Thursday, 12 June 2014
Grey Doll & Criminal Reading: Sweden (Two Soldiers) and Spain (Blood Med)
Firstly I was on a grim Stockholm satellite housing-estate and in a prison - in a story by Swedish crime-writing team Roslund & Hellstrom....called Two Soldiers. Written in part from within the mindset of a gang, its members, and the tribal "one luv" that replaces flesh and blood family - it is a tough and realistic read around prison life, a startlingly organised prison escape, the brutal ambition to become king of gangs and the police's frantic attempts to find a kidnapped prison officer and the gang members themselves. It is also a suitably dark analysis of the roots and perpetuation of gangs within our modern societies. You can read the complete review over at Euro Crime.
Then I also visited Spain and did some criminal reading tinged with political comment over in Valencia with Jason Webster and the fourth in his Inspector Max Camara series - Blood Med. (This is the second title in this series that I've read and really liked both, so must try to fill the gaps with a retro-read.) In this one Spain is in crisis. The King is ill and everyone is on tenterhooks as to Spain's political future. Increasing unemployment means a homelessness crisis, whilst disillusionment with the rich and politically powerful breeds discontent and protest in the streets of Valencia. Against this backdrop a young American woman is murdered in a particularly brutal manner but Camara is sceptical that "the husband" did it. So who did? Plenty of excitement and chewy social observation. You can read the complete Euro Crime review here.