For a moment his mind went blank, then spiralled, grasping for meaning. He could hear the silence that followed like the roar of waves crashing against rocks on the shore below. He smiled. He rarely smiled. He smiled because he was morbidly amused. He was engaged, curious, and pleasantly aggravated at the absence of subtlety. “I don’t feel very threatened,” he said. “He intends to kill me as well. He is a serial killer.”While Karen’s “voice” tells him to to be careful with this woman and to not take the case, Harry cannot help but agreeing to find the woman’s son (whom she blames for the death of her three daughters and several other women), and bring him to justice, thus saving both their lives.Harry begins a lengthy investigation into past police files concerning the deaths of the three Ghiberti girls, and in another story twist, he comes face to face with Bernd (in Toronto) who tells Harry it is all a big misunderstanding and that his mother won’t be needing his services any longer. Now even more confused but all the more intrigued, Harry travels to Iceland, Sweden and the Fårö Islands following Birgitta and Bernd, looking for answers as to why and how the Ghiberti’s became so dysfunctional as a family and how Bernd’s sisters and the other young women became his (?) victims (they all froze to death with no signs of a struggle). Mr. Moss writes the plot in such a way that we are as drawn into the mystery as is Harry.
“I’d give the first 2/3 of the book a 4/5, but the last part 1 or 2/5. So many murders, so many potential serial killers working in cahoots or not, so much ping-ponging around with the protagonist(s) making psychological assumptions… in the end I don’t know who was guilty of what.”I really enjoyed the concept of a psychological (or even a philosophical) thriller, but I felt I required a course in Philosophy 101 to get most out of the references to Kafka, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein and others. The different countries, languages and place names along with peculiar police procedures (by Swedish policeperson Inspector Arnason and her gargoyle-like partner Constable Sverdrup) left me feeling somewhat alienated from the storyline and perplexed by events (as was Harry). Strange, too were the two silent, sedentary aged aunts living in the house on Fårö Island who recalled to mind the knitting women “guarding the door of Darkness” in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (a true psychological thriller if there ever was one). Nevertheless, there’s some very good writing by Mr. Moss here, and I am quite keen to read the second book in the trilogy, Lindstrom’s Progress.(My review copy of Lindstrom Alone was supplied by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.)