First off: I truly enjoyed "A Death in Sweden". Not a 3, not quite a 4.
The Protagonist, Dan Hendriks is an interesting character. There is enough back story to keep you engaged with him. Where the character falls short is his abilities. When the story opens he is more or less a bounty hunter for a clandestine organization. Isn't involved with seamy side such as torture or murder. He appears to have a conscious. Later on he's a killing machine with his conscious still somewhat intact. There's no history to him that indicates he is a deadly shot. Maybe this comes out in another installment. For me this left him as a conundrum. Is he a moral man in an immoral profession or a man losing his humanity. The love interest, Inger, pulls him towards the moral man. Her character, as well as most others, are somewhat two dimensional. Again, future sequels can remedy this.
The dialog works, as does the pacing. Finding out the history of a man who dies in the prologue and why this connects to someone trying to kill Dan is the emphasis of the story line. Which works as well. The dead man is a character whose depth is gradually made evident throughout the book. He seems to be a parallel of Dan.
The "Bad Guys" are mostly comrades of Dan, just much more incompetent. Immoral men in an immoral profession.
What "A Death in Sweden" needed most of all was to be longer. The events could have taken place anywhere. The characters could be anyone. Character almost always trumps plot. By adding backstory, by giving places a sense of character, by adding some depth to other characters, this would have been a solid 4.
I do look forward to Kevin Wingall's next installment. Which is praise in and of itself.
I was given a copy of A Death in Sweden by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.