Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Review: The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag

Title: The Wolf and the Watchman
Author: Niklas Natt och Dag
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date: March 5, 2019 (Today!)
Source: Publisher

What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "It is 1793. Four years after the storming of the Bastille in France and more than a year after the death of King Gustav III of Sweden, paranoia and whispered conspiracies are Stockholm’s daily bread. A promise of violence crackles in the air as ordinary citizens feel increasingly vulnerable to the whims of those in power.

When Mickel Cardell, a crippled ex-solider and former night watchman, finds a mutilated body floating in the city’s malodorous lake, he feels compelled to give the unidentifiable man a proper burial. For Cecil Winge, a brilliant lawyer turned consulting detective to the Stockholm police, a body with no arms, legs, or eyes is a formidable puzzle and one last chance to set things right before he loses his battle to consumption. Together, Winge and Cardell scour Stockholm to discover the body’s identity, encountering the sordid underbelly of the city’s elite. Meanwhile, Kristofer Blix—the handsome son of a farmer—leaves rural life for the alluring charms of the capital and ambitions of becoming a doctor. His letters to his sister chronicle his wild good times and terrible misfortunes, which lead him down a treacherous path.

In another corner of the city, a young woman—Anna-Stina—is consigned to the workhouse after she upsets her parish priest. Her unlikely escape plan takes on new urgency when a sadistic guard marks her as his next victim."

My Two Cents:

"The Wolf and the Watchman" is a gritty, noir of a historical mystery. Taking place in the late 1700s, we meet three characters: a watchman, a detective, and a woman trying to outrun a bad reputation. Each of their stories are initially told separately, giving sort of a short story feel to the book initially. Then the author brings them together for some shocking results that kept me reading. This book took a bit for me to see where it was going but it had some great action that kept me going until the pieces started coming together.

The writing of the book was good. The author uses a lot of description and I loved the way that he was able to weave so much into the background of the book. All the description really kept me going. I must say that some of it may prove a bit much for some readers; some of the descriptions may be too gritty. It worked really well for me though because it made me appreciate more what the characters are seeing and doing throughout the book.

I loved the sense of the scenery that the author created in this book. I haven't read all that much about Sweden and certainly not much at all set in this time period. I loved the dark world of Stockholm that the author created. He gives a lot of good detail and this book proved to be quite atmospheric. It does take awhile for all of the pieces to begin to come together (well over half of the book) and I did wish that it moved a bit faster but overall, this was still a good historical mystery!


1 comment:

  1. I like historical fiction and that this book is set in Sweden in that time period.


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