I never watched the TV series, although I always thought it looked like the sort of thing I’d like; the real world job involves a lot of shifts in the evening, so I don’t watch much TV these days. So I thought I’d read the book based on the first series or should I say listen to the audiobook of the book based on the first series and at least one benefit of listening to the audiobook as opposed to watching the series, I could at least embroider at the same time considering there were no subtitles!
Anyway, for those that don’t know The Killing features a detective Lund who seems to be famous for her jumpers as well as being, what seems to be a requisite for fictional detectives, an obsessive who’s a bit loose with following procedures. She’s on the last day of her job, about to head over the border for a far more calmer life, when a new case lands on her lap, the murder of 19 year old Nana Birk Larsen. A tangle of knots soon appears and a local politician appears to be involved . . .
I thought the local politics bit was a bit boring until about midway through the book but I thought Lund and her ‘partner’ Meyer (the detective who had meant to be replacing her) were an interesting pairing and the book looked at the grief of Nana’s parents and the family’s interactions far more than a lot of other murder stories (although I thought they recovered perhaps a little too quickly). You could really tell though that the book had been based on a TV series; I had heard that nothing very much ever happened in The Killing but they’re finding the murderer every few chapters, only to discover a little bit later on that it isn’t them, so you’ve got that constant repeat cycle of climax going on. Also, as in a TV series, the scenes chop around a bit and although I assume in the actual book there’s a gap in the text or something between scenes, that’s a bit difficult to get across in an audiobook, so you’d be listening, your mind set firmly in Nana’s parents’ removal business for example and then a second later you’re back in the woods and it can take a moment to figure out that jump, so it’s a bit disconcerting.
Overall though I liked it, it was a little predictable as it soon became pretty obvious that pretty much every character would be accused of Nana’s murder at some point and that they would of course then be found innocent and as the book came to the end and they’d run out of characters to accuse, it was kind of obvious that it must therefore be someone they’d accused before and had previously found to be innocent but actually wasn’t. Even saying all that though, the very ending of the book was a bit of a surprise ….
**** (out of 5)