cover image Stone Coffin

Stone Coffin

Kjell Eriksson, trans. from the Swedish by Ebba Segerberg. Minotaur, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-02551-7

Tragedy strikes the well-to-do Cederén family in Eriksson’s satisfying seventh ensemble mystery to be published in the U.S. (after 2015’s Open Grave). A hit-and-run driver kills Josefin Cederén and her six-year-old daughter as they are walking to church on a road near Uppsala. Homicide detective Ann Lindell and her colleagues suspect successful businessman Sven-Erik Cederén, the victims’ husband and father, who has disappeared. The police soon discover that Sven-Erik kept a mistress, owned foreign property, and engaged in shady business dealings, and yet odd inconsistencies strain the seemingly open-and-shut case. Eriksson smoothly shifts among the troubled minds of those affected by the deaths, including Sven-Erik’s gentle lover. Lindell’s empathy for the murdered woman (unlocked by Josefin’s poignant diary) tends to drift into pining for stoic builder Edvard Risberg, threatening to funnel the book’s emotional momentum away from the Cederéns. Still, readers who prefer measured, character-driven procedurals to gore or wisecracks will be entranced. (Nov.)