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Midwinter Sacrifice (aka Midwinter Blood) by Mons Kallentoft


Active Member
I was surprised upon searching this forum to find that no one has mentioned Midwinter Blood, by Mons Kallentoft or the subsequent stories by this talented Swedish author.

Though I normally do not read detective stories a friend touted this book so highly that I put it on my reading list two years ago and have finally gotten around to it. I have found it to be a surprisingly good read.

The story, the first of a series involving the same detective, takes place in present day Sweden. A 300 pound man known to have had a lower IQ was found hanging dead and naked in a tree in the Swedish countryside in the midsts of the coldest winter in recent times. The main character, Malin Fors, a female detective in the Swedish police and her partner Zeke are the principal investigators of the crime.

The investigation twists and turns through a mazed labyrinth as Malin attempts to remain focused on the crime while dealing with the problems common to being the mother of a thirteen year old daughter and the balancing act of shared custody with her divorced husband.

Kallentoft writes with a competent and compelling hand as he draws the reader deeper and deeper into a mystery which includes the myriad of contacts Malin and Zeke must interview and interact with including potential culprits, forensics technicians, delinquent children, cultists and distant relatives of the victim.

In the vein of David Mitchell's Ghostwritten there is occasional commentary by the deceased victim which is always written in italics. This sounds inane but it actually works quite well. It is much like the dialogue of the pigeon in Stephen Kellman's Pigeon English.

I would recommend this book to all lovers of detective fiction most heartily.