Okay, this is a Norwegian mystery…one of the many Scandinavian novels flooding the market since the success of the Millenium trilogy.
The premise is interesting: A 17 year old boy with a deprived homelife sets about playing malicious pranks on people in and around his village. Some of them have dreadful consequences. Kids can be really vicious, for sure.
The novel’s problem is simple: there is very little suspense or tension. Much of it is written from the POV of the boy and you know his motivation and his objective. After a while, the only question is whether or not his pranks will escalate to something more serious.
I found the writing to be simplistic and naive, and have trouble understanding Marilyn Stasio’s good review in the NY Times. There was little to sustain my interest, and I think this novel proves the old saying that sometimes, less is more.
There is far more tension (at least for me) when the true culprit is unknown or unknowable, which is not the case here. This novel suffers from what is often called these days TMI (too much information). Two stars.