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Some Kind of Peace – Camilla Grebe and Åsa Träff

July 30, 2012


Genre: Adult fiction/suspense
Publisher: Free Press
336 pages
ISBN: 9781451654592
Source: Publisher

Movies, television shows, novels and even our own experience, can often come together to paint pictures of any profession in drastically skewed lighting.  One of the cultural assumptions, floating around in modern stereotype is that of psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health analysts. You know, the perception of them as calm, neutral entities with a perfectly crafted Socratic response to every problem in the natural world. Little do we often think about what goes on behind the scenes, thus blocking out any thought that these sounding boards to the world’s problems, may, in fact, go home to their own tangled web of complicated drama and emotions.

In a rather creepy look at how the other side lives, Camilla Grebe and Asa Traff have brought us the latest and greatest in Swedish suspense.

Nothing is quite as unnerving as metaphorically turning our psyches inside out and in doing so, confronting, head on, our fears, desires, passions and destructive compulsions, all things we do our best to hide from as much as possible. These are the places, psychotherapist, Siri Bergman, mentally walks through with her patients in her sleek, modern Stockholm office.

At thirty-four-years-old, Siri is well established and respected in the field and valued among her delicate, yet often occupationally high-powered, clients.

At thirty-four years old, Siri is also a widow.

Nearly a year has passed since her husband’s tragically early death when we open the curtain on her life. Though she understands the literal textbook outlined stages of processing grief, Siri finds herself desperately trying to push her personal life under the rug, submerging herself in work and wine to numb the pain. She is artificially buoyed by the joy she receives from her work and her small (only two other practitioners and a receptionist) albeit comfortingly familiar, practice.

When she leaves the city, nightly, however, returning to the small seaside cottage she once shared with her husband, her grip on her thinly veiled facade of strength  melts away, leaving her with everything she is trying to escape.

As she sits in her small island of pieced-together, emotional floatation, she finds herself sideswiped by a wave of unforseen drama that sends her tiny life raft of comfort over a very unforgiving cliff. This sanity altering wave, crashes down on her fragile recovery when one of her terminally unstable patients is found, dead, on the rocks directly lining Siri’s property.

What Siri assumes is a devastating (though, not impossible given this client’s history) suicide, soon becomes murder material on the local police scale. Before she can truly grasp the implications, Siri finds herself under the careful and suffocating watch of the authorities as the danger that took her client’s life threatens her own.

It’s a beautifully if hauntingly written story that will stick to your fingers every time you try to put it down. It definitely does building category of Swedish crime a fantastic justice and I definitely foresee this pair becoming wildly popular in the states as well. With more emphasis on intellectual intensity and all around creepiness than gross gore, this is an intelligent, face paced, scary thriller that will definitely leave you asking this duo for more.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. zibilee permalink
    July 31, 2012 11:56 am

    Oh, yes, this does sound amazing, and I am so happy that I will have the chance to read it. It sounds extremely layered, and like a book that provides it’s readers with a lot of meat to chew on. I loved your description of it “sticking to your fingers”. Great review today!

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