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Misterioso: A Crime Novel, By Arne Dahl

This odd and engaging dark crime thriller is set in a dystopic Sweden.

Misterioso: A Crime Novel, by Arne Dahl, Pantheon, 352 pp.

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By Katherine A. Powers for The Barnes & Noble Review

I don't know whether I would have read Arne Dahl's Misterioso – yet another Swedish crime novel, by yet another hitherto-unknown-to-us Swedish crime writer – if I hadn't noticed that it was translated by the great Tiina Nunnally. I first came across this master of Englishing in her scary and wondrous translation of Hans Christian Andersen's "Fairy Tales" and, later, in her stunning rendering into crisp and vivid English of Sigrid Undset's "Kristin Lavransdatter." That was a momentous discovery; so disguised and disfigured had this magnificent work been by its musty, faux-archaic 1920s translation that I had previously found it unreadable. My own command of Swedish doesn't extend beyond knäckebröd and smörgåsbord, so I'm unable to tell you if Nunnally's translation of "Misterioso" is true to the original; but I can say that it seems true to the spirit of this odd and most engaging story.


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