Amy Myers is known for her short stories and historical novels featuring Victorian chef Auguste Didier and chimney sweep Tom Wasp. Her contemporary series features classic car detective Jack Colby, and she is currently working on a new 1920s mystery series featuring Nell Drury, chef at Kent’s Wychbourne Court.
Lifetime, set in Sweden, is the eighth in Liza Marklund’s best-selling series featuring journalist Annika Bengtzon.
Annika’s occupation is a familiar one in fiction, but Annika stands out as a character, battling not only with her job but with the day to day problems caused by a crumbling marriage and her house burning down. She is a rounded character: she makes mistakes, she doubts herself, but still she struggles on – and so takes the reader with her.
Annika is not on the scene throughout and the story is launched without her immediate presence. Nina Hoffman is in control of the police patrol car closest to the location from which an emergency call has been made, the home of Julia and David Lindholm. Nina is aghast, however, as she knows the couple well – or so she believes. Her worst fears are confirmed when David is found savagely murdered and Julia in deep shock. Their four year old son has disappeared. Nina is caught between police procedure and her own emotions as the story develops, and the pressure is all the more intense as the police are set on finding the guilty party as soon as possible because David was one of their own. Annika, who had met both Nina and Julia at the scene of a savage triple murder several years earlier, sets out to interview Nina and then follows up the case to find out the truth behind the Lindholm murder.
The pace intensifies as the plot becomes more intricate and the author’s attention to detail in creating a believable everyday life around Annika’s pursuit of the truth compels the reader’s attention. Long may Annika battle on.