Monday, March 11, 2013

Room No. 10 - Ake Edwardson

Room No. 10 is the seventh entry in Ake Edwardson's Inspector Winter series, but is a first read of this author for me.

Erik Winter is a Chief Inspector in Gothenburg, Sweden. He is called to a bizarre death in a decrepit hotel - in Room No. Ten.  It appears to be suicide by hanging, but why in the world is her hand painted white - and the note left just doesn't ring true for Winter. And he is disturbed by the setting - Room No. 10 was the first homicide that he investigated as a young policeman - and the case remains unsolved.

Erik is a likable protagonist, thoughtful, quick thinking and determined. I also enjoyed the supporting cast of players  - there is a real mix between various ages, talents and personalities. This is a group who has worked together on many cases. I didn't feel too far out of the loop on catching up with who was who at all. Room No. 10 is told in a past and present format, allowing us to see the young Winter as well.

The crime is inventive and I really wanted to see if and what the connection between the two cases might be. But I found the road there indeterminately long and drawn out. The roundabout conversations and methods of investigation annoyed me. The same information and clues are dissected more than once. Perhaps it's because I prefer a little more action in my mysteries.

Edwardson employs lots of description in his writing. But it's in short bursts of sentences. I found a lot of it extraneous and by page 320 was starting to skim. For example:

"A cup of coffee and a Danish were comforting.
They walked across the street and into the café.
The line at the counter was long"

The advance reader's edition was approximately 450 pages and honestly it was about 100 too long for this reader. The last few chapters did pick up the pace.

Ake Edwardson is "one of Sweden’s bestselling authors, and his books featuring Detective Chief Inspector Erik Winter have been translated into more than twenty languages worldwide. He is a three-time winner of the Swedish Crime Writers’ Award for best crime novel."

It was an okay read for me, but not a stand out. Read an excerpt of Room No. 10.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

It sounds like this one could have used tighter editing.