Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{March 3, 2013}   {ARC Review} Room No. 10 by Åke Edwardson

15803174From Goodreads: A YOUNG WOMAN IS DISCOVERED hanged in a room in a decrepit hotel, and Gothenburg’s Chief Inspector Erik Winter must try to figure out what happened. As Winter looks around, he realizes that he was in the same hotel room many years earlier, when it was the last known location of a woman who subsequently disappeared and was never found. The two women seem to have nothing in common except for this hotel room, but Winter suspects that there may be other connections. The young woman’s parents are bereft and unable to explain the puzzling contents of a note she left behind. Winter, however, senses that they are holding back some secret that might help him to find her murderer. As he pursues his hunch and digs into the old police report on the woman who disappeared—one of his first cases as a young detective—Winter becomes increasingly convinced that the two cases are somehow related. Room No. 10 is a first-rate thriller, suffused with the gray seaside beauty of Gothenburg and filled with the characters that Åke Edwardson’s readers have come to love: Winter, the veteran detective who veers between pessimism and optimism but never gives up; Bertil Ringmar, the methodical old-timer whose analytical mind keeps everyone focused; hotheaded Fredrik Halders, whose temper sometimes overwhelms his passion for justice; and Aneta Djanali, Halders’s girlfriend, an immigrant from Burkina Faso whose ability to talk to other women can open new leads. As compelling as they are dedicated, they are an unforgettable team determined to find a bizarre killer.


I’m sorry to say that this novel isn’t for me.  The back and forth style just didn’t do it for me this time, whereas I usually love it.  I think the fact that Edwardson meshed the murders together made it somewhat difficult for me to follow along, whereas one moment Winter is a seasoned detective investigating the murder of a young woman found dead in a seedy motel, and the next he is a babe on his first detective detail, investigating the disappearance of a woman from the same room in the hotel, ten years in the past.  Normally I really enjoy jumping between past and present, but in this novel, it did nothing but confuse me.  I’m not sure if it’s perhaps the translation that makes the transitions choppy, or if it’s just Edwardson’s writing style, but either way, I didn’t really enjoy the story, overall.  It moved at a very slow pace, and I really felt like Winter and his team were getting nowhere.  Add in my inability to connect with any of the multiple characters, all of whom left me feeling extremely uninterested in their plights, and I have to say this novel just isn’t for me.  One star.

1 star

Simon and Schuster have been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on March 5, 2013.


Denise Z says:

I have not read this, but am currently reading a book with a similar style of writing and it is very difficult for me to forge through. I am stubborn and will continue on, but the going back and forth makes it an effort to read. Sorry this one turned out like this, has an interesting synopsis. Thank you for sharing.

I was saddened to note it wasn’t for me. :(

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