In Harm’s Way by Viveca Sten

In Harm’s Way by Viveca Sten
Publisher: Amazon Crossing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

The body of world-famous journalist Jeanette Thiels is discovered the day after Christmas, frozen in a snow-covered garden just steps from her hotel on Sandhamn Island. Detective Thomas Andreasson finds it highly unlikely that it was some bizarre accident. After all, the relentless war-zone correspondent was no stranger to conflict and controversy—both professional and, of late, very personal. Who would want to see her dead is another story.

Enlisting the help of attorney Nora Linde, his longtime friend on holiday, Thomas is anxious for the answers. But he and Nora don’t have to look far. The clues are leading them closer to home than they imagined. Jeanette may have made a career out of exposing corruption at the highest levels of world power, but she was also a woman with secrets of her own, and they’re coming to light on Sandhamn. For Thomas and Nora, unearthing the deeply rooted deceptions behind Jeanette’s death could now put those closest to her in harm’s way, too.

When a famous Swedish journalist’s body is found just a short distance outside her hotel room, frozen in the Christmas snow, Detective Thomas Andreasson’s own festive season is suddenly cut short. As they investigate the work and private life surrounding the journalist a number of different theories quickly show the woman lived a brave – almost reckless – life. Can they work out who wanted this journalist dead enough to do something about it so callously?

This is an excellent addition to the series, and I found myself really enjoying this book. While it’s a number of stories into the series I strongly feel this book can stand very well alone on its own and readers new to this author shouldn’t be shy about picking it up. I thought the author did an excellent job very briefly explaining the relationships and various situations surrounding the main characters and how they all interact. I really enjoyed how that didn’t bog down the story or flow of the plot.

I could understand if some readers feel like the main thrust of the plot started off a little slow – but personally I enjoyed that we got to see a bit of the journalist and her character and circumstances before she was killed. I felt this added quite a bit to the atmosphere and actually kept me guessing as to what, exactly, had happened in the lead up to her death. I thought seeing things from her perspective (and not the killer’s) meant while the reader was witness to much of the main death, I found it kept a lot of the secrets and mystery intact and helped with the vibe of the whole situation.

Readers looking for a heavily action orientated story might find this book is somewhat lacking – this is more of a police procedural style of story and uncovering all the secrets and the various character’s motives bit by bit and not in a rush. I also enjoyed that the plotline surrounding Nora – Thomas’ long-term friend and the other main character – was very well handled and meshed well to my mind with the main murder mystery.

I feel this is a very well-paced and well written murder mystery with an interesting set of characters and a solid plot. I enjoyed the police procedural aspect to the story and loved all the Scandinavian details. A good book, and a series I am enjoying.

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