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What do the new arrivals on Sandhamn Island have to fear? Their own secrets—in this gripping novel of suspense by the bestselling author of In the Heat of the Moment. The new summer house on Sandhamn Island is an architectural dream for its owner, Carsten Jonsson. It’s a nightmare for the locals. The venture capitalist has flouted local traditions, property lines, and t What do the new arrivals on Sandhamn Island have to fear? Their own secrets—in this gripping novel of suspense by the bestselling author of In the Heat of the Moment. The new summer house on Sandhamn Island is an architectural dream for its owner, Carsten Jonsson. It’s a nightmare for the locals. The venture capitalist has flouted local traditions, property lines, and the natural beauty of the coastline. He’s also too wealthy and arrogant to heed the anonymous warnings to leave. The threats escalate when his guest lodge is burned to the ground and an unidentifiable corpse is found in the charred ruins.Detective Inspector Thomas Andreasson isn’t sure if it’s murder or a tragic accident. Until his friend attorney Nora Linde is drawn into the investigation. Nora’s emotional investment in Carsten’s fragile and fearful wife, Celia, is yielding a new level of suspicion: that the Jonssons are hiding more than anyone can imagine. Now Thomas and Nora must sift through the ashes of a puzzling crime and step into the shadows of a powerful family, whose deadly secrets are coming to light on Sandhamn.


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What do the new arrivals on Sandhamn Island have to fear? Their own secrets—in this gripping novel of suspense by the bestselling author of In the Heat of the Moment. The new summer house on Sandhamn Island is an architectural dream for its owner, Carsten Jonsson. It’s a nightmare for the locals. The venture capitalist has flouted local traditions, property lines, and t What do the new arrivals on Sandhamn Island have to fear? Their own secrets—in this gripping novel of suspense by the bestselling author of In the Heat of the Moment. The new summer house on Sandhamn Island is an architectural dream for its owner, Carsten Jonsson. It’s a nightmare for the locals. The venture capitalist has flouted local traditions, property lines, and the natural beauty of the coastline. He’s also too wealthy and arrogant to heed the anonymous warnings to leave. The threats escalate when his guest lodge is burned to the ground and an unidentifiable corpse is found in the charred ruins.Detective Inspector Thomas Andreasson isn’t sure if it’s murder or a tragic accident. Until his friend attorney Nora Linde is drawn into the investigation. Nora’s emotional investment in Carsten’s fragile and fearful wife, Celia, is yielding a new level of suspicion: that the Jonssons are hiding more than anyone can imagine. Now Thomas and Nora must sift through the ashes of a puzzling crime and step into the shadows of a powerful family, whose deadly secrets are coming to light on Sandhamn.

30 review for In the Shadow of Power

  1. 4 out of 5

    Linden

    It's always good news when one of my favorite Nordic Noir authors, Viveca Sten, has a book translated (by Marlaine Delargy) into English. Nora is back on the island of Sandhamn, where a wealthy venture capitalist has built a gigantic house which many of the locals consider an eyesore. He decides to throw a party to welcome himself and his family to the community--resentment is brewing, and there is a catastrophic fire and a death. Was the fire set by one of the angry locals, or is it somehow rel It's always good news when one of my favorite Nordic Noir authors, Viveca Sten, has a book translated (by Marlaine Delargy) into English. Nora is back on the island of Sandhamn, where a wealthy venture capitalist has built a gigantic house which many of the locals consider an eyesore. He decides to throw a party to welcome himself and his family to the community--resentment is brewing, and there is a catastrophic fire and a death. Was the fire set by one of the angry locals, or is it somehow related to his dealings with some shady Russian oligarchs? Recommended for anyone who enjoys a well-plotted mystery, particularly the Nordic Noir genre.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    I always enjoy the Sandhamn Murders books, and this one, the seventh in the series, is no exception. As usual, it’s a well-plotted mystery populated with well-drawn characters. As a veteran reader of the series, I also feel that I keep learning more and more about Sandhamn Island in the Stockholm archipelago. (I’d like to visit someday, although there do seem to be a lot of murders there for such a small place!) The story is set in 2013, more than four years after the events in In Harm’s Way, the I always enjoy the Sandhamn Murders books, and this one, the seventh in the series, is no exception. As usual, it’s a well-plotted mystery populated with well-drawn characters. As a veteran reader of the series, I also feel that I keep learning more and more about Sandhamn Island in the Stockholm archipelago. (I’d like to visit someday, although there do seem to be a lot of murders there for such a small place!) The story is set in 2013, more than four years after the events in In Harm’s Way, the previous book in the series. Sten has shaken things up a little, as there have been a few changes in the lives of the main characters. Nora Linde has left her bank job to work as a prosecutor with the Economic Crimes Authority. She describes Jonas Sköld as her partner, and they have a daughter, Julia. Detective Inspector Thomas Andreasson has a new police partner, Aram Gorgis, because his former partner, Margit Grankvist, has been promoted. Erik Blom has left the police force for the private sector, and Thomas is tempted to follow him. The story involves a move to Sandhamn by a wealthy couple, Carsten and Celia Jonsson, and their children. The couple has built a large spectacular house on the shore at Fryudden, which has alienated some of the neighbors who are offended by the Jonssons’ disregard of longstanding local Sandhamn traditions. Soon after they move in, Carsten Jonsson decides to hold a big party with some 140 guests to revel in his success and show off his house. But the party leads to tragedy when the newly built guest lodge on the property is burned to the ground and an unidentified corpse is found inside. Thomas and Aram and their team have to figure out what happened? An accident? Arson? Murder? Numerous factors make it difficult to untangle the mystery, among them Carsten Jonsson’s arrogance and lack of cooperation, along with reports of threats and harassment against the Jonssons by neighbors. Meanwhile, Nora senses that there’s trouble in the Jonssons’ marriage and she tries to befriend Celia. She is also a resource for Thomas due to both her extensive knowledge of Sandhamn and her legal expertise. This is a nice change from the previous couple of books, in which Nora seemed to have been shunted off to the side a little bit. I thought that this book started out a little slow, with a lot of exposition as Sten set the scene and introduced the characters (or, in the case of the regulars, re-introduced them and set up the changes in their lives). But the pace picked up about a third of the way through and culminated in an exciting adrenalin rush at the climax. I was kept guessing about the solution to the mystery almost to the end, and I think most other readers will be too.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Joann

    This is the 7th book in this series and there is one more to go. I don't know if there are anymore in this series, but I hope so. I am enjoying these murder mysteries and I've come to enjoy the lives of the two main characters of Thomas and his best friend, Nora. The only thing that perplexed me was why the helicopter went down to the wrong house on Sandhamn?. We have a really nasty man in this episode who builds a beautiful large home on Sandhamn but is hated by almost all the residents who liv This is the 7th book in this series and there is one more to go. I don't know if there are anymore in this series, but I hope so. I am enjoying these murder mysteries and I've come to enjoy the lives of the two main characters of Thomas and his best friend, Nora. The only thing that perplexed me was why the helicopter went down to the wrong house on Sandhamn?. We have a really nasty man in this episode who builds a beautiful large home on Sandhamn but is hated by almost all the residents who live there. And yes again, a resident of the island is killed so I wonder if there will be anyone left on this island? This one featured Thomas's friend and colleague but I did miss Thomas being the lead. I sure hope he gets out of his doldrums and comes to life again. Another enjoyable listen. The voice in this series is very pleasant to listen to.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Javier

    I've been a sucker for Nordic Noir literature for so long that when I discovered Viveca Sten's "Sandhamn Murders" series a year ago I was sooo excited. I devoured the first six books in the series, and when I saw book 7 on Netgalley I jumped at the chance to read it before publication. This time we meet Thomas and Nora several years after the end of book 6, and I think that was a total success on the part of the author, cause we can see how the main characters have evolved and how they manage th I've been a sucker for Nordic Noir literature for so long that when I discovered Viveca Sten's "Sandhamn Murders" series a year ago I was sooo excited. I devoured the first six books in the series, and when I saw book 7 on Netgalley I jumped at the chance to read it before publication. This time we meet Thomas and Nora several years after the end of book 6, and I think that was a total success on the part of the author, cause we can see how the main characters have evolved and how they manage their new lives : Nora's new family and work situation, Thomas' midlife crisis trying to decide if he still wants to be a policeman... Several other authors should take note and do the same to their series so they don't stall. In this instance, the story got off to a slow start till the dead body appears at 40% of the book. It was interesting reading about the Jonsson family dynamics, and how money and a feeling of power can affect you. The tension kept building nicely towards the end making it impossible for me to stop reading. Once again the author brings to life a wonderful Swedish setting with a cast of characters you can't help to hold dear. Can't wait for the next book in the series! Thanks to Netgalley and Amazon Crossing for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ken Fredette

    We're given the reason for all the fires and people killed in the first chapter. You only had to know who the people were and the name changes to figure this out. Fat chance in remembering. I like the way Viveca sets us up with this, it happens every book so far. We're given Carsten Jonsson and his wife Celia as the new kids on the block to make the story whole. Carsten is an investment banker who has made investments in Russia in the oil and gas industry. He has built his house before his inves We're given the reason for all the fires and people killed in the first chapter. You only had to know who the people were and the name changes to figure this out. Fat chance in remembering. I like the way Viveca sets us up with this, it happens every book so far. We're given Carsten Jonsson and his wife Celia as the new kids on the block to make the story whole. Carsten is an investment banker who has made investments in Russia in the oil and gas industry. He has built his house before his investment is sound and has invited everyone on the island to come to his house warming. Nora is involved with Celia and the children and with finding the truth about Carsten while Thomas, who's Nora friend is involved with the house fire and the death of a man. Agaton who's Carsten's neighbor has complained and had the local authorities bring things against Carsten. The story basically brings all these things to light and it goes on from there. I haven't talked about other characters but it's important you know all the people to resolve this mystery and to solve it. I like that Viveca lets us get involved with the other characters and she lets us know what happens to them. I would recommend this book to my people who follow my reviews.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bebe (Sarah) Brechner

    Fans have eagerly awaited this next story, the seventh, in the excellent Sandhamn mystery series. Set in the fascinating Stockholm archipelago, the charming island and its culture of Sandhamm are the stars of these mysteries involving lawyer Nora and her childhood friend police detective Thomas. It's really a perfect match of characters, every time. The story places Nora and Thomas a few years past the last installment. A Swedish expat millionaire is building a summer home on the island for his Fans have eagerly awaited this next story, the seventh, in the excellent Sandhamn mystery series. Set in the fascinating Stockholm archipelago, the charming island and its culture of Sandhamm are the stars of these mysteries involving lawyer Nora and her childhood friend police detective Thomas. It's really a perfect match of characters, every time. The story places Nora and Thomas a few years past the last installment. A Swedish expat millionaire is building a summer home on the island for his family, but conflicts start up, both with his neighbors and his job. His financial investment is now involving Russian speculation, and his empire is teetering. Sten brings her legal background into play, as well as maintaining a welcomed domestic feel to the story. Fans have seen Nora and Thomas through their ups and downs with their work, families, children, and spouses in a most realistic way. Issues such as divorce, death, estrangement, sexual harassment, environment, and tradition are subtly addressed, Sten allows her protagonists to have conflicts, doubts, and successes that make this series especially rewarding to readers. And, again, the beautiful Swedish setting and interesting culture are vividly brought to life in Sten's skillful and sensitive writing. Highly recommended! And to the author, please continue this excellent series!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Achour

    Amazing read! I came across this book via Ken, one of my Goodread's friends who highly recommended "In the shadow of power". I liked his review and his thoughts about the book. As usual in Nordic litterature, the novel starts slowly and the author takes all her time to set up the plot. The context is introduced and described thouroughly. "In the shadow of power" is brilliantly written, full of suspense and wonderful characters. I hope there is more to come soon from Viveca Sten. Amazing read! I came across this book via Ken, one of my Goodread's friends who highly recommended "In the shadow of power". I liked his review and his thoughts about the book. As usual in Nordic litterature, the novel starts slowly and the author takes all her time to set up the plot. The context is introduced and described thouroughly. "In the shadow of power" is brilliantly written, full of suspense and wonderful characters. I hope there is more to come soon from Viveca Sten.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jan Lehman

    Slow start big finish Just love this series I look forward to each one. The question is,why? The main characters are very likeable but only partially intertwined. Each main character has his/her own story at some point they intermingled and it works. This particular story built ,ever so slowly which in the end climax with a page turn in g finish, well done.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Carsten Jonsson builds a huge, showy house on Sandhamm Island, using his money and power to ignore local customs and property lines. After a party he throws to show off his home, a fire is set and a dead body is found that is beyond recognition. Detective Inspector Thomas Andreasson with help from his friend, attorney Nora Linde, must determine if this was deliberate murder or a terrible accident. The dynamics in the Jonsson family, along with Carsten's reputation for shady business dealings, ma Carsten Jonsson builds a huge, showy house on Sandhamm Island, using his money and power to ignore local customs and property lines. After a party he throws to show off his home, a fire is set and a dead body is found that is beyond recognition. Detective Inspector Thomas Andreasson with help from his friend, attorney Nora Linde, must determine if this was deliberate murder or a terrible accident. The dynamics in the Jonsson family, along with Carsten's reputation for shady business dealings, make it difficult to determine suspects and possible motives for the crime. I have read three of the prior books in this series and liked each one. After reading the first couple of chapters, I quickly became reacquainted with the main characters. I came into the middle of the series, so I think new readers could pick this book up and enjoy it just as much. Sten is a skilled writer and although clues were given, I was surprised when the killer and the motive was ultimately revealed. The book opens with a little boy being bullied at school and I tried to figure out the identity of that unknown boy and how it fit in with the rest of the story, but I guessed incorrectly. Carsten and Celia's story was interesting and heartbreaking and I didn't guess the extent of what Carsten was capable of. His business dealings with Russia were also presented in an interesting way that adds to the story. The best parts of this series are the beautiful setting, the individual characters of Thomas and Nora, and the close, platonic friendship they share. They are believable characters as they try their best to succeed in their jobs, raise their families, and make a difference in the world. It's refreshing that Thomas and Nora get along so well together and make a great investigative team, but have their own separate romantic lives. Nora has had her ups and downs in the prior books I've read, but things are currently going well for her. Thomas is feeling burned out in his job and is considering making a change. The investigation builds and ends with a dramatic and scary scene that had me on the edge of my seat. Even though the main plot is resolved by the end of the book, both Thomas and Nora have unanswered questions in their lives. While I'm waiting for the next book to come out, I am going to go back and read some of the earlier books in the series that I missed. I recommend this book and the entire series for readers who enjoy Camilla Lackberg or Leena Lehtolainen. I received this book from NetGalley through the courtesy of Amazon Crossing. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mystica

    Set on an island in Sweden the residents are established old hands at island life. They are not happy with the newcomers who have built a monstrosity of a house on this island, ignoring local rules and regulations. There is a feeling of unrest running through the community at the brashness and overpowering aggression of the newcomers but notwithstanding that a house warming party ensures that everyone attends to gawp and look at how the other side lives. When on the opening day itself a fire brea Set on an island in Sweden the residents are established old hands at island life. They are not happy with the newcomers who have built a monstrosity of a house on this island, ignoring local rules and regulations. There is a feeling of unrest running through the community at the brashness and overpowering aggression of the newcomers but notwithstanding that a house warming party ensures that everyone attends to gawp and look at how the other side lives. When on the opening day itself a fire breaks out in the guest house adjoining the main house and the charred body of a man is found, it is no longer simply a matter of grumbling neighbours. The police called in no that the owner Carsten has many enemies - he is rude and overbearing even to the police and not co operative at all. Unknown to the islanders Carsten is facing his own demons and is facing financial ruin. The story develops slowly but it is very apparent that Carsten is heading for a breakdown mentally and with that he will take his family down as well. His wife Celia is not the most loved of people either but the two young children are in danger and the story builds up to a crisis very well. The characters are well rounded and believable and the island is described simply and well.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    In this installment, Thomas ponders his future--will he seize an opportunity or remain on the force? A man chooses Sandhamn to build his monstrosity home, infringing upon other people's right-of-ways. When a building which housed his construction workers goes up in flames and a charred corpse turns up in the ashes, the team including Thomas goes in to investigate. No persons matching the victim's description appear missing, but with so many persons apparently withholding information, the situati In this installment, Thomas ponders his future--will he seize an opportunity or remain on the force? A man chooses Sandhamn to build his monstrosity home, infringing upon other people's right-of-ways. When a building which housed his construction workers goes up in flames and a charred corpse turns up in the ashes, the team including Thomas goes in to investigate. No persons matching the victim's description appear missing, but with so many persons apparently withholding information, the situation lacks clarity. Nora, living on Sandhamn, attended the party the night of the fire, but her efforts to befriend the family fail. A newer investigator Aram played a key role in this installment. Margit stayed behind most of the time, only appearing in briefings and at the station. I put my finger on what did not work for me in this story. With the mystery not told from the perspective of a single person, the reader witnesses too much action first-hand. While the reader does not necessarily know the identity of the person committing the crime, more of the story needs to come from the detective or from Nora. (view spoiler)[Readers must wait until the next installment to learn Thomas' decision. (hide spoiler)]

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kaye

    Reading a new installment of a favorite series is like visiting an old friend, or having a fond family reunion -- and Viveca Sten's Sandhamn books are no exception. Set in the Stockholm archipelago, these books carry a sort of English-village mood: a little bit Old World, and a bit of 21st-Century cosmopolitan vibe, thanks to the proximity of Stockholm by ferry. Readers who have been with this series from the beginning have grown to love the matchless setting, the loyal friendship between attorn Reading a new installment of a favorite series is like visiting an old friend, or having a fond family reunion -- and Viveca Sten's Sandhamn books are no exception. Set in the Stockholm archipelago, these books carry a sort of English-village mood: a little bit Old World, and a bit of 21st-Century cosmopolitan vibe, thanks to the proximity of Stockholm by ferry. Readers who have been with this series from the beginning have grown to love the matchless setting, the loyal friendship between attorney Nora and policeman Thomas, and the culture clash between the traditions of the island-dwellers and the entitlement of the tourists who flood in during the season. In this outing, a venture capitalist builds an ostentatious summer home on the island, spending obscene amounts of cash and social capital in an effort to impress. He's definitely not a nice guy, so when someone sets a deadly fire on his property, there are plenty of suspects. Thomas is dispatched from Stockholm to investigate the crime, unaware that his friend Nora was at the party where the fire was set. The two work together again seamlessly, with Nora's civilian status and empathetic personality giving her access to people, places and situations denied to Thomas. I enjoyed this book, as I have the previous six, but was still startled at a couple of sudden, unexplained references to earlier events and characters (in one case, to a child who had died, without so much as a sentence to clarify. I had a "where did that come from" moment-- and I've read all the books!) Thanks to NetGalley for an advance readers copy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hannelore Cheney

    Thank you NetGalley and AmazonCrossing for the eARC. Always looking forward to the new Sandhamn, I was delighted to read no. 7 in the series. Nora is back on Sandhamn with her partner and their daughter. Her boys are on vacation with their father. It's several years after the 6th in the series and a wealthy Swede is building an enormous mansion on the island and a lot of the population is unhappy because he's not adhering to the standards of the island, due to the size of of the house and its clos Thank you NetGalley and AmazonCrossing for the eARC. Always looking forward to the new Sandhamn, I was delighted to read no. 7 in the series. Nora is back on Sandhamn with her partner and their daughter. Her boys are on vacation with their father. It's several years after the 6th in the series and a wealthy Swede is building an enormous mansion on the island and a lot of the population is unhappy because he's not adhering to the standards of the island, due to the size of of the house and its closeness to the water. He's expecting to close a deal with a Russian conglomerate and to float a company on the New York stock exchange. Things don't go to plan and after he has thrown himself a lavish welcome party his guesthouse is burned to the ground killing an unknown man, this after other nasty incidents which show how unhappy anonymous people are with his project. Are these acts committed by locale or is it the Russians trying to thwart his business plans? He's looking at losing everything and losing his mind at the same time and his family is suffering at his hands. Thomas and his police partner are trying to untangle the mess, with some help from his good friend Nora. As usual, I enjoyed the book and can't wait for no. 8!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Neil Plakcy

    I really enjoy the mix of police procedural and amateur sleuth in the Sandhamm books. It's interesting to get both perspectives as police inspector Thomas collects all the facts, and his best friend Nora Linde, a banker and now a bank investigator, provides her personal insights based on her knowledge of the island and its people. It's Scandinavian but not noir, which makes it unique in the market. And though sometimes it takes too long to get to the case, the relationships are fascinating. I really enjoy the mix of police procedural and amateur sleuth in the Sandhamm books. It's interesting to get both perspectives as police inspector Thomas collects all the facts, and his best friend Nora Linde, a banker and now a bank investigator, provides her personal insights based on her knowledge of the island and its people. It's Scandinavian but not noir, which makes it unique in the market. And though sometimes it takes too long to get to the case, the relationships are fascinating.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mary Smith

    well, I wasn't sure at all where this one was going. But entirely worth the read. Current mysteries always worth it when it involves Russians. And big money. And totally alienating neighbors on small islands. well, I wasn't sure at all where this one was going. But entirely worth the read. Current mysteries always worth it when it involves Russians. And big money. And totally alienating neighbors on small islands.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    5 stars Carsten Johnsson has purchased a plot of land on Sandhamn. He is building a fabulous home on the property – and also fencing off access to the beaches, in direct opposition to the traditions of Sandhamn. The neighbors are angry. Carsten doesn't care what the locals think. He is arrogant, condescending and outspoken about his distaste for the traditions of the community. He is headed for a fall. Carsten is a wheeler/dealer in the stock market. He has a huge deal on the go with a Russian fi 5 stars Carsten Johnsson has purchased a plot of land on Sandhamn. He is building a fabulous home on the property – and also fencing off access to the beaches, in direct opposition to the traditions of Sandhamn. The neighbors are angry. Carsten doesn't care what the locals think. He is arrogant, condescending and outspoken about his distaste for the traditions of the community. He is headed for a fall. Carsten is a wheeler/dealer in the stock market. He has a huge deal on the go with a Russian firm through his friend Anatoly. He has gambled much on this deal. In fact he has gone into considerable debt and has leveraged all of his assets on the success of the deal. But he is getting very nervous. For some reason he is no longer getting the positive responses he once received. He and his wife have two children, Oliver and Sarah, and a Swedish nanny named Maria. At Carsten's insistence, the family must learn to speak Swedish. Carsten's wife Celia does not want to live on an island in the middle of the sea, she much prefers staying in London. Celia is depressed, he relationship with Carsten is not what it once was. She has isolated herself even from her own children. Maria takes care of them and spends much more time with them than Celia does. Detective Thomas Andreasson is questioning whether he wants to stay a cop. All of the pain and hopelessness of it is getting to him. His friend attorney Nora Linde is living with Jonas with their three children and things are going well. But she sees there may be problems brewing on the island between the locals and the Johnssons. Carsten throws a lavish party for the islanders, boasting and being obnoxious to all. That same night, their guesthouse burns to the ground. It is arson and when the fire is out, a body is found in the ruins. Since Carsten didn't come home the night before, it is feared that the body in the guesthouse is his. Something bad is happening at the Johnsson house. Celia has turned up bruised, Maria is not talking to anyone and the children are frightened. What is going on? Who is the man who died in the fire? Carsten's combative attorney neighbor is avoiding the police and their questions. In an exciting denouement, the reader learns all. Several things are going on at once as the story races from scene to scene. Very well done, Ms. Sten! This book is very well plotted and written. Ms. Sten is a superlative writer and I have been reading her books from her first to be published in English. I also can't give enough praise to the translator of this novel, Marlaine Delargy. Her execution is flawless. I could find no errors in the book. I like Nora and Thomas and am anxious to learn if Thomas takes the new opportunity that Erik offered him. (Arrgh! I wanted to know it in this series entry!) I am very anxious to read the next book in this series. I want to thank NetGalley and AmazonCrossing for forwarding to me a copy of this absolutely great book for me to read, enjoy and review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ray Moon

    An Intriguing Approach To A Murder Mystery This is the second novel in a row that I have read that the murder does not start at or very near to the start of the novel. The murder doesn’t occur until 40% into the novel. By this time the reader has much information on the characters, their personalities, and the relationships between them. I rather enjoy this unusual approach. The novel opens in the past with the physical and verbal bullying of a student. This is the genesis of the events that unfol An Intriguing Approach To A Murder Mystery This is the second novel in a row that I have read that the murder does not start at or very near to the start of the novel. The murder doesn’t occur until 40% into the novel. By this time the reader has much information on the characters, their personalities, and the relationships between them. I rather enjoy this unusual approach. The novel opens in the past with the physical and verbal bullying of a student. This is the genesis of the events that unfold in this novel. The novel jumps to 2013 in which the novel is set. Maria the nanny for Carsten and Celia Jonsson is the victim of a gasoline vapor explosion. Then, the action shifts to Sandhamn Island. The reader will see Carsten’s unrelenting drive to show his success, his source of funding to build a large house on Sandhamn, and how his neighbor fights Carsten. The tension mounts within his family, on the island and internationally. This is only the second novel in these series that I read. The other was the first book in the series. The only characters I recognize from that novel is Thomas Andreasson, a police detective, who now as a life changing decision to make, and Nora Linde, who changed jobs. The B-storyline centers most on these two characters and their families and their future. Generally, for me, the B-storyline is icing on the cake, but in this novel, it captured my attention. In fact, some of the B-storyline threads merge with main storyline threads at times. Another reason may be because the first 40% was telling a story that I knew was going to result in a murder, but didn’t have the normal suspense to capture my attention. There are a few F-bombs and even fewer of less vulgar language. There is some violence, but not emphasized or titillating. There was hint to sexual activity. Overall, I believe most readers will not be offended. Next, this is translated from Swedish by the same person who translated the first book. My criticism of the first book was the use of idiomatic British term that sounded out of place in a Swedish setting. The translation never caused me any concern with this book. Lastly, as the sixth novel in the series, will not reading the previously novels hinder the enjoyment in reading this novel. As I did not read the intervening five novels, I’m almost in the same boat. I did do not believe I was so hindered. The author provides adequate backfill. Lastly, reading this novel on an e-reader was of great benefit for at least ready access to the Internet to find the various locations in Sweden. Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel. I liked the murder occurring near the middle of the novel as this method provides a much deeper insight into the main characters of the novel. Overall, I rate this novel with four stars. I have received a free kindle version of this novel through NetGalley from Amazon Crossing with an expectation for an honest, unbiased review. I wish to thank Amazon Crossing for the opportunity to read and review this novel.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lynda Kelly

    This makes it 7/7 5* reads from this author, although I think this is the one I've probably least enjoyed, and in all fairness would've scored it 4.5* if I could. For starters, we appear to have jumped ahead by around 3 years since the last story with very little explanation of what had occurred in those intervening years, then there was no mention of Jonas' first daughter, who usually features so heavily in his life.....that didn't ring true to me cos' she's usually making a total nuisance of h This makes it 7/7 5* reads from this author, although I think this is the one I've probably least enjoyed, and in all fairness would've scored it 4.5* if I could. For starters, we appear to have jumped ahead by around 3 years since the last story with very little explanation of what had occurred in those intervening years, then there was no mention of Jonas' first daughter, who usually features so heavily in his life.....that didn't ring true to me cos' she's usually making a total nuisance of herself. Perhaps she's now old enough to be living her own life, but it remains a massive omission for me. One never got mentioned without the other in the prior books. A character called Eva popped up as well and I don't recall her being mentioned before, either. The author never made mention of who was living in Nora's home now, since Jonas appears to have relocated into the Brand Villa also. So this missed information irritated me somewhat and I haven't missed a book out, either ! The translator has gone with American spellings once again, though I've no idea why, since she lives here in the UK. There were very few errors as per usual; I spotted waked written when it should've been woken or wakened and leaped and not leapt (though this is probably another Americanism, since they often write this, too) and a couple of apostrophe mistakes was all. There was a mention of just how many islands there are on the Swedish archipelago and I was shocked ! I had no idea there were thousands of them out there ! I also learned that Sweden dumped a lot of their post offices there as well, just as we did. The last line had me in tears and I'm looking forward to book 8, which I already have downloaded.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lori Green

    What a wonderful, well-plotted mystery. I did not realize that this was book #7 in the series; therefore, some of the characters are a little hard to follow since I don't have the history. (I think I'm going to try and read this series from the beginning). There is a lot that happens in each scene and you constantly learn something new. The book description gives a good overview but there are so many twists and turns and dark secrets that it doesn't even begin to describe this book. There is a l What a wonderful, well-plotted mystery. I did not realize that this was book #7 in the series; therefore, some of the characters are a little hard to follow since I don't have the history. (I think I'm going to try and read this series from the beginning). There is a lot that happens in each scene and you constantly learn something new. The book description gives a good overview but there are so many twists and turns and dark secrets that it doesn't even begin to describe this book. There is a long list of suspects among the Sandhamm Island after the eye soar of a house is burned to the ground after the house warming party to show off the estate. Not only is the house burned but a body is found in the ruble. Everyone seems to have secrets especially Carsten and Celia. The book does start out a little slow but it helped with the character and world building since I have not read the other books in the series. I simply could not put the book down until I got to the end! I normally would not read a 7th book in the series unless I had read the other books but I am so glad that I did so now I have to read the other 6 books. Thanks Netgalley for the opportunity for an honest review of a book that I probably never would have read otherwise!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    I've been enjoying Viveca Sten's Sandhamn mysteries for a few years now, and I'm happy to return to the island with In the Shadow of Power. It is difficult to maintain the essence of small places when they become popular, and the citizens of Sandhamn have made an effort to keep the Sandhamn traditions and coastlines from becoming lost to summer visitors. When the wealthy and arrogant Carsten Jonsson manages to flout the rules and traditions with his new summer house, islanders are not happy. Jons I've been enjoying Viveca Sten's Sandhamn mysteries for a few years now, and I'm happy to return to the island with In the Shadow of Power. It is difficult to maintain the essence of small places when they become popular, and the citizens of Sandhamn have made an effort to keep the Sandhamn traditions and coastlines from becoming lost to summer visitors. When the wealthy and arrogant Carsten Jonsson manages to flout the rules and traditions with his new summer house, islanders are not happy. Jonsson has received anonymous threats and warnings, but when Jonsson's guest house burns down and an unidentified corpse is found inside, the situation escalates. Thomas Andreasson isn't sure if it was an accident or a murder (the fire was arson, but was the death deliberate?), and Carsten Jonsson's arrogance isn't helping the investigation. Nora gets drawn into a dangerous situation as suspicions mount. I would love to visit Sandhamn in person, but must make do with Sten's mysteries set on the beautiful Swedish island. NetGalley Mystery/Police Procedural. Oct. 22, 2019. Print length: 398 pages.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elisa

    I've liked Sten's previous books in her Sandhamn series and this seventh installment was enjoyable. Nora's life is better than ever and Thomas is considering some changes. They both get involved in a case of arson that resulted in the death of a person. Who it was is not clear. Why the person is dead is even harder to know. As usual, there are tons of suspects and red herrings, a pulse-raising last part and a surprising ending. What I didn't quite like was that it took too long for the action to I've liked Sten's previous books in her Sandhamn series and this seventh installment was enjoyable. Nora's life is better than ever and Thomas is considering some changes. They both get involved in a case of arson that resulted in the death of a person. Who it was is not clear. Why the person is dead is even harder to know. As usual, there are tons of suspects and red herrings, a pulse-raising last part and a surprising ending. What I didn't quite like was that it took too long for the action to begin. I like the recurring characters and want to know what's been going on in their lives since the last novel but I wanted something to happen. Once it does, I was hooked. But what I really liked was how the action turns in on itself. What you think is the main issue, is not. I don't want to give too much away but I really wanted to know where things would end up. This is a very good series. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, NetGalley/AmazonCrossing!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Debra Dowling

    Viveca Stern never disappoints....great mystery. Carsten has spent his life trying to overcome his past and prove that he is rich, powerful, and should have the best of everything no matter the cost. He builds an extremely large, and extravagant house on Sandhelm for his wife and two children. The locals are very upset and believe he is disregarding their laws and building codes and want him to leave. The night of the housewarming party, a fire is set that takes the life of an unknown person. The Viveca Stern never disappoints....great mystery. Carsten has spent his life trying to overcome his past and prove that he is rich, powerful, and should have the best of everything no matter the cost. He builds an extremely large, and extravagant house on Sandhelm for his wife and two children. The locals are very upset and believe he is disregarding their laws and building codes and want him to leave. The night of the housewarming party, a fire is set that takes the life of an unknown person. The list of arson suspects is long, and Thomas and the other detectives are worried the trouble is going to continue if they do not figure out who is behind the fire. Meanwhile, life for Carsten and his family is not what it appears from the onset, and Nora once again finds herself in the middle of danger, where she must find a way to save the lives of two innocent children and their mother. Great story filled with betrayal, lies, shady deals, and danger. I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    joyce w. laudon

    This title is another entry in what I feel is an under publicized Scandinavian mystery series.  Sten writes relatively long novels which I enjoy as I know that I will get to read each book for a while.  In this novel, readers old and new will enjoy spending time with police officer, Thomas, and lawyer, Nora, as they again become embroiled in a case with murder and complexity.  The story is about Carsten Jonnson, his family and his business associates. Carsten, in the beginning of the novel, is on This title is another entry in what I feel is an under publicized Scandinavian mystery series.  Sten writes relatively long novels which I enjoy as I know that I will get to read each book for a while.  In this novel, readers old and new will enjoy spending time with police officer, Thomas, and lawyer, Nora, as they again become embroiled in a case with murder and complexity.  The story is about Carsten Jonnson, his family and his business associates. Carsten, in the beginning of the novel, is one of those titans who has a lot of money and believes that this pretty much lets him do what he likes.  This includes building a large summer home on Sandhamn.  But, of course, being a mystery series a number of bad things will happen. The suspense builds right up until the end. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this book in exchange for an honest review. I recommend this series.  The titles are attractively priced and the setting, characters and stories are all interesting.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gillian Parker

    Excellent story, obviously well researched and well written. A rich business man has built a huge house on the island, trampling over objections from local residents and greasing palms of corrupt officials . Carsten Johnsson has borrowed vast sums of money from his wife, Celia's father on the back of some tricky financial dealings with the Russians. He throws a massive party to show off his fabulous house, further antagonizing his neighbours, but in the middle of the night a dreadful fire starts, Excellent story, obviously well researched and well written. A rich business man has built a huge house on the island, trampling over objections from local residents and greasing palms of corrupt officials . Carsten Johnsson has borrowed vast sums of money from his wife, Celia's father on the back of some tricky financial dealings with the Russians. He throws a massive party to show off his fabulous house, further antagonizing his neighbours, but in the middle of the night a dreadful fire starts, and the house is badly damaged. A body is discovered in the ashes, and the police become involved. Johnsson starts falling apart, his state of mind further fractured by the realisation that the Russian deal is not going ahead. The deterioration was sometimes difficult to read, although very exciting, and the results were totally believable and even understandable in parts. Have really enjoyed the Sandhamn series, and feel that this one is the best. Good to meet Nora, Jonas and Thomas again, with their stories unfolding against this background.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    Carsten Jonsson might remind you of other high flying people who have ignored local customs and built huge eyesores in resort areas. In this case, it's on Sandhamn Island and there are a number of angry locals, any one of whom could have burned down the guest house- but what about the body? Nora Linde, a local attorney and DI Thomas Andreasson find themselves investigating. She's in touch with Carsten's wife Celia, who is keeping a secret. Thomas is doing the more traditional investigation but t Carsten Jonsson might remind you of other high flying people who have ignored local customs and built huge eyesores in resort areas. In this case, it's on Sandhamn Island and there are a number of angry locals, any one of whom could have burned down the guest house- but what about the body? Nora Linde, a local attorney and DI Thomas Andreasson find themselves investigating. She's in touch with Carsten's wife Celia, who is keeping a secret. Thomas is doing the more traditional investigation but the two of them work well together. This is a series and if you, like me, have read only one (or none at all) you'll be fine with the characters although I suspect those who have been following along will see developments I missed. The mystery is good, the setting is wonderful, and it's a less noir Nordic noir read. Oh- and don't forget the Russians! Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. I'm going to look for more as I'd like to know what Thomas decides about his future.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    This was a good book. At times, I found it hard to read, because… Sten did a great job of showing an evil person. At times, his evil was difficult for me to read, as it echoed other people I have heard of or known. But… the ending gave me so much of what I wanted in terms of how the case was resolved. I have found the Sandhamn Murders difficult to categorize. I have loved getting to know some of the recurring characters in the series, but… the books are not as breezy as I keep expecting them to b This was a good book. At times, I found it hard to read, because… Sten did a great job of showing an evil person. At times, his evil was difficult for me to read, as it echoed other people I have heard of or known. But… the ending gave me so much of what I wanted in terms of how the case was resolved. I have found the Sandhamn Murders difficult to categorize. I have loved getting to know some of the recurring characters in the series, but… the books are not as breezy as I keep expecting them to be. They have their moments of island life, but I think Sten allows us to see more of the effects of these crimes than some authors: the grief and pain isn't limited to a few characters and, perhaps more importantly, the murders aren't the sole causes of emotional pain for her characters. So while her books are ones I always want to read, I find them less "binge-able" to borrow from the TV world, than many mystery series, because there is so much emotion in them.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    Frighteningly Relevant In this episode of the stories of Thomas Andreasson and Nora Linde, we learn about the dangers of wealth, power, greed, bullying and desperation in the almost idyllic setting of Sandhamn Island. While written in 2014, the situations are so familiar as we watch the news of today. While solving several mysteries, Thomas debates whether to continue with police work or move to the private sector, while Nora has done the opposite and moved from a private law firm to the Economic Frighteningly Relevant In this episode of the stories of Thomas Andreasson and Nora Linde, we learn about the dangers of wealth, power, greed, bullying and desperation in the almost idyllic setting of Sandhamn Island. While written in 2014, the situations are so familiar as we watch the news of today. While solving several mysteries, Thomas debates whether to continue with police work or move to the private sector, while Nora has done the opposite and moved from a private law firm to the Economic Crimes Authority. I’m definitely a fan of Viveca Sten’s writing and look forward to the next book in the series.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    I've enjoyed this series from the start, finding it on Kindle Unlimited. But I felt this storyline dragged. The theme of investing in Russia was interesting but unbelievable. A supposedly astute businessman makes a really stupid investment. This leads to an equally unbelievable murder because the opposing businessman is not cautious about his personal safety. Add to this an emotionally abused family and we have quite a drama mostly set on Sandhamm and solved by our local favorite police. I'm bec I've enjoyed this series from the start, finding it on Kindle Unlimited. But I felt this storyline dragged. The theme of investing in Russia was interesting but unbelievable. A supposedly astute businessman makes a really stupid investment. This leads to an equally unbelievable murder because the opposing businessman is not cautious about his personal safety. Add to this an emotionally abused family and we have quite a drama mostly set on Sandhamm and solved by our local favorite police. I'm becoming bored with the leading Swedish characters now that they've settled into new, permanent domestic relationships. I'll try the next book mainly because I hate to give up on the series.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Susan Williams

    Exciting Plot This book had some very nail biting moments when I was truly scared for the characters. The Russian business element was a nice addition and must have taken quite a bit of research. The plot bordered on melodrama a few times but each character is drawn well, many becoming old friends at this point in the series with the addition of Julia and Aram providing more depth. The plight and inequality of refugees and foreign laborers is also a poignant reminder of a worldwide problem. Thank Exciting Plot This book had some very nail biting moments when I was truly scared for the characters. The Russian business element was a nice addition and must have taken quite a bit of research. The plot bordered on melodrama a few times but each character is drawn well, many becoming old friends at this point in the series with the addition of Julia and Aram providing more depth. The plight and inequality of refugees and foreign laborers is also a poignant reminder of a worldwide problem. Thank you to the author for completing the book under stressful conditions in her family life.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Annarella

    I'm a fan of Viveca Sten and of the Sandham series and this book was up to my expectations. I appreciated how Ms Sten make us met her characters older and learn about their development. I think that the characters and the setting are two strong points in this series and Ms Sten didn't fail to deliver. The book starts slowly and takes speed when the mystery part starts. It's a good mystery and I liked it. Highly recommended! Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine I'm a fan of Viveca Sten and of the Sandham series and this book was up to my expectations. I appreciated how Ms Sten make us met her characters older and learn about their development. I think that the characters and the setting are two strong points in this series and Ms Sten didn't fail to deliver. The book starts slowly and takes speed when the mystery part starts. It's a good mystery and I liked it. Highly recommended! Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.

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