What Did I Do? By Jessica Jarlvi.

 

Book review by Cari Mayhew.  Rating 6/10.

 

This is an odd book, but despite its haphazard beginnings, by the three-quarter mark I was hooked and could not put it down!

 

The first chapter runs from the viewpoint of the somewhat mentally disturbed Kristin, who has recently immigrated to Sweden following the death of her husband, Brandon, which she suspects that she caused (cause of death being an allergic reaction to nuts).

 

The following chapter runs from the viewpoint of Frank, who has just returned from a holiday with his wife, Birgitta, to learn that his son, Anders, has been murdered.  The couple suspects that Anders was murdered by his sister, their daughter Sofia.

 

Frank hires a private to track down Sofia, who, it transpires, is Kristin by another name.  Frank and Birgitta also immigrate to Sweden.  Despite Frank’s anger at Sofia, he wants to confront her personally rather than hand her over to the police.

 

Interspersed between chapters on Kristen and Frank, are chapters taken from the viewpoint of a young woman who finds herself the victim of an organisation of pimps, and feels trapped in an unwanted lifestyle.  For a long time in the book, it was hard to see how this had any relevance to Kristen’s or Frank’s story, but it all came together at the three-quarter point, and the action heated up as characters found each other.

 

While reading the earlier chapters, I had a strong feeling that there had been a lot going on behind the scenes and that characters were often unaware of the whole story.

 

There were some characters and elements to the story that, although they were critical to the plot, often felt unnecessary, such as Kristen’s therapy sessions, and chapters from the viewpoint of a neighbour.

 

What was good about this book was the believability of the storytelling, which I imagine would be hard to pull off, given that the subject matter includes murders and sex trafficking.

 

I had chosen this book hoping it would be like Memory Box by Eva Lesko Natiello (Review) where the protagonist uncovers clue after mysterious clue, but in this book the clues were few and far between.

 

I don’t normally make educated guesses as to who is the culprit in a mystery, but on this occasion I did and I was partly right (no spoilers).

 

The story’s ending and epilogue left me feeling satisfied that justice had been served.

 

Overall I did enjoy the book, but I’m not inclined to read more from the author.  Although the writing kept me interested, it felt like reading 3 different stories that barely linked together.

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Cari

Book blogger, excitement conveyor, and information forager.

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