The sixth and most recent novel in Swedish writer Ake Edwardson’s terrific series about the fashion conscious, high brow Chief Inspector Erik Winter of the Gothenburg police is here! Sail of stone (Segel av sten) is a wonderful police procedural, which follows in the footsteps of successes like Frozen Tracks, Death Angels and The Shadow Women. In focus in this novel are Erik Winter and African-Swedish detective Aneta Djanali, both smart, introspective and very thoughtful detectives.
As we follow the two detectives while they work on two separate cases, Ake Edwardson takes us deep into their minds and lays bare their psychological make-ups in a highly intriguing fashion. Fascinating as the cases are, this dive into the psyches of these two very-well drawn characters, is masterfully executed by Edwardson, and is in some ways perhaps even more spell-binding than the very professional and intelligent police work they do in working their respective cases. It is interesting to see how Edwardson lets Winter and Djanali be guided and assisted by intuition.
Erik Winter’s case concerns the missing father of a lady that he once had an intense love affair with, Johanna Osvald. Her father, Axel Osvald, has – strangely – traveled to Scotland to search for his own father. It is a very peculiar and odd tale. Why travel to Scotland to look for a man who died there during World War II? And – is Axel really missing? Winter allows himself to get drawn into this strange mystery and unravel the secrets buried in the past of the family of his former lover. To solve this mystery he will have to enlist the aid of an old friend in the Scotland Yard and visit hidden places deep in the Scottish fjords.
Aneta, on the other hand, pursues a reluctant victim of domestic abuse – Annette Lindsten – that she has a very hard time finding. She meets the alleged abuser – the quite frightening lover Hans Forsblad, as well as the victim’s father and mother. But where is the victim? Why isn’t anyone talking or helping her – not even the parents? The case has hard to pinpoint aspects that somehow are very frightening to Aneta – resonating with old, deeply buried fears in a very unpleasant manner.
Sail of Stone is an outstanding character study, very perceptive and excellently written. The plot is rich and deep, and the pacing is on the spot throughout. A pearl!