Free Falling, As If in a Dream: The Story of a Crime

Leif GW Persson, trans. from the Swedish by Paul Norlen. Pantheon, $27.95 (608p) ISBN 978-0-307-37747-0
The concluding volume of Persson’s Swedish political trilogy (after 2012’s Another Time, Another Life) exhaustively explores the antecedents and aftermath of Prime Minister Olof Palme’s murder in 1986. In 2007, Lars Martin Johansson, chief of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, reopens the unsolved case under the guise of developing a way to handle the massive amount of material—roughly a million pages—related to the assassination. Johansson, the man “who can see around corners,” assembles four high-ranking officers and charges them with examining the evidence with fresh eyes. Word spreads quickly, rumors and tips fly, and the ad hoc squad immerses itself in the convoluted and sordid history of an investigation botched from the beginning. Strong characterization, a solid grasp of investigatory complexities, and an appreciation of the elusive, chimerical nature of “truth” make this a fine example of a conspiracy thriller. Agent: Niclas Salomonsson, Salomonsson Agency (Sweden). (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/16/2013
Release date: 02/25/2014
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