cover image The Arc of the Swallow

The Arc of the Swallow

Sissel-Jo Gazan, trans. from the Danish by Charlotte Barslund. Quercus, $26.99 (480p) ISBN 978-1-62365-412-2

Gazan's excellent sequel to 2013's The Dinosaur Feather draws the reader into the fiercely competitive, high-stakes world of medical research. Deputy Chief Supt. S%C3%B8ren Marhauge is supervising Henrik Tejsner, who was promoted to S%C3%B8ren's previous job and wants desperately to outshine S%C3%B8ren's achievements, when a case of apparent suicide is reported. Kristian Storm, the decedent, was a brilliant scientist, a professor of immunology at the University of Copenhagen. Revered by some, reviled by others, he was gathering data on West African subjects and apparently about to prove that the DPT vaccine in current use actually causes more deaths than it prevents. The police assume that Kristian killed himself because he had been anonymously reported to the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty for fraudulent analysis of the study's statistics. Although S%C3%B8ren resigns from his job because he's fed up with routine police work, including supervising Henrik, he nevertheless continues to investigate on his own, discovering that the case is much more than a simple suicide. Gazan skillfully introduces characters and cleverly resolves side stories as the action builds to a thrilling denouement. Agent: Karin Lindgren, Salomonsson Agency (Sweden).)(Apr.)