Dark Music by David Lagercrantz

In 2013, David Lagercrantz found himself in a remarkable position when he was tasked with continuing Stieg Larsson's renowned Millennium series. It was a considerable undertaking, especially given that Larsson's original trilogy had become a worldwide bestseller, captivating readers across the globe. The pressure was on, but Lagercrantz's interpretation of the beloved characters in The Girl in the Spider's Web transformed the book into a genuine hit, proving that the series could endure beyond the original author's legacy. He crafted two more bestsellers in the series before passing the torch to Karin Smirnoff. Today, Lagercrantz is fully immersed in his own Swedish crime series, commencing with Dark Music. As an admirer of his previous works, I approached this new story with elevated expectations.

Hans Rekke holds the distinguished title of being the foremost expert in the realm of interrogation techniques. His exceptional talent lies in discerning subtleties that often elude others. Complemented with unparalleled logical acumen, he is exceptionally adept at high-stakes investigations. Despite an outwardly perfect life, Rekke conceals a profound secret. Burdened by severe anxiety, he crumbles under the weight of pressure, impeding his ability to perform at his best.

On the other hand, Micaela Vargus has tirelessly ascended through life, transforming dreams into reality through sheer determination. Born to Chilean refugees, she spent her formative years in Stockholm, where her family sought political asylum. Driven by an unrelenting pursuit of success, she has risen through the ranks as a police officer, propelled by a burning need to prove herself in the eyes of her colleagues. When she faces the case of a murdered asylum-seeker from Afghanistan, Micaela seeks out Hans Rekke's invaluable expertise to help unravel the enigma. Together, they embark on a mission to apprehend the killer before being silenced for eternity.

Lagercrantz expertly weaves the essential elements for a captivating read into the narrative. The ambiance is shrouded in shadows, the murder case is tantalizingly mysterious, and the two central characters engage in a fascinating interplay. Yet, despite this seemingly flawless foundation, Dark Music falls short of expectations. The plot loses momentum after a promising beginning and never fully regains its footing. Lagercrantz dedicates much of the story to recounting events through exposition rather than letting them unfold naturally. The book becomes overly reliant on this tactic, significantly impeding its pace and making it a slow read. I found myself eagerly anticipating moments of tension and excitement, and although they occasionally surfaced, we were denied the opportunity to experience them firsthand. Instead, we received accounts of these moments through additional exposition. While the final section of the book does eventually crescendo to a satisfying conclusion, the underwhelming buildup that precedes it diminishes its impact. It's challenging to reconcile this work with the same author who captivated me with the Millennium series. While a second installment awaits, I don't have the motivation to continue.

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and Goodreads

(2023, 85)

This entry was posted on Monday, December 4, 2023 and is filed under ,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

4 Responses to “Dark Music by David Lagercrantz”

  1. It's never good when an author does more telling than showing. And it's sad that this one wasn't better, because the two main characters are so intriguing.

    1. Agreed. I was so disappointed with this one

  2. This is the most negative review I have ever read from you. It's shame the author's storytelling choices hampered your enjoyment. I always like to think that if I enjoyed an author before, I would enjoy them again, but it's not always true.

    1. I know! I hate writing negative reviews and always look for the redeeming qualities. This one simply missed the mark.


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