson is a married man, a county commissioner, an active member of the Socialist party. One day, he leaves a high level meeting and disappears. Twelve years later, he is recognized by another Swede who sees him in the streets of Bangalore, India.Detective Ann Lindell is given the responsibility of investigating the circumstance THE HAND THAT TREMBLES is three stories that merge into one statement about society and the ties that hold people to a communal past as well as a personal one.Sven-Arne Persson is a married man, a county commissioner, an active member of the Socialist party. One day, he leaves a high level meeting and disappears. Twelve years later, he is recognized by another Swede who sees him in the streets of Bangalore, India.Detective Ann Lindell is given the responsibility of investigating the circumstances of a foot, in a sandal, that washed up on the beach.Ann’s superior, Berglund is recuperating from the successful removal of a brain tumor. He eagerly devotes his recuperation time to review all the evidence and interviews that were conducted when Nils Gottfied Dufva, an elderly man in a wheelchair, was found beaten to death in 1993. Berglund was a patrol constable at the time but he feels a responsibility to the victim in this cold case.From these points, the story winds back and forth through decades and continents. Arne Persson, Sven-Arne’s uncle, is a mighty force in his nephew’s life and in the life of the community. Sven-Arne is a committed member of the Socialist party; Arne is red to the soul, a Communist who went to Spain to defeat the emerging Fascist government led by Francisco Franco. Arne is an old man but in full control of his intelligence and his memories. As his time on earth is drawing to a close, Arne is haunted by some of those moments.As Ann Lindell tries to discover the identity of the woman who was dismembered, she finds herself interviewing the residents of a small community, the people who live on the “avenue” in the section of town called Bultudden. This neighborhood remembers too well the suicide of one long time resident of their community, another act that reaches out to cloud the lives of those living in the present.From the act that drove Sven-Arne from Sweden, to the murder and dismemberment of the woman , to the suicide of one who sees no alternative, to the bludgeoning of an old man, THE HAND THAT TREMBLES hands the strands to Ann Lindell and leave it to her untangle the knots. This is a complicated story that moves from one time period to another without much notice. It is not an easy story to summarize. It requires the reader to accept the notion of generational guilt. Europe is roiled today by the influx of immigrants coupled with the resurgence of the Nazi party. There is nothing “neo” about the groups whose philosophy spurs hate.As seen through the eyes of the brilliant Nordic writers publishing in the twenty-first century, the culture and the people of Scandinavia are still facing the political reality of the domination of most of western Europe by Nazi politics and culture. The Swedish flirtation with communism during the 1930′s was a reaction to the Spanish Civil War. Germany and Italy supported Franco and the Soviet Union supported the republican faction. The International Brigades were made up of volunteers from across Europe and the United States. Arne’s life spirals out from his experience, including the death of a friend. The face of the enemy is Swedish and the passage of years does not change the desire for revenge.Eriksson doesn’t forget that most crimes don’t have deep roots. Some are motivated by greed, lust, and envy in the moment. Small communities, like Bultudden, pass secrets through the generations in the same manner as they pass on property. As usual, books by Kjell Eriksson are character driven and the characters who fare best are those who serve in the police. Old crimes never die and, for men like Berglund, the past is present.
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  • Cathy Austin
    January 1, 1970
    Solid series featuring Ann Lindell, a veteran detective with the Upsala police. In this book, Lindell and the team are faced with a crime set in a remote small village in the north of Sweden, Bultudden. One of the 3 bachelors in town has been found dead, a suicide, this after a severed foot in a sandal (soon identified as a woman's) is found in the surrounding forest. The plot thickens in this tiny place, the pace moves along as Ann works with the police, a seasoned officer, Marksson, in town. B Solid series featuring Ann Lindell, a veteran detective with the Upsala police. In this book, Lindell and the team are faced with a crime set in a remote small village in the north of Sweden, Bultudden. One of the 3 bachelors in town has been found dead, a suicide, this after a severed foot in a sandal (soon identified as a woman's) is found in the surrounding forest. The plot thickens in this tiny place, the pace moves along as Ann works with the police, a seasoned officer, Marksson, in town. Bultudden is described nicely, page 296, "seemed more and more like a play, an outpost in Sweden, populated by individuals who were appearing on stage in roles that did not fit them. Perhaps the older couples were an exception, but hardly Torsten Andersson, the bachelors, and Lisen Morell."And while the team is searching for the ID on the foot, and trying to fit the puzzling facts together, a parallel tale is unfolding in India involving a man who had gone missing from Sweden twelve years ago, up and simply vanished, from his county big wig job, his wife, friends, everyone, poof! Seems Sven-Arne Persson is still alive living under the radar as a worker in a nursery in Bangalore; a visiting Swede on business catches sight of Sven-Arne at a restaurant and sets about to follow and confront him at his workplace. No good comes of this. Are these incidents related? The foot, Sven-Arne? This is what the team has to consider since Persson's disappearance coincides with the cold-case murder of an old, infirm but reformed Nazi war criminal, a man who crossed paths with Persson's uncle, Ante, during the Spanish Civil War.Especially when Persson suddenly returns and confesses to Nils Dufva's murder.Turns out the foot belongs to a young Thai woman, lured to pick berries in Sweden, a common thing and venture, and who has been living with one of the bachelors. Bultudden unravels as does Persson and his uncle, Ante over the confession of Dufva's murder.Eriksson deftly combines both tales, neatly, smoothly while showing us the snowy blowy coastal town,(the flip side: the challenges of daily life in India), and the depths of his characters both the team and the suspects and townspeople like, "Lindell wanted to move on, but couldn't bring herself to interrupt. She had been listening to the conversation with ambivalence. In part she was ashamed of her own aggressiveness, in part she was moved by their spare exchange, where so much was said without words...she knew that even in this apparently trivial exchange, significant information could be extracted." page 304Lindell's troubled soul is revealed more in each book; she loves her four year old son, he is her world but she longs, nearing 40, for something more, something, love, maybe, for herself. I've read four books now of Eriksson's and look forward to the next installment in this police procedural series.
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  • Carole Tyrrell
    January 1, 1970
    This was my first introduction to Inspector Ann Lindell and is a Scandi-crime set in Sweden. I pick up a lot of crime books at charity sales which is often a great way to try new authors. I read this in one sitting as I just couldn’t put it down.It begins in 1993 with a disappearance. Sven-Anne, an influential Swedish politician in Uppsala, walks out of a boring council meeting and simply vanishes. We follow his life afterwards on another continent and in another way of life until one day he’s r This was my first introduction to Inspector Ann Lindell and is a Scandi-crime set in Sweden. I pick up a lot of crime books at charity sales which is often a great way to try new authors. I read this in one sitting as I just couldn’t put it down.It begins in 1993 with a disappearance. Sven-Anne, an influential Swedish politician in Uppsala, walks out of a boring council meeting and simply vanishes. We follow his life afterwards on another continent and in another way of life until one day he’s recognised at his place of work by a visiting member from a Swedish trade delegation. So Sven-Anne now has to make the decision on whether to return or to vanish again.Meanwhile, again in Uppsala, Insp Lindell is reluctantly investigating a case, in which a severed foot has been found on the coast. The local police have run out of leads as no-one has been reported as missing. As Ann drives back and forth her thoughts turn to her ex-lover, Edward who lives nearby and their son Erik and her childcare concerns.Lindell’s manager, Berglund, is in hospital when a third case comes to the fore. An unsolved cold case of an old man murdered in his own home. It’s always nagged at Berglund and he wants to re-investigate it. Sven-Anne decides to return to Sweden without any papers or even a passport and finds his wife long dead, killed in an accident soon after he disappeared. Berglund’s cold case begins to draw him in as well as he has a connection to it. Ann is led to the Bultudden Point, a remote part of the landscape where few people live as she searches for the owner of the foot. The residents are solitary, leading separate lives but Ann becomes convinced that the answer lies there.Slowly, the 3 elements of the novel mesh together to produce a satisfying conclusion. I particularly enjoyed the description and the atmosphere of Bultudden Point. It really felt like the last place on earth and somewhere in which a person could disappear and leave only a body part. It felt inhospitable with its inhabitants cling on for dear life. In many ways this is a novel about disappearances and reappearances. Sven-Anne vanishes and reappears, the cold case resurfaces again and the owner of the foot begins to become a real, once living person once more. There is a small amount of back story on Ann with brief mentions of her previous cases and her personal life. I enjoyed this novel for its interesting plotlines and the skilful way in which the author drew them together at the end.
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  • D R
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book from Goodreads first reads program.First off, I really enjoyed this book. Lots of twists and turns, loved the mystery inside the mystery.Secondly, I loathe men who abandon their families,friends and your work,and I still consider your wife your family even if they didn't have children, I considered Sven Arne a coward. Even abandoning your country. I am still a little confused as to why he even left, did he still think Ante murdered Dufva or not,and why come back at all, I think h I won this book from Goodreads first reads program.First off, I really enjoyed this book. Lots of twists and turns, loved the mystery inside the mystery.Secondly, I loathe men who abandon their families,friends and your work,and I still consider your wife your family even if they didn't have children, I considered Sven Arne a coward. Even abandoning your country. I am still a little confused as to why he even left, did he still think Ante murdered Dufva or not,and why come back at all, I think he said he wanted to keep Ante out of it, but all he did was get his 91 year old uncle arrested for murder. My opinion was he wanted Ante in trouble!I don't think anybody will get arrested for this after 12 years and three confessions.Sven sometimes rubbed me the wrong way, wishing Elsa had died after being run over by a truck, and not even wishing to see her! I liked his uncle very much. And when he called his women competitors in politics bitches!Loved the mystery about the foot, and the eagle theory. And I was sure if they went through Lasse's shed they would find something, then he burned everything.And got a little embarrased about all the sex and impotent men and horny women. And I was wondering if there were more books in the series, because I want to know who Edvard is. And I was wondering where the title for the book came from, Mezziotints, really interesting. Because it was a foot that was found not a hand, so I found it interesting where the title came from.And also what happened to Jan Svensk, I would liked to have known what happened to him, even though he wasn't pivotal to the mystery. And in all I loved the book
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  • Mark Lisac
    January 1, 1970
    A thoroughly absorbing and well written Swedish murder mystery involving conflicted characters, bouts of suspense, an isolated collection of houses on the coast, and the emotional aftermath of old wars and hatreds. Had never heard of Eriksson and picked this one up while browsing a library shelf — another argument for looking for books on shelves rather than online. Thought it was about the best of the Nordic crime novels that I've run across. You have to go back to Wahloo and Sjowall to find wo A thoroughly absorbing and well written Swedish murder mystery involving conflicted characters, bouts of suspense, an isolated collection of houses on the coast, and the emotional aftermath of old wars and hatreds. Had never heard of Eriksson and picked this one up while browsing a library shelf — another argument for looking for books on shelves rather than online. Thought it was about the best of the Nordic crime novels that I've run across. You have to go back to Wahloo and Sjowall to find work that matches it.Can see why some reviewers disliked it. The detective Ann Lindell is rather remote. The story runs in a number of directions, and includes the presence of an older detective who simply disappears from the action. The quality of the narration and of the characters make up for all that. You can see the landscape and the faces.Two things could have been changed. A shotgun turns into a rifle — hard to tell whether that was in the original Swedish or appeared during translation. And Eriksson should probably have spent a few more days polishing the last few paragraphs, which for me had an I-give-up feeling about them. All in all, though, impressive enough to get me to read more of the series (at least the several that have been translated into English), starting at the beginning. Even good enough to forgive the seemingly inevitable presence of Nazis in the plot (at least this time they are more generically Fascists).
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  • Tina
    January 1, 1970
    The Hand that Trembles is the fourth in Eriksson’s Ann Lindell series, but I felt pretty comfortable reading it without having read the previous installments. There are multiple story lines in this crime novel - mainly the reappearance of a Swedish county commissioner in Bangalore, India, who was presumed dead and a mysterious severed foot found near the remote community of Bultudden. Ann Lindell is responsible for solving the case of the severed foot. Eriksson develops interesting characters an The Hand that Trembles is the fourth in Eriksson’s Ann Lindell series, but I felt pretty comfortable reading it without having read the previous installments. There are multiple story lines in this crime novel - mainly the reappearance of a Swedish county commissioner in Bangalore, India, who was presumed dead and a mysterious severed foot found near the remote community of Bultudden. Ann Lindell is responsible for solving the case of the severed foot. Eriksson develops interesting characters and well-constructed plot lines. As simple as the stories may seem, they involve numerous players that leave you wondering where the truth lies.The Scandinavians are really flooding the American market in the wake of Stieg Larsson’s success. I see the appeal. The Hand that Trembles, like all the others I’ve read, have a distinct psychological element to the narrative that enhances the crime story. Also like most Scandinavian crime novels I’ve read in the last year or two, the pace is slow, but the payoff seems worth it in the end. Even though I tend to struggle a bit with the pacing of the first 100-200 pages and tell myself no more Scandinavian crime novels, the final push and resolution always leaves me ready to jump back into the Scandinavian milieu. If you’ve become a fan of the Scandinavian crime novel or Ann Lindell specifically, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed by The Hand that Trembles.http://iubookgirl.blogspot.com/2011/1...
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  • Deborah Ideiosepius
    January 1, 1970
    A very readable crime novel which starts out in the past, introducing a major mystery which then serves as an axis for events and crimes in the present. The scenes are set using reminiscences and a solid, vivid, descriptive style which I suspect is very Swedish, (that’s going out on a limb, as I have not read that many Swedish books, but that is the feeling I get from it) in any case, whatever else it may be this style is very readable.The main investigating character is inspector Ann Lindell an A very readable crime novel which starts out in the past, introducing a major mystery which then serves as an axis for events and crimes in the present. The scenes are set using reminiscences and a solid, vivid, descriptive style which I suspect is very Swedish, (that’s going out on a limb, as I have not read that many Swedish books, but that is the feeling I get from it) in any case, whatever else it may be this style is very readable.The main investigating character is inspector Ann Lindell and I found her a very interesting, well written character whom I would quite like to see more of.The main characters are good and the secondary characters that we encounter as part of crime investigations are unusual and often fascinating. While few of them are not entirely (or even a little) attractive characters they are certainly interesting. Like the characters, the scenes and situations are also different and interesting and well written. The small details that are used to solve the crimes are unexpected and make for a satisfying conclusion. The ending draws upon you slowly; it is not a great last minute exposé, slowly you come to realise what it must be, and then you find it was so, I would call it a satisfying ending rather than surprise ending.
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  • BookSweetie
    January 1, 1970
    A Swedish crime novel in translation with a strong character-driven focus and a VERY slow start. I will give this author another chance because I did eventually get rather engrossed in the crime novel/mystery aspects, especially of certain characters (especially, Sven-Arne and his uncle Ante), but I have several ferocious hesitations. Kjell used a large number of quite unnecessary minor characters (with those sometimes unfamiliar Swedish names to confuse things even more.) I was not sure who t A Swedish crime novel in translation with a strong character-driven focus and a VERY slow start. I will give this author another chance because I did eventually get rather engrossed in the crime novel/mystery aspects, especially of certain characters (especially, Sven-Arne and his uncle Ante), but I have several ferocious hesitations. Kjell used a large number of quite unnecessary minor characters (with those sometimes unfamiliar Swedish names to confuse things even more.) I was not sure who the main character was meant to be. Lindell, for example, appeared several chapters into the book and then became a staple detective although a team of other police characters also appear actively in the story. In places the language seemed unintentionally ambiguous -- chalk it up to the translation. I had a lot of rereading to sort out answers to questions about characters and situations-- but the answers weren't always available in the reading. My major disappointment hovers around the multiple plot lines (three), one of which never really connected well to the other two, resulting in the ending being weak.
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  • Richard
    January 1, 1970
    Look carefully at the book cover illustration. No, no, look very carefully. That tells you everything you need to know about this book except it is primarily driven by sex...who is celibate and hates it; who is having it; had it; wants more; or is taking matters into their own hand.Despite that, this is a bleak novel that should have been a novella. Here is another book that goes on and on when it should have been long gone.Everyone is suspected of murder except the two primary police; the villa Look carefully at the book cover illustration. No, no, look very carefully. That tells you everything you need to know about this book except it is primarily driven by sex...who is celibate and hates it; who is having it; had it; wants more; or is taking matters into their own hand.Despite that, this is a bleak novel that should have been a novella. Here is another book that goes on and on when it should have been long gone.Everyone is suspected of murder except the two primary police; the village guy and the city girl, and her 4 year old boy. Several confess to murder in a second story that should have been its own novella. The two tales really have a difficult connection.Maybe I should quit looking for the next great Swedish author.
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  • Deane
    January 1, 1970
    Found this book in the Ann Lindell series a bit harder to follow but it all 'came right' at the end, thank goodness. As with the others in the series, a most intriguing read and hard to put down. I should have written down the names involved in the two separate cases being investigated by the Uppsala Police Force because it was easy to get all the people named straightened out in my mind as I was reading. Think this is one I will read again some time...it's such an involved story with an ending Found this book in the Ann Lindell series a bit harder to follow but it all 'came right' at the end, thank goodness. As with the others in the series, a most intriguing read and hard to put down. I should have written down the names involved in the two separate cases being investigated by the Uppsala Police Force because it was easy to get all the people named straightened out in my mind as I was reading. Think this is one I will read again some time...it's such an involved story with an ending that I had to read twice to realize what actually happened. Another great read from Mr Eriksson. I have "Black Lies, Red Blood' started already . . .
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  • Kathleen McRae
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting but not outstanding, this story had so many characters and I prefer to enjoy the read and not waste my energy trying to keep all the cast and their multiple locations straight in my mind.
  • Ienne Montecillo
    January 1, 1970
    Made me want to go to India and Sweden
  • Adele
    January 1, 1970
    I will be so sad when I have finished this series.
  • Georgene Ingwell
    January 1, 1970
    I learned a lot about politics in Sweden
  • Susanna Beatrix Bloderer
    January 1, 1970
    Synopsis:The story starts out with the boy Sven-Arne Persson who comes from humble beginnings and grows up in rural Sweden. Years later, he becomes a successful politician until he disappears all of a sudden. People believe him to be dead until decades later he is spotted in India. Sven-Arne returns to Sweden where he has lost touch with everyone but his old uncle Ante. At the same time, Ann Lindell, a police officer and single mother of a little boy, is assigned to the case of a severed foot an Synopsis:The story starts out with the boy Sven-Arne Persson who comes from humble beginnings and grows up in rural Sweden. Years later, he becomes a successful politician until he disappears all of a sudden. People believe him to be dead until decades later he is spotted in India. Sven-Arne returns to Sweden where he has lost touch with everyone but his old uncle Ante. At the same time, Ann Lindell, a police officer and single mother of a little boy, is assigned to the case of a severed foot and trying to uncover its identity as well as the murderer. In both cases, secrets are to be discovered.The universal theme of this book is loneliness. Sven-Arne seems to be a lonely person, detective Ann Lindell is a lonely woman who stumbles upon more lonely people in Bultudden, where the severed foot was found. It seems like everyone is looking for some company to keep while pushing others away. If you combine this fact with the depicted weather situation, the atmosphere seems rather gloomy and depressing. I would not say that that's bad, at the contrary, it's incredibly honest and authentic. What impressed me was also the immersion into a completely different culture - that of India - and the author's ability to capture its mentality and surroundings with everyday language. I felt like my mind was travelling somewhere where I could relax and temporarily leave behind my mundane stress.
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  • Mike Cuthbert
    January 1, 1970
    Ericksson creates a host of characters and then lets them wander all over the globe, seldom tying them together. One is Sven-Arne Persson, a local politician in Uppsala who walks out of a town meeting and disappears to Bangalore in India. The other is not a character but a foot that appears unattached to a body and the story is one of a search for whose foot it might be. The real story turns out to be the approach to menopause of a detective, Ann Lindell. She is forty, in good shape and extremel Ericksson creates a host of characters and then lets them wander all over the globe, seldom tying them together. One is Sven-Arne Persson, a local politician in Uppsala who walks out of a town meeting and disappears to Bangalore in India. The other is not a character but a foot that appears unattached to a body and the story is one of a search for whose foot it might be. The real story turns out to be the approach to menopause of a detective, Ann Lindell. She is forty, in good shape and extremely horny. She does not get her rocks off but spends many pages contemplating it. She is also the lead detective on the foot case. Too little happened for too long to engross me in the plot though Ericksson’s writing is acceptable. I found neither mystery compelling and did not enjoy this trip into Nordic Noir at all.
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  • Rosemary
    January 1, 1970
    There is something so terribly dark about this novel that reading it felt as if I were falling into an abandoned mine. Beginning in the 1930’s when impossibly horrid atrocities were committed to a contemporary murder, none of the parallel threads spread out at the beginning could possibly connect to a severed foot found on the beach! And, flights from torture, war, imprisonment, disability, and loneliness all play rolls in this powerful mystery.
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