Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The older I get, the more frustrated I get with “events”, at least in terms of movies. Don’t really care which Avengers are going to make out whatever Avengers movie is coming out soon. It’s Marvel; the only character never brought to life is Uncle Ben. I am also the type of person who hears about the guy who jumps off a cruise ship into the ocean to see if he could do and then says “good” when the cruise ship bans him for life.
So, there is something wrong with me. I freely admit this.
If I get hyped about anything, it is usually a book. But even then, if the book is hyped, I tend to be well disappointed. I didn’t love The Girl with Dragon Tattoo and have no desire to read any of the other books. It’s important you know this before reading this review any further.
In some ways, The Wolf and the Watchman is being set up as Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets the Alienist. It is historical mystery, set in the 1700s in Sweden, largely Stockholm. There are two oddly paired detectives – the more brilliant if problematic one, and the more physical one. There is similarity to Holmes and Watson in the characters, though both Cardell and Winge are far earthlier than their Doyle counterparts. The mystery is part cultural critique but with plenty of creepy bits.
And yet, there is a sense of it not quite living up to the hype, of a lack of something. Perhaps it is because the characters are too much like type, perhaps because it is a little too much like every other Swedish mystery (okay, not like Inspector Huss) that gets translated into English, and much like many English mysteries – tortured men, women in need of saving.
Still, it was an interesting read.