I have to admit, that I actually planned on reading this trilogy in one swoop – but after I finished the first book I had to put the other two aside for some time. There is something in the writing style of those two Scandinavian authors that gave me at some point the creeps. No doubt, Jerker Eriksson and Håkan Axlander Sundquist – the two men behind Erik Axl Sund – have a very unique and special way of describing scenes as well as figures. There is a certain kind of psychological effect on what the single figures do and say, that isn´t always easy to take.

The Crow Girl*
by Erik Axl Sund
Victoria Bergman Trilogy #1
Publisher Knopf Doubleday on June 14, 2016
Genre Thriller
Pages 784
Format Hardcover
Source Library

It begins in a Stockholm city park where the abused body of a young boy is discovered. Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg heads the investigation, battling an apathetic prosecutor and a bureaucratic police force unwilling to devote resources to solving the murder of an immigrant child. But with the discovery of the mutilated corpses of two more children, it becomes clear that a serial killer is at large.
Superintendent Kihlberg turns to therapist Sofia Zetterlund for her expertise in the psychopathology of those who kill, and the lives of the two women become quickly intertwined – professionally and personally. As they draw closer to each other and to the truth about the killings, what surfaces is the undeniable fact that these murders are only the most obvious evidence of an insidious evil woven deep into Swedish society.
The cruel fund of a mummified little boy in a trash bag calls Commissioner Jeanette Kihlberg to a place and into a case, she rather wouldn´t be part of the investigation. She´s not doing her job since yesterday, but the facts she´s revealing day after day are not easy to take. And the competent federal prosecutor doesn´t make her work any easier. Only when the psychologist Sofia Zetterlund steps into the scene, the facts start to build a picture. A picture that is so brutal and shocking and which shows that a pedophiliac ring with his complete forgathered view of things is more involved than anyone could wish for.

Morbid, restrained and with a here and there very confusing and depressing writing- and language style; this thriller is none you can just read, finish and then forget. Their style is something you really need to get used to. You will have pages in front of you where they write clear and the sentences are reduced to what is absolutely necessary – almost telegraphic. And then there are pages where the reader gets information en masse. The story is brought to the reader by an independent narrator which creates a distance between the reader and the thriller, which doesn´t make it sometimes easy to follow the events.

The Crow Girl is clearly not for those readers, who like thrillers which are in some way light and easy. This thriller shows a very weird picture of the Scandinavian society and that picture doesn´t seem to fit in our modern times. As unaccustomed as their writing style is, their psychology has finesse, no doubt about that. The plot is a very explosive topic that in our present society; no matter which country you´re in, is rather hushed then put out in the open: pedophilia. Erik Axl Sund shows the darkest sides of this morbid tendency and lets the appalled reader up close see how sick and twisted the mindset and sight of those men is, and that even the draconian consequences not change anything.

All in all, I can say, that every reader, who likes a dark, complex and depressing plot and the Scandinavian style, in general, will find in The Crow Girl the perfect book. And everyone who can read beyond the, a bit sticky first half of this book will be rewarded with a good successful final third.

But I have to give you a warning: if you´re extremely sensitive when it comes to sexual abuse of children and their psychological outcome for the person concerned and their families, then you´re better advised to keep your fingers oFf this book. The author duo extenuated nothing and shows the blackest side of society, in particular, the one, of men.

Happy reading

*This book was published Das Krähenmädchen in Germany on July 21, 2014, by Goldmann.

Erik Axl Sund
©Per Hemstroem

Erik Axl Sund is the pseudonym of the Swedish author duo Jerker Eriksson and Håkan Axlander Sundquist. Håkan is sound engineer, musician, and artist. Jerker is the producer of Håkan´s electro-punk band “iloveyoubaby!” and works as a librarian at a prison. Together they wrote the Victoria-Bergman-Trilogy, for which they were decorated in 2012 with the Special Award of the Swedish Crime academy.



  1. This book sounds like it had a unique style to it. I doubt I could handle it. I am all for 3rd person narration but I don't usually enjoy books that have a narrator like style. This sounds pretty dark. Anyways, thanks for reviewing it. The cover is gorgeous.

  2. Hi Karen, thanks for reading my review :-) This thriller was recommended to me by the woman who works at my local library. She knows that I am a book reviewer and wanted to know what I thought of it. Actually I kind of envy the US for that cover. The German cover looks completely strange *smile*


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