Sunday, April 12, 2015

Review: THE INVISIBLE MAN FROM SALEM by Christoffer Carlsson

The Invisible Man from SalemFrom the back of the book:
In the final days of summer in 2013, a young woman is shot dead in her apartment. Three floors above, the blue lights of the police cars awaken Leo Junker, a longtime police officer. Leo works in the Internal Affairs division as the lowliest form of officer — a spy. Leo is even lower, however, having been suspended after committing a terrible mistake. In what became known as the 'Gotland Affair', a police officer was accidentally killed, and Leo was found holding the offending weapon. But he wants to help on this case, despite being on mandatory leave, because this woman has connections to people from his past. Now, in the backstreets, shadowed alleyways, and decaying suburbs of Stockholm ́s underground, the search for the young woman ́s killer — and the truth of the Gotland Affair —begins.

My Review:
THE INVISIBLE MAN FROM SALEM is a unique police procedural that pits the protagonist, one who isn't an 'active policeman' rather a member of Internal Affairs against a killer who seems to have a sinister link to his past. Leo Junker, suspended following the events of a previous case he was involved in is still reeling from the outcome and being treated as a rat among his fellow officers by virtue of his position in IA is rudely awaken by the sounds of sirens and the smell of death in his apartment complex. Upon discovering police officers in the stairwell and lower levels, he soon wrangles his way into the crime scene to find a young woman murdered and the ghosts of his past alive an wailing at him; the murdered woman, having on her person, a trinket Leo's youth from a lost lover. 

There is a lot going on in this book; Leo's earlier case, his teenage past, and the present day murder in his apartment complex. Yet, the plot threads do converge and intertwine with one another as the story unfolds providing context to the present day narrative. Interestingly, it's Leo and his close bond with his teenage friends, a brother and sister, that takes center stage through the book with the criminal component on the peripheral. 

I found THE INVISIBLE MAN FROM SALEM to be an above average read. One the relies heavily on the protagonist, Leo Junker, to connect with readers - as the story largely revolves around him. Luckily for me, this was the case. I enjoyed reading about his past, the case where he was 'thrown to the wolves', and how the present day murder investigation tied in with his teenage friends.

I highly recommend THE INVISIBLE MAN FROM SALEM for readers of crime fiction who are looking for character centric read that still encompasses the core elements of the genre. 

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