Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Title:     Evil Water
Author:  Inger Wolf
Rating:   ★★★★ 1/2

*Copy given by publisher for an honest review.

As I previously mentioned, some books can greatly affect me more than the others, that's why I tend to be quite picky about the books I read. I hesitated to read Evil Water because it sounds too thrilling for my taste, but I decided to ask the publisher for one chapter just to get the feel of it.

After one chapter, I had the whole book sent over. That one chapter of Evil Water just lured me in, making me want to read the whole book and find out the evil mastermind behind the dastardly deeds.

Inger Wolf is actually a Danish crime writer, and her book Evil Water (original title: Ondt Vand) was just recently translated to English and published last December 2012 as an e-book. I think it's great that writers are having their books translated to English because we people, who are more comfortable or don't know other languages, are able to read them books!

Two women disappear without a trace, and the same autumn a farmer on the outskirts of Ã…rhus finds them murdered in suitcases under a heap of stone. The skin of one woman is filled with the letter Y and the other has a rare flower in her hair. Inspector Daniel Trokic is leading the case which goes in several directions: to a tribal population in Africa, religious insanity and a horrifying meeting with leeches. When a third woman disappears, Trokic is under pressure to find out what the killer wants to say with his macabre scenery and rituals.

Warning: Only those with sturdy constitutions might be able to stomach it.

Or only those who can stop their imaginations from flying while reading.

The writing was so, so good, I enthusiastically told my friends and family as to why I'm still reading such a creepy book, and let me tell you why. It's the kind of book that creeps you out because Inger Wolf has a way of firing up your imagination instantly while you read, so you cannot help but envision the whole bloody mess and crime scenes. It's a good kind of creepy.

The plot was fast-paced without missing the pertinent details. Inger did not dally too long in some paragraphs, and you just keep getting caught up as you move along. I was so surprised to find out that I was already in chapter 16 a few hours after I started reading. You'll go through a lot of theories and suspects, but thankfully Inger does not dwell too long on those. At the end of the book, I didn't feel like she led me on a goose chase just so I won't figure out the killer instantly. The murder of the women had so many factors such as why the bathtub, why the Y leech, why does one have a flower? But don't worry, at the end of the book the story is nicely finished, with no loose ends. Nicely done.

I wasn't able to relate to any of the characters, but I actually liked them. Inspector Daniel Trokic is like this perennial bachelor who is afraid of further commitment, seems a little brash, but is actually a bit sweet and protective on the inside. I think he is also the type of cop who likes the action more than the paperwork, and thus when he is promoted (and he is), he feels constrained and burdened by the administrative tasks. A bit of research on the internet showed that he is actually the protagonist in several other books of Inger Wolf (Sort Sensommer/Black Indian Summer and Frost og Aske/Frost and Ashes). I want to read them.

Another notable character is James Taurup, a man under Trokic, who has this photographic memory. He seems to be a good guy and just like his boss, he's more into action than the paperwork. You'll understand this tidbit when you get to the end of the book. Another character that I liked is Lisa Kornelius, their IT expert who seems to end up as their profiler, at least for this case. She perseveres despite the hard tasks and finds ways to solve the mysteries in front of her. In fact, this attitude and her eventual discovery helps to fully solve the crime.

It's a great mystery book and you'll never guess whodunit, and why, until before end, and I appreciate that. Although there was a time when I finally figured out who it is, but this was only confirmed by the next chapter, which made me feel like there was no surprise anymore. The whys of the book is so complex (and made me quite sad) and I really like that Inger Wolf ended all loose ends before the last chapter (although there is a cliffhanger there that makes me want to read the next books).

Evil Water moved me through several different emotions: fear, excitement, and sadness. It was actually very sad in the end, at least for me, because you realize how much your actions could affect other people. And in this case, the perp used to be a jolly, cheerful sort but then that happened and crime was the answer for the perp. I could not say more without spoiling it for you, and I think it's an ending that deserves to be read.

Fans of mystery/crime books just might enjoy Inger Wolf's Evil Water. I know the plot sounds so creepy, and it is, but the book is so much more than that and is a fantastic book that makes you pause and think in the end. The English version of Evil Water is currently available via Amazon as an e-book. If you're looking for a little break from all the usual genres we've been reading, this is one way to break the monotony.

Ciao, and happy musings :)