Fatal Crossing

Written by Lone Theils

Review written by LJ Hurst

Initially, L. J. Hurst worked in the backrooms of the media industry. He now divides his time between work for an international scientific publisher and a rather more British independent bookseller. In years past he was a regular attendee at the Shots on the Page Festivals from whence Shots Mag sprung


Fatal Crossing
Arcadia Books
RRP: £8.99
Released: June 4 2017
PBK

Nora Sand, Danish investigative reporter based in London, makes a visit to the seaside, finds some photographs in a junk shop, is able to connect them with girls missing from a past trip to England and then links the modus operandi to a serial killer now in a high security prison somewhere in central England. Very tidy – or would be if the villain had not already been behind bars when the girls disappeared.

What else do we have – the vanishing party were a group of troubled teenagers on an outing supposedly supervised by Danish social services. Nora Sands, who has an old boyfriend who might be a stalker or her destiny, is the journalist and she secures an interview with Bill Hix, the villain. If there is one thing that Nora does not have it is a woman’s intuition: the guard who let her interview Hix seemed dodgy. It’s him that Hix swaps places with to escape (mind you, Hannibal Lecter swapped places with a few guards and they could never have been called his accomplices. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt). Then Nora gets the ‘phone call. She is a woman in danger!

Earlier this year we had Samual Bjork’s THE OWL ALWAYS HUNTS IN DARKNESS, which involved troubled youth and their social workers, plus a bit of international travel. Ultimately, though, all Scandinavian crime which revolves around a disappearance is going to hit the wall of comparison with ROSEANNA, the first Martin Beck novel, about a girl missing from a boat. FATAL CROSSING, I am afraid, is not distinctive enough.

I am also puzzled by the translation – events revolve around a seaside town named ‘Brine’. I am not sure if that was its name in the original Danish, or a translation of something in Danish but it does not sound like an English place name. Think of Seasalter or Salcombe, but even towns with brine spas and baths are not called Brine. I wonder if  FATAL CROSSING could be re-worked?



           



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