In The Shadow Woman, a woman is found dead in a park during the Gothenburg Party, a citywide festival that is taking place during a blazing summer. Chief Inspector Erik Winter and his team are having a hard time finding leads or even identifying the body. All they have is footage from a surveillance camera of a Ford Escort and a strange symbol painted on a nearby tree.
Sandwiched into the criminal investigation is the narration of a little girl who doesn’t know where her mommy is and is being kept by strangers. When Winter’s team finally identifies the body, they find that the woman had a little girl. No one seems to know where the child is.
During an investigation that lasts months, Winter and his team begin to find links between the crime and a robbery that occurred 25 years ago. In the meantime, Winter’s long-time girlfriend Angela is thinking of giving him an ultimatum about their relationship.
I haven’t been reading Åke Edwardson’s Erik Winter mysteries in order, making the private lives of the recurring characters a little difficult to follow. The books keep my interest and provide complex puzzles, but I still don’t feel like I get much insight into the personalities of the main characters. The slower pace of Edwardson’s police procedurals is probably more realistic than the speed with which crimes are usually solved in fiction, but the author’s ability to effectively build suspense is also affected by this pace.