cover image Dark Music

Dark Music

David Lagercrantz, trans. from the Swedish by Ian Giles. Knopf, $28 (384p) ISBN 978-0-593-31921-5

In this promising series launch set in 2003 from Lagercrantz (Fall of Man in Wilmslow), police officer Micaela Vargas, whose parents came to Sweden as political refugees from Chile, joins forces with Prof. Hans Rekke, “a specialist in interrogation techniques” who teaches at Stanford University, to investigate the murder of a soccer referee after a match. The victim was a refugee from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, and Micaela’s incessant probing soon leads them into the murky waters of international terrorism, questionable CIA interrogation methods, and a war against music carried out by the Taliban in the late 1990s. Rekke and Micaela enjoy a Holmes and Watson–like relationship, complete with a Mycroft counterpart in brother Magnus Rekke, a government undersecretary with his own hidden agenda. Though the story advances slowly at first, it gains momentum once the pieces begin to fall into place. Rekke’s drug and alcohol addictions, along with his inability to focus, at times threaten to make him a caricature, but Micaela’s depth of character bodes well for future entries. Not just Sherlock Holmes fans will want to check this one out. Agent: Jessica Bab, Brave New World. (Aug.)