Reviews

 

Give Me Your Eyes (Ge mig dina ögon, 2008)

 

”I’m incredibly impressed by Torsten Pettersson’s first novel, a really breath-taking psychological thriller.” - Johan Wopenka, Horisont, Sweden/Finland, 2010:3

 

”An extremely interesting, terrifying and quite different and genre-breaking crime novel" - Bo Tao Michaëlis, Politiken, Denmark, 29 September 2012

 

”… the plot is superb. … a perfectly constructed thriller, one piece of a mosaic next to the other, with dense seams and a subtle and surprising logic … the picture that is gradually painted of an unusual landscape – Swedish-speaking Finland facing the Gulf of Botnia – holds you enthralled, in constant expectation of the next blow, the following inspiration.      The effect is enhanced by a multi-level structure where different point of view are constantly superimposed … , be it those of characters acting in the first person or those of characters revealing themselves through diaries which are unwound like Ariadne threads, conveying a truth that is often ambiguous.” - Pietro Soria, La Stampa, Italy, 2 October 2010

 

"...this is a many-faceted and often gripping novel...The author is a master of different styles: the young Russian’s fluent but naïve and often ungrammatical Swedish, the killer’s pathological thoughts, the soldier’s mental anguish, the formal style of a cultured, aristocratic recluse" - Irene Scobbie, Swedish Book Review, United Kingdom, 2011:1

 

“… it has quickly entered the Italian list of bestsellers. It is a first novel written by a university professor in Uppsala already enrolled in the company of masters of the thriller arriving from the cold. … More fierce than Henning Mankell, this is the first book in a trilogy and it bodes well." - Io Donna, Italy, October 2010

 

Give Me Your Eyes is a fascinating puzzle of witness reports, indications and investigative techniques which are woven together to perfection, reminding us of the most famous television series of the detective genre. … by means of this psychological thriller built on many points of view, [Pettersson] has succeeded in creating a fascinating and hypnotic story, filled with unexpected shifts of events capable of making the reader hold his breath from the first page to the last. The novel is not only a disturbing journey into a perverse murderous mentality, but also a reflection on the dangers hiding behind nuclear energy and on the trade with Russian women taken to Finland on the pretext of a new life but forced to prostitution by brutal threats. Pettersson’s novel is characterized by a fluent style of writing, involving and attentive to the smallest details …- Viviana Filippini, Giornale di Brescia, Italy, 30 October 2010 

 

“Now a new writer to keep an eye on has appeared in the bookshops, an author who on every page reminds us that the genre of the detective story is a matter of anguish and plumbing the human soul. … Torsten Pettersson … soon reveals that he has the hand of a real writer: he makes blood and thoughts flow into shadowy corners never previously illuminated, he cultivates the psychology of mental turmoil with the attention of a miniaturist. And above all he illuminates with dazzling flashes of light the twilight zones of a country, Finland, which thought it was pure and which nevertheless discovers that it is shaken by primary impulses: sex, violence, money. … the plot is irresistible, constructed to perfection: frequent are the surprises, frantic the hypotheses, dense the movements of the protagonists towards the shocking final solution. … And to the very end Pettersson prompts us to soul-searching questions concerning the most obscure and troubled aspects of the human psyche, leaving us with the irrepressible feeling that something inexplicably ugly is happening and that soon something worse will occur.” - Francesco Fantasia, Il Messaggero, Italy, 31 October 2010

 

 

 

Hide Me in Your Heart (Göm mig i ditt hjärta, 2010)

 

“… [It] constantly keeps the reader on full alert and seriously gets your gray brain cells going as you sit there trying to piece together all loose ends for yourself, only to be blindsided, a few pages later, by a new piece of evidence or alibi… The novel enters with full steam on the levels of both suspense and characterization… a very entertaining and thrilling page-turner … both well-written and exciting …” – Janne  Wass, Ny Tid, Finland, 10 September 2010

 

“… [A] skilfully constructed plot which efficiently and to great effect capitalizes on unpredictable turns of event…Hide Me in Your Heart more than holds its own in the stiff competition within the genre… This is a carefully constructed and well narrated crime novel. It is also well-written: Pettersson does not suffer from the logorrhoea and the tendency to underestimate the reader which make detective novels boring and too long for their substance. His first crime novel [Give Me Your Eyes] has enjoyed some international success. This second book is definitely of the same, or of higher, quality and can no doubt be predicted to achieve a corresponding success.” – Bror Rönnholm, Åbo Underrättelser, Finland, 29 September 2010

 

“One [main theme] is whether those who are constantly exposed to crimes and evil deeds can be contaminated and find the step to the side of the perpetrators astoundingly short… The ending goes into a new gear, the story draws the consequences of the reasoning and allows things to happen, balancing on the narrow isthmus between right and wrong.” – Ann-Christine Snickars, Vasabladet, Finland, 9 September 2010

 

“… [It] succeeds in engaging the reader from the word go. Pettersson is by now well versed in giving literary characters sharp outlines. At the same time they are endowed with feelings, flesh and blood.” – Dan Kronqvist, Hufvudstadsbladet, Finland, 9 September 2010

 

“The description of the work of the police seems credible, they do their job according to their lights despite all the horror and misery which they constantly encounter.” – Ingeborg Gayer, Östra Nyland, Finland, 10 September 2010

 

“… Pettersson sometimes pauses and offers – as if it was the most natural thing in the world – something as beautiful as the title of the book [Hide Me in Your Heart]. As for instance when Chief Inspector Lindmark reflects on his own grief after the death of his wife: “Who portions the right amount of grief to a man who has lost his dearest friend?”” – Maria Neij, Upsala Nya Tidning, Sweden, 19 September 2010

 

"Suspense mounts as points of access multiply." - Kerstin Matz, BTJ Bibliotekstjänst, Sweden, 2010

 

"For aficionados of the thrillers arriving from the cold North, after Give Me Your Eyes superintendent Harald Lindmark in Hide Me in Your Heart grapples with a small girl running away from home, a kidnapping which never took place, another crime which took place but where the guilty party was never brought to book." D - la Repubblica, Italy, 29 September 2011

"A complex drama well mastered by the author who allows himself a finale rich in coups de théatre". - Famiglia Cristiana, Italy, 23 October 2011

 

Hitler's Enemies (Hitlers fiender, 2013) 

 

"Hitler’s Enemies is an engaging, colourful and lively depiction of one of the twentieth century’s most fascinating and horrifying places, Berlin on the eve of WW II. (…) On the surface Hitler’s Enemies is a thriller, and its well-paced plot, original settings and lively set of characters hold the reader in thrall. But it is also a book which poses thought-provoking and perennially relevant questions about our responsibility for the society we live in, and which opens up a discussion about what methods a liberal and democratic society may resort to without abandoning the principles it is trying to preserve. In this way the book almost imperceptibly resonates in our own time with Greek neofascism, the American security service NSA and, why not, the Swedish registration of the Roma.” - Catrin Ormestad in Upsala Nya Tidning, Sweden, October 9, 2013

 

"Pettersson uses historically authentic details to sketch the disturbing milieu and atmosphere which dominated this place at this time in history. The plot of the novel functions as a backbone around which the author depicts scenes with a real historical background such as Himmler’s incendiary Nazi speeches, the Night of Broken Glass and the deportation of Jews to Sachsenhausen." - Anna Jansson, BTJ Bibliotekstjänst, Sweden, September 2013

"It feels rewarding to be given a more profound picture of the various roles in which people find themselves during this period preceding the Holocaust. Torsten Pettersson generally succeeds in engendering psychological understanding for benefactors, murderers, victims as well as collaborators." - Lisa Gidelöf - Ergo, Sweden, 7 October 2013

© 2015 Torsten Pettersson