Not at all, said Agnete Friis, co-author of The Boy in the Suitcase. Very, said Anders Roslund, one half of the team whose novels include Three Seconds and Cell 8.
The two don't necessarily disagree. Friis maintains that the social predicament of her book's (and her country's) unprotected victims, rather than the solution of a crime, is paramount. Roslund had stressed earlier that the novels he writes with Börge Hellström do not star the Stockholm police detective Ewart Grens, but rather feature him as "one of two," in a kind of dialectic with a different partner in each book.
In Three Seconds, the partner is a police informant working under such deep cover that his government handlers' refusal to acknowledge him very nearly dooms him to a death in which Grens would have been unknowingly complicit. The book's point? Police and informant/criminal are equally actors and victims. So, while "whodunnit?" in the traditional sense of "Who knocked off the duke in the library?" may be unimportant, "Who's doing it?" is the book's moral center.
© Peter Rozovsky 2011