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Linda, as in the Linda Murder by Leif G. W. Persson

Linda is brutally murdered in the little Swedish city of Växjö, the investigation complicated by the fact that Linda is a policewoman in training. The national papers are having a field day with the story, the unusually scorching summer blamed for any sudden madness – including that of the murderer himself.

Police Inspector Evert Bäckström would rather be drinking, or feeding his fish. But there’s a murder to solve, and as everyone else is far too useless to do anything, it’s up to him to find the killer.

Short, fat, lewd and vain, Bäckström is hilariously insufferable, which makes for entertaining reading but can occasionally grate on the nerves. It becomes pretty clear after the first few chapters that if he is the one to actually solve the murder, it will very likely be by accident. Luckily for the citizens of Växjö, Detective Superintendant Jan Lewin is much more onto it. The book is very character focused and detail oriented in the tradition of Steig Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, or J.K. Rowling’s latest The Cuckoo’s Calling, and a large cast of varyingly odd and interesting co-workers complements the two policemen. Though it’s worth mentioning that Bäckström is very likely to seriously offend both character and reader alike, Linda, as in the Linda Murder should appeal strongly to fans of either writer.

Written by award-winning Swedish Criminologist Leif G.W. Persson in 2005, Linda, as in the Linda Murder has only recently been translated into English by Neil Smith, whose translation is faultlessly readable. That said, the book isn’t perfect, for all its good points. There are places where the plot begins to drag and the dark humour wears thin, but on the whole, Linda, as in the Linda Murder is a thoroughly enjoyable read.

REVIEWER: Arielle Walker

TITLE: Linda, as in the Linda Murder

AUTHOR(S): Leif G. W. Persson

PUBLISHER: Penguin Random House

RRP: $24.99

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