cover image Bad Blood

Bad Blood

Arne Dahl, trans. from the Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles. Pantheon, $25.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-375-42536-3

An American serial killer preoccupies Det. Paul Hjelm and his National Criminal Police colleagues in Dahl’s second Intercrime novel (after 2011’s Misterioso). The “Kentucky Killer,” who murdered 18 people almost 15 years earlier, has within the last year struck again repeatedly. He tortured to death his latest victim, a Swedish literary critic, at New Jersey’s Newark Airport. When the elaborate effort to catch the murderer as he returns to Sweden fails, the police must wait for another murder. The various team members—including the captivating Kerstin Holm, who was briefly involved with Hjelm—assume tasks that play to their individual strengths. The reader will find the characters even more distinctive and well defined than in the first book. The American FBI agent Ray Larner is also memorable, though the descriptions of New York City are heavy-handed. The plot heats up in New York, races back to Stockholm and environs, and skids to a fair conclusion. Agent: Niclas Salomonsson, Salomonsson Agency (Sweden). (Aug.)