The Quarry by Johan Theorin
Doubleday (paperback), 2011
BLURB FROM THE COVER
As the last snow melts on the Swedish island of Öland, Per Morner is preparing for his children’s Easter visit. But his plans are disrupted when he receives a phone call from his estranged father, Jerry, begging for help.
Per finds Jerry close to death in his blazing woodland studio. He’s been stabbed, and two dead bodies are later discovered in the burnt-out building.
The only suspect, Jerry’s work partner, is confirmed as one of the dead. But why does Jerry insist his colleague is still alive? And why does he think he’s still a threat to his life?
When Jerry dies in hospital a few days later, Per becomes determined to find out what really happened. But the closer he gets to the truth, the more danger he finds himself in.
And nowhere is more dangerous than the nearby quarry…
It was March in northern Oland, and the sun was shining on small, dirty-white snowdrifts as they slowly melted on the lawns at the residential homes for senior citizens in Marnas. Two blue flags fluttered in the breeze by the car-park – the Swedish flag with its yellow cross, and the flag of Oland with its golden stag. Both were flying at half-mast.
I enjoyed The Quarry. I read Theorin’s novel The Darkest Room a few months ago and really enjoyed it so I wanted to check out more of his work. The Quarry takes a while to get going and that’s the only real failing. I found the first fifty or so pages a bit of a drag. The pace eventually picks up and The Quarry develops into a pretty decent crime novel. The Quarry is nowhere near as good as The Darkest Room which was much creepier. The Quarry is one of those in-between novels where it’s not brilliant but not quite bad enough to be shit. The pacing is off at first and meanders all over the place and the characters took a while to get used because displayed weird reactions to series events. I liked the way Theorin combines elves, trolls and porn (not as weird as it sounds). I really liked the Swedish setting. Theorin really brings Oland to life. The Quarry may be the first novel I’ve read that deals with the porn industry. Theorin manages not to make this sleazy. I liked the twists and turns The Quarry took. Overall The Quarry is a decent Swedish crime mystery novel.