With the new millennium approaching and preparations being made to ensure that the year 2000 rolls in without too many hitches, the Gothenburg police have their hands full. For many it's business as usual; for others, the weight of the job has become burdensome. A gruesome double homicide will take all of their attention as they try
to track down the elusive killer. The investigation takes the police into the underground world of black metal and unconventional sex, eventually leading them in a direction none of them want to go.
Erik Winter, the youngest Detective Chief Inspector at the age of 39,
helms the investigation. He is conscientious and intelligent, doing his best not to miss anything that might lead them to the murderer. As the investigation unfolds and paints a dark picture of a struggle between good and evil, Erik's personal life also demands his attention. His girlfriend has just moved in, they are expecting a child, and those prank calls
he once so easily dismissed are becoming more troublesome.
Sun and Shadow jumps from character to character, offering a broad perspective of the lives of the characters and the ongoing investigation
- including a look into the mind of the killer. Several minor stories play amongst the
larger plotline. The main story takes a while to build as the foundation is laid and readers are introduced to a host of characters, many of whom will prove to be an integral part in the events that unfold. The slow set-up is perhaps the novel's weakest feature, yet it works just the same.
Sun and Shadow is a character-driven crime fiction novel. Author Åke Edwardson gets into the psyche of his characters, offering a close look at each of them and their motivations. What readers see at first glance is not necessarily the same impression
they will hold by the end of the book. For many of the law enforcement officers, the job has taken a toll on their lives. What they see and experience touches them, sometimes haunts them. That extends beyond just the authorities. It holds true for other characters in the novel as well: the vicar and her daughter, the abused boy, and the doctor who feels like she doesn't have enough time to offer her patients. The killer could be just about anyone, and the author keeps the reader guessing for most of the book.
The streets of Sweden have a personality all their own, as do the streets of Marbella, Spain, where Erik Winter spends a short time, visiting his ailing father. People go about their business, moving in and out of the shadows, carrying their burdens with them. The grayish skies, rain and white snow are fitting backdrops to such a dark tale.
Sun and Shadow is the third book in the Erik Winter
series but the first translated into English for U.S. publication. The Swedish setting could not be more appropriate; the characters are well-developed and the story itself is compelling. Åke Edwardson is an author to watch for.