Actually, I had planned on reading this trilogy in one single swoop – but after the first book The Crow Girl, it became quite clear to me, that I had to put some time between each of those books. After the first one I was in a very strange mood and it took me a few days to get my head clear again. The second book now, which was, at the time this review was written, not available in English, turned out to be a bit easier to take – but nonetheless, it had its impact on me as well. The author duo Jerker Eriksson and Håkan Axlander Sundquist are two Scandinavian men who dig deep into the darkest and sickest parts of a human soul. Ancient religion is a huge factor in the plot and builds the excuse for those men in the story to do what they do; terrible, cruel, and devastating things.

by Erik Axl Sund
Victoria Bergman Trilogy #2
Publisher Goldmann on September 9, 2014
Genre Thriller
Pages 512
Format Paperback
Source Library

A businessman gets killed. Jeanette Kihlberg investigates with the help of psychologist Sofia. But who is Sofia really?
Jeanette Kihlberg´s investigation in a murder series on small boys in Stockholm is temporarily put on hold, as a senior businessman is assassinated in a bestial fashion. They think it is an act of revenge – but revenge for what? Psychologist Sofia Zetterlund is asked to create an offender profile but then further assassinations happen. And they seem to be connected with Victoria Bergman. And during the investigations lead to Denmark, Sofia suffers more frequently impaired consciousness … (personal translation by ©Vi at Inkvotary)
Victoria seems to be a ghost. And yet she is very present and makes Sofia´s life a living hell. Because Sofia knows that Victoria is a part of herself – the dark one. A very, very dark one. Sofia has times during her day where she seems to be in a kind of blank space. She simply can´t say what she did during those phases or where she was. Her smart brain tells her, that something is very wrong, and that she has to face a time of her past she wants more than anything else to forget. And during someone kills various men and women around town, Sofia starts to deal with her brutal past and the things she has become.

Like the first one, this second book is brought to the reader by an independent narrator which creates a certain distance between the thriller and the reader. The writing style is clear and the sentences mostly are reduced to what is absolutely necessary. And then you find pages, where you get information about the scenery and places en masse. Both authors use a very morbid and restrained way of telling things. You could call it sometimes a bit dry but nonetheless interesting. The first thing you notice is their style – you really need to get used to it. But there is a little different in this book to the first one. Now the reader senses that two characters are the same person and that one part of that figure does very cruel things while the other lives an ordinary life. The wit about it, one part of that character with the two different personalities inside actually helps Jeanette Kihlberg to do her job – to get the killer.

Pedophilia is the main thing here, the central motive that draws the entire story. A very hot theme, something society rather keeps silent about it than bringing it out into the open. In Narbenkind it is done in the name of an ancient religion, and God is the excuse for everything. What can be so wrong about loving his own daughter like a man loves his wife? Isn´t that the purest love of all; the most precious a man and woman can give each other? Brrroah! I am getting the creeps only by writing about it, so sick is that.

Erik Axl Sund has created a perfidious net of passion, sick emotions, and thoughts and some wives who rather keep their eyes shut and live in denial than to stand up for their children. Money seems to be the key that excuses what their husbands do. And when they start to see and act to get things at least a bit right, they get killed.
Psychological finesse and some great characters make this thriller a nice read. They play very well together have their problems and their moments. I don´t agree with everything they do, but even in the weirdest situations, it seems to fit.

Jeanette is in the middle of a dirty separation, her husband lives with his new and much younger girlfriend and her son suffers very much under the new situation. He is actually the one who sees behind Sofia´s façade, knows her real face and that is more than he can take. To see how he and his mother are dealing with everything, how they start to fall apart, and what they do to get back on track again is shown in a very dry but also emotional way.

This thriller is sooooo sick. Sick. SICK. The first part of this trilogy was hard to take, but this second part – even harder.

If you have an issue with child abuse, sexual abuse, and torture you better keep your hands off.

Happy reading

*I read the German edition and at the time of review, there was no English edition available. The summary is a personal translation by me.

Erik Axl Sund
©Per Hemstroem

Erik Axl Sund is the pseudonym of the Swedish author duo Jerker Eriksson and Håkan Axlander Sundquist. Håkan is a 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. 


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