Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Closed Circles (Sandhamn #2), by Viveca Sten (author), Laura A. Wideburg (translator), Angela Dawe (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, March 2016 (original publication April 2009)

It's a year later, the summer after the events in Still Waters, and an important yacht race is happening at Sandhamn. Thomas is a spectator, a guest on the marine police boat he once captained, when the starting gun fires--and the prominent lawyer, commanding a yacht favored to win, collapses to the deck of his yacht.

It wasn't the starting gun that killed him, of course, but someone used the starting gun as cover for the sound of t was the rifle they used to shoot Oscar Juliander.

Juliander was successful, prominent, a major figure in the yacht club, and well-liked. He was especially liked by women, and had, in addition to a well-connected wife who looked the other way, a string of ex-lovers whom he'd managed to part with on reasonably friendly terms. He also had a lifestyle that seems not to have been adequately supported by the income the police can identify--yet there is no untoward debt, either. Where is the money coming from?

Thomas, Margit, and the rest of their team have potential motives, but no one they can connect to them who doesn't have a good alibi for the time of the shooting.  What's going on?

Thomas's friend Nora, a bank lawyer, helps them track down some potentially critical evidence regarding finances. Thomas is dogged and persistent, even has this confusing case drags on, and another murder occurs that appears to be directly connected. It's complicated, interesting, and compelling.

Meanwhile, both Thomas and Nora have problems in their personal lives. For Thomas, Carina is a sweet, charming girl who does really love him--but he's finding he doesn't love her. The age difference doesn't have to be a relationship killer, but for Thomas, Carina's youth is too great a difference. He's been enjoying her cheerful vitality in a way that he increasingly feels has been exploitative, and it's now just making him feel old. For Nora, of course, it's her husband, Henrik, who might have learned something from her near-death the previous year, but apparently didn't. Things are deteriorating, and maybe, maybe, Nora is starting to recognize what she really needs to do.

What puzzles me in the story is that Margit, who is Thomas's older, more experienced partner, has so little presence. More so than in the first book, when she was of course supposed to be on vacation, but why does Thomas seem to be running this investigation? It's not an inability to write strong characters, and maybe we'll see more of Margit in future books.

Overall, a very good, satisfying mystery. Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.