Thus endeth my search for a replacement for Henning Mankell’s Wallender series, not because I succeeded, not even close; instead, I simply give up. Instead, this New York Times bestseller (how?!?!?) is astonishingly mediocre. We have yet another cop whose many personal and professional lapses are excused because, in truth, he’s a really good person and a really good cop. The plotting is paint-by-numbers (Cold Case anyone?) and the prose, with no real assistance from translator Lisa Hartford, is just bad (again, especially the dialogue). There is one interesting character, Assad, who Olsen pulls back from the brink of stereotype time and again. I have a feeling that more about him will be revealed in future books, but I won’t be around to find out.

Yuck.

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