The Inner Circle opens with an international group of young archeology students sweating on a dig on the island of Gotland, uncovering a Viking fortification dating back over a millennium. They are a fun-loving lot, partying together every night, but the good vibe turns to horror when one of them, twenty-one-year-old Martina Flochten, disappears. Her body is found a short while later, naked, bled out, and hanging from a tree. Her injuries indicate that she is the victim of a ritual killing.
Inspector Anders Knutas investigates Martina’s acquaintances. Who was the mysterious lover she was supposed to have been meeting in secret and whom none of her fellow archaeologists have actually seen? What do the marks on Martina’s body signify? Is there possibly a connection between Martina’s death and the recent and unsolved brutal beheading of a Gotland pony? The pony was also bled out, and its head was missing---until it appears mounted on a stick outside the next victim’s house.
Inspector Knutas and his team work feverishly to catch the killer, but before long there are more victims, all of whom have been killed and mutilated the same way.
Mari Jungstedt integrates a healthy dose of Scandinavian mythology in this installment of her critically acclaimed series, and also addresses current issues on Gotland, while keeping up a fast-paced and intricate plot as Knutas closes in on the killer and the secret that connects the victims. This is Swedish crime fiction at its best: dark, atmospheric, and character-driven.
Praise for Mari Jungstedt
The Inner Circle
“Jungstedt . . . is unusually skilled at constructing her intrigues. . . . Much like her female crime-writer colleagues abroad---for example, the Scottish author Val McDermid---she succeeds in combining a fascination with macabre acts of violent crime with a focus on relationship drama, and this is done without the boring politicization that has ruined so many other good ideas within Swedish crime literature. This novel supports the reputation of Mari Jungstedt as one of the most convincing authors of her generation.”---Svenska Dagbladet
"Murder, blood, perverse sects, confounded cops, and a passionate, complicated love affair---the author gives it all she’s got, and the result is both an entertaining and suspenseful fast-paced crime novel.”---Aftonbladet
“An engaging and twisty narrative that will fool even the most attentive reader.” ---Publishers Weekly
“Chilling. Jungstedt serves up crisp prose, steady suspense, and a roster of flesh-and-blood characters by turns conflicted and content.”---Booklist
“Jungstedt fashions a solid, compellingly readable police procedural with a nicely rounded protagonist.”---Library Journal
"Jungstedt writes with skill and aplomb from multiple characters’ points of view.”---The Richmond Times-Dispatch
“A fine Scandinavian mystery debut . . . carefully constructed, atmospheric . . . with a compelling cast of characters . . . Perfect for fans of Henning Mankell.”---Mysterylovers.com
“Unseen has everything we have come to expect from a great Swedish crime novel---graceful prose, deft characterization, and a setting that is somehow both familiar and strange, like a kind of dream-world. But what makes this first novel unique is its author’s ability to write with a bird’s-eye view about horrible events while at the same time maintaining a poet’s sense of intimacy about what her characters think and feel. Possessing such gifts as these---scope and heart, a desire to get to the truth---makes Mari Jungstedt the new writer to watch.”---Daniel Judson, Shamus Award winner and author of The Darkest Place