I don´t know what made me take this book home with me. The cover for sure was not the reason. And at home, I discovered after reading a few pages, that I was somehow familiar with it. And still, there were things to discover. It was a bit odd to read this book. Maybe it was because some things seemed quite familiar while others were completely new to me. And it was odd because Fredrika´s life is completely different presented in the TV series as it is in the books.

The Chosen
by Kristina Ohlsson
Fredrika Bergman & Alex Recht Series #5
Original Title Davidsstjärnor
Publisher Simon & Schuster Ltd. on December 31, 2015
Genre Thriller
Pages 584
Format Paperback
Source Library
On a cold winter´s day, a pre-school teacher is shot to death in front of parents and children at the Jewish Congregation in Stockholm. Just a few hours later two Jewish boys go missing on their way to tennis practice. A heavy snowstorm hits Stockholm and the traces of the perpetrator are few and far between. Fredrika Bergman and Alex Recht are faced with one of their toughest challenges every as they hunt for a killer that seems as merciless and he is effective. The leads in the investigation are many and diverse but in the end, they all point to the same place: Israel. Someone or something called the Paper Boy keeps popping up in the police investigation. But who was he really? And could he possibly have resurfaced in Stockholm, now claiming new victims?
A teacher is shot in bright daylight. Two boys go missing and their parents seem to hide something. Something Fredrika knows by instinct that she needs to know to not only solve the case but to find the missing boys too. But life is cruel, and this case is far more than she would have ever expected.

For whatever reason, I had some trouble reading this thriller. I didn´t realize at first, and for sure not while reading the summary at the library, that I´ve already seen the TV show that was made of some of the books of this series. The tone is very dark, gloomy and the plot sometimes very confusing. The author jumps back and forth in the story, starting with what turns out to be the end of the actual novel. I admit that I didn´t get it until the very end, that one figure in The Chosen was it who had to suffer the most. I know Kristina Ohlsson from her Martin Benner dilogy. Reading the first book was fun, though the second was not really mine. But with that first one in mind, I thought why not read other Kristina Ohlsson books as well. Guess, I will change my mind. 

The Chosen is different from the Martin Benner books. I somehow got irritated by the fact, that the main persons´ life is portrayed in the books in another way as in the TV series. Sure, that happens a lot and I shouldn´t talk about it, but here it bothered me for no obvious reason. The main figure is a mother, needs to be in control of everything, and even talking with her husband about vacation plans in the future is something she refuses vehemently. While reading more and more of the ongoing plot it became very obvious that there is another story behind the actual thriller. That there are things that better stay hidden. It is only sad that the thriller is over a very long time very confusing, that the things that happen in Stockholm aren´t presented in a more fascinating way. It all seems a bit dull. If the entire book would have been the way the last few chapters were, this would have become a full success. At least that´s how I see it. 

I liked it very much that the author gives you a very profound background picture of her figures concerning. You know after getting more and more into the story, that not everything is as easy and bright as some of them would like their environment to see it.

Fredrika is great at what she is doing. She sees things, others don´t, is asking questions others won´t, and thinks about everything in a different way. But when it comes to her private life, she is a mess. No matter what her husband wants to do, she always says no first. No to vacation, no to him doing business trips, no to everything. Her fear to lose him, to see him go away is not reasonable for me. Yes, she has a job that shows her the cruelest things every day, but is that seriously a reason to lock up your personal life in a box? 

It was kind of fascinating to watch all the figures do their thing. To see how they did everything within their power to keep their loved ones safe and sound. And that a cruel job is not everything in life, but family is all that matters.  

I am not sure if I will read the other books in this series as well. Maybe I am too affected by the tv series or the style she has here is just not mine. Or maybe the timing wasn´t the right one. I tried to keep my thoughts entirely focused on the book, and what I´ve read and seen (in my head) there. Guess, it didn´t work well. So I suggest you go and read the books yourself and judge for yourself.  

Happy reading

Kristina Ohlsson
Kristina Ohlsson ©Anna-Lena Ahlstrom

Kristina Ohlsson, born 1979, is one of Sweden´s most successful authors of crime fiction and children´s books. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked for the OSCE (the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe), the Swedish Security Service, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Her crime fiction novels about Fredrika Bergman have repeatedly been shortlisted for the Swedish Academy of Crime Writer´s Award for ´Best Crime Novel of the Year´ and featured prominently on bestseller lists all over the world. She won the 2010 Stabilo Prize for ´Best Crime Writer of Southern Sweden´ and established herself as highly popular author with a broad fan base of adults as well as children. The author lives in Stockholm.

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