Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on May 22, 2020
I have read the previous 7 books in the series and loved them all. I had pre-ordered this book and was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy it at all. The subject matters were way too dark and there were just too many of them. Severe bullying, pedophiles (with continuous detailed descriptions that I started to skim over because they were too unpleasant), mental illness, gambling debts and "enforcers" and their violence - the list goes on. There were no rewards, no reprieve from the negative and depressing. And the most interesting part of the entire series - the lives of Nora and Thomas - were an afterthought this time and limited to a few pages. When we finally learned (a little bit) about their private lives, even that was nothing but depressing, except for the very end. There were too many stories happening at once and the suspense wasn't exactly killing me because I figured out the "surprising" twist at the end of the court case about halfway through the book - the clue that was left early on was just too obvious. All in all the book left me with a really bad aftertaste, although I skimmed through almost half of it, especially the bullying and the pedophile's thoughts and fantasies. Definitely not a good read for any parent. I will give the next book in the series a shot, in the hope that Viveca Sten will go back to telling us the story of Nora and Thomas, combined with a good old whodunit.