cover image The Night of the Fire

The Night of the Fire

Kjell Eriksson, trans. from the Swedish by Paul Norlen. Minotaur, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-76614-4

Eriksson’s exceptional eighth ensemble police procedural to be published in the U.S. (after 2016’s Stone Coffin) spotlights Ann Lindell, who has quit the Violent Crimes Unit in Uppsala, Sweden, and started a new career as a cheese maker in the village of Rasbo. Then an unknown man calls Lindell’s former office and insists on speaking with her. He says she’s “the only one who listens,” adding, “someone may die.” Before a former colleague can pass on the message to Lindell, a woman dies in a fire that burns down an old school in Rasbo being used to house political and war refugees. Though the investigators don’t find conclusive proof, the consensus is that it was arson. Lindell is drawn to the case, even as she’s the target of an unknown enemy, who leaves a dead badger in her bed, its belly slit open. When she finally listens to a tape of the caller, the voice sounds familiar. Eriksson adeptly teases whether there’s a connection between the call and the fire, even as violence claims more lives. This artful blend of mystery and psychology is sure to please Scandinavian noir fans. Agent: Anneli Høier, Copenhagen Literary (Denmark). (Nov.)