#6: The Fifth Woman by Henning Mankell
Y’all, I’ve been stressed lately. Stress eating, stress sleeping, and apparently stress reading. You’d think the relaxing thing to do in this situation would be to take a bath and pick up something by Nicholas Sparks, but in these tough times there is only one thing I need - a murder mystery novel. With this kind of book, the gruesomer (add that your spell check!) the better. I’ve often wondered why the brutality of these books are stress relieving and it’s only now that I realize it’s because I’m actually a big wuss. Just because I’m not a detective in real life, doesn’t mean I can’t be one in my dreams.
The Fifth Woman was sort of like the Steig Larsson books, except extremely dumbed down. It had all the same topics: women, violence, violent women, middle aged white men in crisis, and of course, Sweden. I know next to nothing about the current state of modern mysteries but Sweden seems to be the epicenter of European murder.
But that’s not the main issue here. As noted earlier, my biggest frustration with this particular book was that it took place in 1994. It was infuriating when the police team forgot to check blood spatter for DNA. Why couldn’t they check security tapes? WHERE WAS THE INTERNET???? Ugh. However, the book did its job by being a good distraction from my worries. So I guess it gets a gold star for that.