The Axe Woman
Translator: Sarah Death
Author: Håkan Nesser
Publisher: Mantle (Pan Macmillan)
Year of Publication: 2022
Two cousins and rivals, two farms, and a woman who could be a murderess or an exploited victim. A traumatised DI Barbarotti is forced to fly to the mountains of Norrland in pursuit of the truth.
A fifth outing for Inspector Barbarotti of the Kymlinge police. Returning to his desk too soon after personal trauma, the sleepless detective is faced with taking another look at two old cases, a murder and a disappearance. How safe was the conviction, and where has the man on the moped vanished to? Is the woman the press called the Axe Woman a dangerous convict, an exploited victim, or more complicated than both those stereotypes imply? A brain-fogged Barbarotti ends up travelling to the magnificent fells of the Swedish north to secure a vital interview, and nothing is ultimately quite what it seemed.