Monday, September 12, 2022


The 1986 unsolved murder of then Prime Minister Olaf Palme has remained one of the world's great mysteries. It is the backdrop of Blaze Me A Sun, where the first in a series of murders takes place on the same evening in a small Swedish village. Local police officer Sven Jörgensson is called to the scene when a young woman's body is found in a car at a remote farm. He quickly drives her to the hospital, but she doesn't survive. The murder is overshadowed by the more prominent murder in Stockholm, but Sven does his best to investigate a case that will soon consume him completely.

The book begins in 2019, when the writer "Moth" comes back to his hometown after a bitter divorce. He's living in his old familial home, next door to elderly retired police officer Evy Carlén. Thirty-three years earlier, there had been three murders and an attempted murder that were never solved in the village of Tiarp. Now the perpetrator has been found and the writer knows this will be the story to break through his writer's block. He begins talking to people in the area to hear their memories of the time of the events thirty years before. He also talks to Vidar, the now deceased policeman Sven's son, who also worked for a time on the police force. Sven died with the murders still unresolved and his failure to find the killer contributed to his early death (so many of the townspeople believe). 

The story goes from the present, back to the events surrounding the murder, then on to Vidar's time on the force, before coming back to the present. One thing that was somewhat annoying in the book was the way so many town names were thrown around. For instance, the first page of chapter 43 talks about Halmstad (the city where the story takes place) but then mentions Tiarp, Ringenäs, Villshärad, Valläs, Åled, Kvibille, Haverdal, and Tylösand. All of these various place names add nothing to the story and the overall impression is that the author is trying to work in every town name in Sweden into the narrative. Every chapter threw around all these place names -- people living in one but working or going to school in another; the bus passing through this town and then that one, and then another one before turning around at a different one and passing back through; cops studying maps and feeling compelled to point out various towns where the killer might be from or have passed through . . . why??? It made for an alphabet soup of town names that were meaningless. I even asked my Swedish husband if he knew what this or that town meant (in case it had some significance that a non-Swede would miss) but he didn't know most of them either. Other than that, the story was interesting and contained enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing how it would all turn out in the end. 

I received a copy of Blaze Me a Sun from NetGalley


About Me

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I'm a librarian who is interested in all things British. I try to visit London as often as possible, and am always planning my next trip. I lived in Sweden for a few years with my Swedish husband, so the occasional Swedish reference may occur . . .

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