As I mentioned in a previous review, I was initially interested in these books after watching the US TV series Backstrom, which is based on the Bäckström books by Leif G.W. Persson.
In the television series Bäckström is portrayed as socially awkward, rude, impetuous, a rule-breaker, sloppy, lazy and bit of a detective genius. He still has a soft side though, although it doesn’t come out very often.
In the books Bäckström is a bigot, a homophobe, a racist, he is rude, thinks rules don’t apply to him, is lazy and he often takes the credit when others do his job well. At least in this case he does.
There isn’t really anything likeable about the guy. Frankly I am surprised he doesn’t get his teeth knocked in at least weekly, but then again a lot of his conversations are inner dialogues with himself.
Just to put his ego a little into perspective, he calls his appendage his super salami. He also expects others to be in awe and grateful when his it shows interest in someone.
Persson seems to create a lot of superfluous threads, that appear to have no other purpose but to fill pages. The case and plot also appear to lack any kind of structure, however I wonder if that was the intention.
Persson is a profiler and well-equipped to write from experience and put a realistic spin on everything. Perhaps the needle in the haystack scenario is a much more precise description of a crime like this. No solutions, suspects or perpetrator, despite testing hundreds of DNA profiles. Sometimes you get a lucky break, make a connection or find the needle and other times you don’t.
It is Nordic Noir in every sense of the word and is certainly worth the reading experience.