In this atmospheric and unforgettable sequel to Midwinter Blood, the elusive, tough-as-nails Swedish police superintendent Malin Fors returns.
In the acclaimed Malin Fors series, every season is perfect for murder.
The tiny town that Detective Malin Fors calls home is plagued by a sweltering heat wave and resulting raging forest fires. It is the hottest summer anyone can recall, and it’s about to become the most violent and grim, too. A teenage girl is found naked and bleeding in a city park, without any recollection of what has happened to her. Next, another grisly discovery is made on a lakeside beach, and the whole town is on edge. A serial killer walks among them, and while the families of Linköping withdraw to protect their young, Malin must uncover the secrets behind these crimes, potentially putting herself and her own family at risk in the process.
Summer Death Prologue Östergötland, Sunday, July 25
IN THE FINAL ROOM
I’m not going to kill you, my summer angel.
I’m only going to let you be reborn.
You’ll become innocent again. All the dirt of history will vanish, time will deceive itself, and everything that was good will reign in isolation.
Or else I really will kill you, have killed you, so that love can arise again.
I tried not to kill, but that made rebirth impossible: The substance remained, clinging obstinately to material, and everything shameful vibrated within you and me like a hot black worm.
Pupated evil. Shredded time.
I tried in various ways, feeling my way, but I couldn’t get there.
I scrubbed, washed, and cleaned.
You, my summer angels. You saw snow-colored tentacles, tearing spiders’ legs, and the rabbits’ claws.
I watched over you, gathered you in, and took you.
I’m there now.
* * *
He’s sitting on the sofa.
His gut is open and rippling black snakes are sliding out onto the floor.
Can you see him?
Now he can’t hurt anyone anymore, so say that you want to, say that you dare to come back. No oak floorboards will ever creak again, no alcohol fumes will ever make the air glow with anxiety.
The world is burning this summer.
The trees are transformed into withered black sculptures, monuments to our failures and our inability to love one another, to understand that we are one another.
We are the same, fire and me. Destroying so that life can arise again.
Someone has captured vipers, thrown them into an open oil drum, poured on some petrol, and set them alight.
The mute creatures crawl as they burn, making vain attempts to escape the pain.
Stop crawling, little girl.
I drove past the burning forest just an hour or so ago. I heard you beating against the inside of the car, ready to come out, come back, pure and free from anyone else’s guilt.
She thought she knew something about me.
But don’t be scared. The person you still are.
This is how it is: No one can live in fear, only in trust. Death is the penalty for anyone who deprives another person of the ability to trust.
That sort of trust is a close neighbor of love, which means that it’s a close neighbor of death and the white spiders’ legs. We needed you in spite of what you did, in spite of that. You owned our world. We couldn’t escape even though it was the only thing we wanted, and we went to you sometimes because we had no choice. It has haunted me, this enforced seeking after darkness. I know now that I will never be able to choose anything except wishing myself harm.
But when you are reborn, that curse will be lifted.
So it will all be over soon.
Everything will be clear, pure.
White and light.
You will feel nothing within you, just as we once did.
You are shaking and twisting on the floor.
But don’t be scared.
Only love will be reborn. Innocence.
And then we will cycle together along the bank of the canal, in a summer that lasts forever.
Mons Kallentoft is the author of the internationally acclaimed crime fiction series featuring Malin Fors. The series has been translated into twenty-six languages and has sold more than 1.5 million copies. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden.
“One of those books that will keep you up throughout the night. . . Make room on your shelf--and calendar--for this one.”
“Readers will look forward to the next three volumes.”
– Publishers Weekly
– Library Journal
– Kirkus Reviews
“Don't bother with Stieg Larsson... Kallentoft is better.”
– Magnus Utvik, Sweden's leading literary critic
"My current favourite among the Scandinavian crime writers is another Swede, Mons Kallentoft. So far, three of his Malin Fors books have been translated into English: Midwinter Blood, Summertime Death, and Autumn Killing. I loved them all, particularly for the way Kallentoft gives a voice to his victims."