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Closed Circles

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It’s a beautiful day for a regatta—until one of Sandhamn Island’s most prestigious residents is killed aboard his sailing yacht.Oscar Juliander was a rich lawyer and deputy chairman of the prestigious Royal Swedish Yacht Club. While at first his death seems like a tragic accident, there is evidence of foul play. Police detective Thomas Andreasson teams up with local lawyer It’s a beautiful day for a regatta—until one of Sandhamn Island’s most prestigious residents is killed aboard his sailing yacht.Oscar Juliander was a rich lawyer and deputy chairman of the prestigious Royal Swedish Yacht Club. While at first his death seems like a tragic accident, there is evidence of foul play. Police detective Thomas Andreasson teams up with local lawyer Nora Linde to investigate. As they work to uncover clues, they face resistance from an elite world where nothing but appearance matters.When the rich and powerful inhabitants of Sweden’s idyllic island getaway come under scrutiny, Thomas and Nora must work closely and secretively to seek justice.


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It’s a beautiful day for a regatta—until one of Sandhamn Island’s most prestigious residents is killed aboard his sailing yacht.Oscar Juliander was a rich lawyer and deputy chairman of the prestigious Royal Swedish Yacht Club. While at first his death seems like a tragic accident, there is evidence of foul play. Police detective Thomas Andreasson teams up with local lawyer It’s a beautiful day for a regatta—until one of Sandhamn Island’s most prestigious residents is killed aboard his sailing yacht.Oscar Juliander was a rich lawyer and deputy chairman of the prestigious Royal Swedish Yacht Club. While at first his death seems like a tragic accident, there is evidence of foul play. Police detective Thomas Andreasson teams up with local lawyer Nora Linde to investigate. As they work to uncover clues, they face resistance from an elite world where nothing but appearance matters.When the rich and powerful inhabitants of Sweden’s idyllic island getaway come under scrutiny, Thomas and Nora must work closely and secretively to seek justice.

30 review for Closed Circles

  1. 4 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    Rating: 3.5* of five Ya know what's frustrating? Like lips moving from Heaven to flapping at you frustrating? NOT BEING ABLE TO TELL YOU WHY THIS ISN'T A 4-STAR REVIEW. Because major, major spoilers would be required for me to do that. Minor irks: Carina and Thomas are brought up and dropped in the space of a few sentences. I'd like more of that please. The partial resolution of Nora's marital woes is a good start, but this entry has next to no Nora-and-Thomas time and I missed it. The Eva subplot Rating: 3.5* of five Ya know what's frustrating? Like lips moving from Heaven to flapping at you frustrating? NOT BEING ABLE TO TELL YOU WHY THIS ISN'T A 4-STAR REVIEW. Because major, major spoilers would be required for me to do that. Minor irks: Carina and Thomas are brought up and dropped in the space of a few sentences. I'd like more of that please. The partial resolution of Nora's marital woes is a good start, but this entry has next to no Nora-and-Thomas time and I missed it. The Eva subplot's resolution doesn't seem finished, somehow. It seems unlikely to be complete as it stands and it itches for that reason. Something about these books and their lutefisk-and-cardamom atmosphere makes me crave a jalapeño cheeseburger. I guess that's an index of how very Swedish they are. And how cozy are they? So cozy I want to cruise the piers (I'd have to learn to time-travel, but that's just an added bonus) to recover from the wholesome. So all in all, a good read and a series I can recommend to my smut-averse, violence-averse puzzle-solving friends.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kylie H

    This is the second book in the Sandhamn series, and once again set on the Swedish archipelago that Swedes escape to in their summer houses. It starts with a big yacht race about to begin, but it soon becomes apparent that something has gone terribly wrong. Some great characters in this series, Thomas the police officer and Nora his friend who is dealing with a marriage that is far from made in heaven.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    This is the second in the Sandhamm murders, and takes place roughly a year after the first outing. I've read the book after seeing the series, and the book is far better - in part the story of Nora's marriage is far better done. For instance (view spoiler)[ in the series, Nora's husband smacks her after she denys having an interest in Thomas. While spousal abuses is a no, Nora's denials to her husband ring false, espeically since she had kissed Thomas. The television series inclusion of a romant This is the second in the Sandhamm murders, and takes place roughly a year after the first outing. I've read the book after seeing the series, and the book is far better - in part the story of Nora's marriage is far better done. For instance (view spoiler)[ in the series, Nora's husband smacks her after she denys having an interest in Thomas. While spousal abuses is a no, Nora's denials to her husband ring false, espeically since she had kissed Thomas. The television series inclusion of a romantic spark between Thomas and Nora can be seen, and most likely was seen by some, as an excuse of the hit. In the book, the context of the smack is different. While Henrick might have a point in the argument, so does Nora. The hit is clearly wrong (hide spoiler)] . I still don't know how I feel about Nora. There is something about wishy about her. But in part I like that because it doesn't make her perfect. Enjoyable.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ken Fredette

    This is another "Sandhamn Murders" mystery, "Closed Circles". It is the second after "Still Waters" by Viveca Sten. Revolving around sail boats, different Island's in the Stockholm Archipelago, and nasty characters. Thomas Andreasson is the Detective Inspector, Nora Linde is the lawyer of a bank and friend to Thomas since childhood. These are the main characters that Viveca utilizes in her stories. I should say that the protagonists are regular people, but the situations that they get into are u This is another "Sandhamn Murders" mystery, "Closed Circles". It is the second after "Still Waters" by Viveca Sten. Revolving around sail boats, different Island's in the Stockholm Archipelago, and nasty characters. Thomas Andreasson is the Detective Inspector, Nora Linde is the lawyer of a bank and friend to Thomas since childhood. These are the main characters that Viveca utilizes in her stories. I should say that the protagonists are regular people, but the situations that they get into are unconscionable. I like Viveca's style of writing and can't wait for another book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ceecee

    3+ stars I liked the setting of Sandhamm and that the case surrounded the Round Gotland Yacht race but I thought the reason for the deaths of Oscar Juliander and Martin Nyren were a bit weak. The character I got more of a sense of in the book is Nora Lind although there were times I wanted to shake her for letting her bully of a husband continue to call the shots. I was glad she finally stood up for herself towards the end of a book. The character of Thomas Andreasson remained a bit of an enigma 3+ stars I liked the setting of Sandhamm and that the case surrounded the Round Gotland Yacht race but I thought the reason for the deaths of Oscar Juliander and Martin Nyren were a bit weak. The character I got more of a sense of in the book is Nora Lind although there were times I wanted to shake her for letting her bully of a husband continue to call the shots. I was glad she finally stood up for herself towards the end of a book. The character of Thomas Andreasson remained a bit of an enigma but that’s quite intriguing.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Vera Long

    The second of the Sandhamn murder series was a fast read, engrossing, engaging, believable. The two main characters are Thomas, a homicide detective, and his best friend, Nora, who helps him solve cases. Set in Sweden, one can almost smell the sea air of the archipelago.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    The assassination of a prominent yacht club member at a prominent event finds Thomas and Margit leading the investigation. Thomas asks his friend and banking attorney Nora, of Sandhamn, to help interpret some financial matters. Nora, who recently inherited an estate, finds herself at odds with her husband regarding its disposal. Her husband's depiction reminds me of a former boyfriend who can't cut the umbilical cord attaching himself to his mother. I didn't have this one figured out, possibly b The assassination of a prominent yacht club member at a prominent event finds Thomas and Margit leading the investigation. Thomas asks his friend and banking attorney Nora, of Sandhamn, to help interpret some financial matters. Nora, who recently inherited an estate, finds herself at odds with her husband regarding its disposal. Her husband's depiction reminds me of a former boyfriend who can't cut the umbilical cord attaching himself to his mother. I didn't have this one figured out, possibly because my reading continues to be distracted because of present COVID-19 concerns. I did not think this installment worked quite as well as the first for me; however, I plan to continue reading it. (3.5 stars)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. After reading Still Waters last year, I was really looking forward to picking up Closed Circles, the second in the series set on Sandhamn island, the summer retreat of Sweden’s wealthier residents. The setting sounds idyllic with beautiful views and blue waters – just the type of place I would like a holiday home…that is if I could afford it – and people didn’t keep getting murdered. The murders destroy the island’s calm and make the resident’s anxious. Last’s summers murder were, they were sure, After reading Still Waters last year, I was really looking forward to picking up Closed Circles, the second in the series set on Sandhamn island, the summer retreat of Sweden’s wealthier residents. The setting sounds idyllic with beautiful views and blue waters – just the type of place I would like a holiday home…that is if I could afford it – and people didn’t keep getting murdered. The murders destroy the island’s calm and make the resident’s anxious. Last’s summers murder were, they were sure, an anomaly. Now there are more. And worse, they are targeting the have’s vs. the have nots, respected members of the community. It is also a closed community, one with plenty of secrets that they don’t want to share with the detective in charge, Thomas. Thankfully, he’s dedicated and dogged and unlikely to give up. He’s also really likeable and pretty well balanced, avoiding the many stereotypes of dysfunctional police officers with family issues and drinking problems. Whilst not everything in his life is perfect, he handles it like a grown up – and manages to set it aside when working on the case. His best friend Nora is equally as likeable and became much more of a “real” person to me in this book. A lawyer at a bank, she spends her summers on Sandhamn so it makes perfect sense for Thomas to ask for her help on the case. They don’t, however, like the blurb suggests, team up. Instead, she is on the periphery of the investigation – though does help it come to it’s conclusion. I could have felt cheated by this if I hadn’t been so caught up in Nora’s own story, which runs parallel to the investigation and isn’t crime related at all but very personal. This might have been a distraction but wasn’t at all, a testament I think to how well both characters were developed and how well written (and translated) the book was. It had a good pace and a good plot – simple but with plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing until close to the end and, as a result, I liked it a lot. The only downside to it is that it might not make much sense if you haven’t read the first book, the events of which very much drive Nora in this one. I am not sure it can stand on it’s own without being confusing. So, my overall recommendation? Well worth a read (after you’ve read Still Waters!).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Natasha Niezgoda

    Okay then! I enjoyed book 2 so much more than the first, so I'm glad I kept moving forward with this series. The plot of this murder mystery is your typical "who done it" crime. There's despection, lies, scandal, affairs, murder obviously, and greed. There's enough hype to keep your interest from a crime perspective, but it's really the development of Thomas and Nora that drew me in further. I felt like with the close of book 1 I was just getting to know them. And in this "episode" I now feel em Okay then! I enjoyed book 2 so much more than the first, so I'm glad I kept moving forward with this series. The plot of this murder mystery is your typical "who done it" crime. There's despection, lies, scandal, affairs, murder obviously, and greed. There's enough hype to keep your interest from a crime perspective, but it's really the development of Thomas and Nora that drew me in further. I felt like with the close of book 1 I was just getting to know them. And in this "episode" I now feel emotionally connected to the two main characters. I learned more about their personal moral compasses, what each of them is striving for in life, what they are both missing and longing for, and what empassions them. I will say, the book ended oddly. But I am realizing that transitions aren't Sten's greatest strength. So I'm gonna read the third book and see if this dynamic duo keeps their momentum. Maybe Nora can finally join the police force - she helps out Thomas enough to already be an honorary member ;)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Lamont

    You know how sometimes you just want to wear your favorite yoga pants and sit on the couch and eat macaroni and cheese straight out of the pot and half a bag of chocolate chunk chocolate chip cookies while watching pleasant and pretty people on a cooking show? Sometimes I feel like that's essentially what I'm doing when reading predictable yet enjoyable books like the two so far in Ms Sten's Sandhamn series. For murder mysteries with a hefty side helping of marital dissension, they're oddly comf You know how sometimes you just want to wear your favorite yoga pants and sit on the couch and eat macaroni and cheese straight out of the pot and half a bag of chocolate chunk chocolate chip cookies while watching pleasant and pretty people on a cooking show? Sometimes I feel like that's essentially what I'm doing when reading predictable yet enjoyable books like the two so far in Ms Sten's Sandhamn series. For murder mysteries with a hefty side helping of marital dissension, they're oddly comforting. It's that whole Sweden thing, isn't it?

  11. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    I am on board for this Swedish murder mystery series! I’m pleased as punch that I can get them on krndle urnlimited for the time being. I have a free trial to devour a bunch of them, especially since this one and hopefully others come with complementary audio listening. I feel the need to move quickly. armazon has given me the shaft recently via prime video. Last month all the seasons of Magnum P.I. were free but now this month they all cost extra, so no more Magnum P.I. for me please keep me in I am on board for this Swedish murder mystery series! I’m pleased as punch that I can get them on krndle urnlimited for the time being. I have a free trial to devour a bunch of them, especially since this one and hopefully others come with complementary audio listening. I feel the need to move quickly. armazon has given me the shaft recently via prime video. Last month all the seasons of Magnum P.I. were free but now this month they all cost extra, so no more Magnum P.I. for me please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I mourn the loss of tom selleck in his tiny shorts. Well anyway, back to the resort islands of Sweden in summertime! We got a yacht club murder to investigate here. High profile murder occurs at the same time as a yacht race, as the starter pistol goes off. Naturally, all the wealthy friends of the deceased are beside themselves. Also they are suspects. We readers have the chance to grab ourselves a martini, a sherry, a couple canapés, step into our preppy boat shoes and get to work solving the case with our protagonists Thomas and Nora. Art dealers, social climbing wives, bankers, lawyers... These suspects are so pampered and protected, it may be possible this case gets closed without catching the killer! And Sweden’s top crime unit is challenged by horrifying setbacks! Lack of air conditioning in their vehicles, head colds, bad-tasting coffee, pre-packaged sandwiches!! The horror! Seriously, I lowkey love these books. I learn something new every time. Firstly, it seems that Sweden only experiences 150 murders per YEAR! Really? Ok, 150 violent deaths is still a lot, but compared to USA crime rates.... yeah. Also during this book, I had to look up the exchange rates for krona to dollars. Nora and her husband get into some serious arguments about whether to sell the big ol house that Nora has inherited, and they’re talking million krona, three or four million krona, and I found myself thinking “whoa lady! What are you waiting for! Sell it!” But actually a million krona is like a hundred thousand dollars so not as ginormously life changing as I originally thought, and confirmed my decision yes her husband is an absolute asshole. The whodunnit twist was an interesting surprise I guess. Myself the reader gets duped again. And I got myself feeling sympathetic for the sad rich people who weren’t allowed to be their “true selves”. They’re trapped in their golden cages wwwaaaahhh. Please hand them another martini and a handful of krona so they can wipe their tears.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Esther

    This series was recommended by my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. They both had the books and I borrowed them. After the first book, I really was curious about the rest of the series and I enjoyed this second book a lot! I definitely plan on reading the other books in this series. Full review can be found at BiteIntoBooks For people who love mystery/crime books, this is definitely a lovely series to read. The characters are enjoyable, the cases are fun to read. The book is easy to get through and This series was recommended by my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. They both had the books and I borrowed them. After the first book, I really was curious about the rest of the series and I enjoyed this second book a lot! I definitely plan on reading the other books in this series. Full review can be found at BiteIntoBooks For people who love mystery/crime books, this is definitely a lovely series to read. The characters are enjoyable, the cases are fun to read. The book is easy to get through and the setting is, in my opinion, beautiful! Around the coast somewhere in Sweden, lovely! I will definitely continue reading this series by Viveca Sten.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Marsha

    This second offering from Viveca Sten starring Thomas Andreason and Nora Linde did not disappoint. The plotting was well done (an influential and rich man is murdered at the helm of his yacht on race day) and concluded satisfactorily. What I like most about these Swedish mysteries is the ambience of the Swedish towns and islands. I also enjoy catching up with Thomas' and Nora's lives. Thomas is haunted by the death of his child and the end of his marriage, while Nora is grappling with her husban This second offering from Viveca Sten starring Thomas Andreason and Nora Linde did not disappoint. The plotting was well done (an influential and rich man is murdered at the helm of his yacht on race day) and concluded satisfactorily. What I like most about these Swedish mysteries is the ambience of the Swedish towns and islands. I also enjoy catching up with Thomas' and Nora's lives. Thomas is haunted by the death of his child and the end of his marriage, while Nora is grappling with her husband's prejudice and overbearing pride. The personal stories almost overshadow the mysteries, but I like that. I'll continue to read this series if only to see what happens to Nora's marriage.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lis Carey

    It's a year later, the summer after the events in Still Waters, and an important yacht race is happening at Sandhamn. Thomas is a spectator, a guest on the marine police boat he once captained, when the starting gun fires--and the prominent lawyer, commanding a yacht favored to win, collapses to the deck of his yacht. It wasn't the starting gun that killed him, of course, but someone used the starting gun as cover for the sound of t was the rifle they used to shoot Oscar Juliander. Juliander was s It's a year later, the summer after the events in Still Waters, and an important yacht race is happening at Sandhamn. Thomas is a spectator, a guest on the marine police boat he once captained, when the starting gun fires--and the prominent lawyer, commanding a yacht favored to win, collapses to the deck of his yacht. It wasn't the starting gun that killed him, of course, but someone used the starting gun as cover for the sound of t was the rifle they used to shoot Oscar Juliander. Juliander was successful, prominent, a major figure in the yacht club, and well-liked. He was especially liked by women, and had, in addition to a well-connected wife who looked the other way, a string of ex-lovers whom he'd managed to part with on reasonably friendly terms. He also had a lifestyle that seems not to have been adequately supported by the income the police can identify--yet there is no untoward debt, either. Where is the money coming from? Thomas, Margit, and the rest of their team have potential motives, but no one they can connect to them who doesn't have a good alibi for the time of the shooting. What's going on? Thomas's friend Nora, a bank lawyer, helps them track down some potentially critical evidence regarding finances. Thomas is dogged and persistent, even has this confusing case drags on, and another murder occurs that appears to be directly connected. It's complicated, interesting, and compelling. Meanwhile, both Thomas and Nora have problems in their personal lives. For Thomas, Carina is a sweet, charming girl who does really love him--but he's finding he doesn't love her. The age difference doesn't have to be a relationship killer, but for Thomas, Carina's youth is too great a difference. He's been enjoying her cheerful vitality in a way that he increasingly feels has been exploitative, and it's now just making him feel old. For Nora, of course, it's her husband, Henrik, who might have learned something from her near-death the previous year, but apparently didn't. Things are deteriorating, and maybe, maybe, Nora is starting to recognize what she really needs to do. What puzzles me in the story is that Margit, who is Thomas's older, more experienced partner, has so little presence. More so than in the first book, when she was of course supposed to be on vacation, but why does Thomas seem to be running this investigation? It's not an inability to write strong characters, and maybe we'll see more of Margit in future books. Overall, a very good, satisfying mystery. Recommended. I bought this audiobook.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joann

    In Closed Circles, a famous regatta organized by the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (RSYC) is about to start when a participant is shot. The victim, Oscar Juliander is the deputy president of the RSYC and a well-known bankruptcy lawyer in Stockholm. Oscar has had a series of flings which could be a reason for his murder. Thomas, the Stockholm detective, was already on the scene since he was among the public who wanted to watch the race. He will lead the investigation along with his sidekick. Nora is a In Closed Circles, a famous regatta organized by the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (RSYC) is about to start when a participant is shot. The victim, Oscar Juliander is the deputy president of the RSYC and a well-known bankruptcy lawyer in Stockholm. Oscar has had a series of flings which could be a reason for his murder. Thomas, the Stockholm detective, was already on the scene since he was among the public who wanted to watch the race. He will lead the investigation along with his sidekick. Nora is also in Sandhamn for the holidays, with her husband and children. What I enjoy about this series, is that the lives of Nora and her family are woven into this series. Right now, their marriage is on rocky ground and I'm anxious to see how the next several books will deal with this. I also hadn't figured out who the murderer was in this book so it came as a surprise to me.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Ruhl

    I realized that I only read this book, number 2 of 7 in the series, to see what would happen with the marriage of one of the two protagonists. Then I realized that instead of reading five more books, I could just read the synopsis on the back of each one, and it would save me a lot of time and irritation that I was reading a series that didn’t particularly interest me. Though I didn’t hate all the lovely descriptions of Sweden.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    An interesting setup for a murder mystery. Oscar Juliander is shot on his yacht at the starting line of the annual regatta and the killer must be one of the people aboard the competing and spectator boats in the vicinity. Somewhat unusually for a Swedish mystery, the story is set in summer and takes a look at the upper echelons of the class structure. The problem with the book is the translator, who seems to have a very sparse English vocabulary.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    This is the second I have read in this series, set in the islands of Sweden, and I'm really liking them. The characters are engaging, the setting sounds lovely, and the plots just convoluted enough to be interesting. I did guess the murderer before it was revealed, but not too far in advance. This is the second I have read in this series, set in the islands of Sweden, and I'm really liking them. The characters are engaging, the setting sounds lovely, and the plots just convoluted enough to be interesting. I did guess the murderer before it was revealed, but not too far in advance.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lynda Kelly

    Another 5* out of 5 for this author. Another super story and hardly an error throughout. Once again it kicked off with a lot of sailing stuff but again she saves it in time from becoming too much, if, like me, you've no interest in sailing whatsoever. Nora didn't seem to feature quite as much in this book though her hubby continues to act like a prize sh*t !! Mind you, Thomas wasn't being a very nice gentleman as much in this story, either. There was also no mention of IKEA. That's usually a stapl Another 5* out of 5 for this author. Another super story and hardly an error throughout. Once again it kicked off with a lot of sailing stuff but again she saves it in time from becoming too much, if, like me, you've no interest in sailing whatsoever. Nora didn't seem to feature quite as much in this book though her hubby continues to act like a prize sh*t !! Mind you, Thomas wasn't being a very nice gentleman as much in this story, either. There was also no mention of IKEA. That's usually a staple in the Nordic books I read. This sentence is wrong, I think...."changed their course and sheered toward the sailboat". I Googled sheered and it doesn't exist so I'm assuming it should be steered ?? I didn't like the sound of this Swedish cultured sour milk they have with their breakfasts. I was puzzled at Eva not wanting to take migraine meds when it's explained that they get her back on her feet, and then by the fact that some in the police had no idea what a platinum card is !!! We never learned what the reason was behind the name of a bank account. Another place was where Thomas states "But then Juliander wouldn't have died first, right ?"....I was lost at his reasoning there. I didn't believe that Thomas would work his way through all his post and leave a padded envelope till last-it wouldn't happen. I am looking forward to book 3 though I see it's not been translated as yet. I'll keep an eye out for it, though.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ms Kathryn Pizar

    A very good follow story A very good second book in this series which I thoroughly enjoyed, and with hopes that it won't be too long before book number three becomes available. A good plot which kept my interest right the way through. I like all the characters, except of course Nora's nasty husband Henrik who I dislike intensely. He comes across as utterly selfish, condescending and patronising, whose only aim in life is money and possessions, and who always gets his own way in everything. Dump hi A very good follow story A very good second book in this series which I thoroughly enjoyed, and with hopes that it won't be too long before book number three becomes available. A good plot which kept my interest right the way through. I like all the characters, except of course Nora's nasty husband Henrik who I dislike intensely. He comes across as utterly selfish, condescending and patronising, whose only aim in life is money and possessions, and who always gets his own way in everything. Dump him Nora, asap. My only gripe is the translation which was obviously done by an American. The constant use of Americanisms is annoying to say the least, together with the obvious spelling mistakes of leaving the letter u out of harbour and neighbour etc. Center instead of centre and maneuver instead of manoeuvre. And the persistent elongation of got into gotten is a constant source of irritation. I feel if authors writing in a foreign language want to appeal to the UK market, they should use English translators, and not American.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    Outside of wanting to buy ocean front property, the book left me cold. This is evidently the second in a series and although I never want to guess the ending of any book, much less a murder mystery, finding the perpetrator somewhere out in left field is also annoying. Plus a couple of background stories were left unresolved - I assume to make you want to purchase the 3rd installment, which is probably not going to happen here.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    First book I've read by this author. Definitely not the last. Love the island, vacation setting in Sweden. First book I've read by this author. Definitely not the last. Love the island, vacation setting in Sweden.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Steven Z.

    Viveca Sten continues her Sandhamn murder series with her second installment CLOSED CIRCLES in which she continues her “softer” approach to the Swedish noir. Unlike other authors, Sten chooses to mostly leave out the blood and gore and presents violent acts in a much more acceptable fashion, though the story does begin with a murder. The victim Oscar Juliander, a womanizer and corrupt lawyer is shot as he stood by the boat’s steering column, the “Emerald Gin,” as he jockeyed for position at the Viveca Sten continues her Sandhamn murder series with her second installment CLOSED CIRCLES in which she continues her “softer” approach to the Swedish noir. Unlike other authors, Sten chooses to mostly leave out the blood and gore and presents violent acts in a much more acceptable fashion, though the story does begin with a murder. The victim Oscar Juliander, a womanizer and corrupt lawyer is shot as he stood by the boat’s steering column, the “Emerald Gin,” as he jockeyed for position at the Round Gotland Race. Juliander was the first vice chairman of the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (RSYC) and a successful bankruptcy lawyer. He was killed when the starting gun went off to begin the race which coincided with the bullet that resulted in his death. Sten interestingly constructs her plot through a number of characters that appeared in STILL WATERS the most important of which are Detective Inspector Thomas Andreasson; Nora Linde, a lawyer and old friend of Andreasson; Carina Persson, an administrative assistant on the police force who was in a relationship with Andreasson; and Detective Inspector Margit Grankvist, Andreasson’s partner. Sten introduces a series of new characters aside from Juliander which reflect the social status and lifestyles of RSYC members. They include Ingmar von Hahne, the yacht club secretary; Hans Rosensjoo, Chairman of the RSYC; and Martin Nyren, head of facilities for the RSYC among numerous others. From the outset the dominant question revolves around who killed Oscar Juliander. There are a number of interesting theories. First, though married he had over thirteen mistresses over the years who he had made certain promises to. Second, he was scheduled to replace Rosensjoo as Chairman of the RSYC, perhaps someone was jealous or had other plans. Third, Juliander lived his life well beyond his financial means, i.e., how did he afford his lavish sailboat, leading to the supposition that the Russian mob may have been involved. Fourth, Juliander was fond of drugs. Fifth, he was in possession of a crooked credit card linked to an offshore bank account that was difficult to penetrate, and lastly someone might have been focused on killing members of the RSYC’s board of directors. For about two-thirds of the novel the plot line zeroes in on the investigation of Juliander’s death until a second killing takes place. As you continue to read you expect some sort of defining moment, but Sten continues and strings you along. To facilitate the story line Sten delves into the private life of Andreasson and Linde’s private lives in much more detail than in STILL WATERS. For Andreasson his involvement with Carina Persson, fourteen years younger and the daughter of the Chief of Police puts him in a quandary, how to break it off and not anger anyone. In Linde’s case her marital difficulties with her physician husband Henrik continues from the prequel as she inherits an old mansion that she wants to maintain, and her husband does not. The marriage had difficulties before this new issue, and it is a focal point in the story as she turns to Andreasson for advice and he in turn looks to her for professional assistance in dealing with banking regulations to help solve the murders. Juliander’s vehicle for his wealth was a foreign credit card set up through a secret bank account. The way banking regulations were set up, particularly in Liechtenstein it was difficult to obtain banking records. Sten spends time explaining how these regulations impeded criminal investigations especially in certain countries. It seemed the only way to penetrate this vehicle of corruption was if the issue revolved around terrorism or drugs. In Juliander’s case it appeared that the protective wall was just about money laundering or other forms of accumulating wealth. As the novel progresses Sten integrates the fears and angst of a number of characters, among them is Diana Soder who fears for her life because of a number of threatening e-mails. Further the wives of RSYC board members have their own agendas as do a number of other somewhat shady characters. Sten’s work flies by as you read as the translation from Swedish by Laura A. Wideburg is well done. I enjoyed CLOSED CIRCLES and I hope to continue reading the series, with GUILTLESS, next up.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Keith Curran

    EXCELLENT Loved the book. Thrilling and twisty and twisted. I really appreciate it when a murder investigation doesn’t rely on a suddenly relevant stranger to either reveal whodunnit or who themselves dunnit. The murderer should be right there, from the beginning, among and involved with the other characters, so that when we learn who it is, there’s a delicious satisfaction in looking back over the book for what we might have missed or dismissed as unimportant. Much like the detectives here did. EXCELLENT Loved the book. Thrilling and twisty and twisted. I really appreciate it when a murder investigation doesn’t rely on a suddenly relevant stranger to either reveal whodunnit or who themselves dunnit. The murderer should be right there, from the beginning, among and involved with the other characters, so that when we learn who it is, there’s a delicious satisfaction in looking back over the book for what we might have missed or dismissed as unimportant. Much like the detectives here did. Using pieces of the puzzle, as they are discovered, sometimes forcing them to fit, creating a variety of images until they finally have just enough crucial pieces to put assemble the correct one. All of the characters are well-drawn, even if some of them, treated with importance, belong more among the periphery. But, their prominence does make for more possible suspects. The only thing I’d have liked to see more of would have been a sense of place. I didn’t really learn anything about Sweden; it’s geography, culture, social norms, politics, history, how this crime committed here, instead of anywhere else, took shape the way it did, as did the investigation, as did the reactions of those left behind. I also could have used a little more ambiguity. More “sometimes, good people do bad things” or “Even bad people love, long for and desire, making them capable of good.” How important CIRCUMSTANCES are in the making of a killer, in the same way they make a hero. To play either role, you need the weight of history pushing against you, making your actions, this moment in this place, all but inevitable. Still this is a wonderfully entertaining book that kept me making excuses so I could get back to it. I love being in an artfully created world; one which, unlike our own, was created for a purpose. That purpose could have been more in evidence in this book (as it can be over-evident in others), but nonetheless, it is a terrific achievement and I recommend it highly.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    I enjoyed this book a lot, as I did the first book in the series. The mystery plot is clever, with numerous potential suspects, and it's quite believable that the police investigation would be difficult. I did suspect the identity (but not the motive) of the murderer about halfway through. But then I had to second-guess myself after there is a second murder, clearly related to the first, but with no obvious motive. So ultimately I was kept guessing until the end. And then there is a coda with a I enjoyed this book a lot, as I did the first book in the series. The mystery plot is clever, with numerous potential suspects, and it's quite believable that the police investigation would be difficult. I did suspect the identity (but not the motive) of the murderer about halfway through. But then I had to second-guess myself after there is a second murder, clearly related to the first, but with no obvious motive. So ultimately I was kept guessing until the end. And then there is a coda with a great and somewhat amusing twist at the very end. I also like the author's portrayals of the relationships among the characters, with one exception. The often weary camaraderie among the police officers adds realistic context to the investigation. The portraits of several members of the Royal Swedish Yacht Club are well drawn. And it's clear why Thomas and Nora's friendship is so important to both of them. My only quibble is with the way Nora and Henrik's marriage is portrayed, or rather with the way the big issue between them — what to do with Signe's house — is presented. I understand that readers are meant to like and identify with Nora and dislike Henrik, and to contrast Nora's marriage to Henrik with her friendship with Thomas. In my opinion, though, both Henrik and Nora share the blame in their dispute over the house. Henrik is not the only one who doesn't listen. Nora doesn't exactly go out of her way to understand Henrik's point of view either. Unfortunately, although I like Nora in many respects, I wasn't able to sympathize with her in the way she handled the house issue as much as I'm sure the author intended us to. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lena

    I got 2 months of free Kindle unlimited and I can listen to these books as well as read the text. Without that I would have stopped after book 1. This wasn't a bad story but I can admit that I only started with these books because they are set in Sweden, a country that I left almost 20 years ago. Unfortunately the same woman read this book as the previous book (: She doesn't seem to get any of the Swedish names right. She doesn't even pronounce all the letters in the names. When a name shows up I got 2 months of free Kindle unlimited and I can listen to these books as well as read the text. Without that I would have stopped after book 1. This wasn't a bad story but I can admit that I only started with these books because they are set in Sweden, a country that I left almost 20 years ago. Unfortunately the same woman read this book as the previous book (: She doesn't seem to get any of the Swedish names right. She doesn't even pronounce all the letters in the names. When a name shows up again in the book, she doesn't always say it the same was as she just did which makes it really confusing even for me who should be able to figure out the names. Nora's last name is Linde but she calls her Linda. She gets Rosensjöö right but calls Göran - "Goran". Kalle Lidwall is called "Karla Liddwal". Fredrik Winberg is called "Fridrik Winnber". Margit and Carina should have the emphasis on the a not the i. Van Hahne she calls "Van Hohne". Jarlaberg became "Jurlaberg". Johan Wrede became "Juhan Werde". Brand house is called "Brond house". Olof became "Ulof". Larsson is pronounced "Larssen". Brånemark became "Brunemark". Slussen became "Slusen". Same problem with Nacka, here it's pronounced Naka. The sad thing is that what I will remember most after listening to this book is the horrible reader.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Siri Solheim-Kristiansen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. "Closed circles" is a typical easy-read of its genre, driven by both the main crime to be solved and the main characters, Nora and Thomas', personal stories. The book continues a year after the first one ended; Thomas is no longer single (sort of), even though he doesn't act like it and probably is at the beginning of the next book. Nora is still working the same job in Stockholm, and still fighting with her even more selfish husband. Once again it's the middle of the summer in Sandhamn, the tour "Closed circles" is a typical easy-read of its genre, driven by both the main crime to be solved and the main characters, Nora and Thomas', personal stories. The book continues a year after the first one ended; Thomas is no longer single (sort of), even though he doesn't act like it and probably is at the beginning of the next book. Nora is still working the same job in Stockholm, and still fighting with her even more selfish husband. Once again it's the middle of the summer in Sandhamn, the tourists have forgotten last years crime and is back, happier than ever. The lucky ones who owns a summer house are going on with their life in the exact same way as last year. Then a murder happens, just like last year. We're given clues, hints and it's all quite easily guessed before the ending. At least almost all of it. The language flows nicely, and despite a few spelling errors (such as the name of the main character at one point!) and hints of the author not knowing anything about computers, its a book you can relax with; have a cup of tea and dream of the warm summer days that's just passed.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    This is the second of the Sandham murder series set on the Sandham islands off the coast of Sweden. It’s the height of summer tourist season. As expensive racing yachts jockey for the best position at the race’s start, suddenly the captain of one of the most expensive yachts falls to the deck of his yacht just as the starters ‘pistol sounds. It’s murder, of course, but who would want to kill the Chairman of the Royal Swedish Yacht Club? Once again policeman Thomas Andreasson and his partner, Margi This is the second of the Sandham murder series set on the Sandham islands off the coast of Sweden. It’s the height of summer tourist season. As expensive racing yachts jockey for the best position at the race’s start, suddenly the captain of one of the most expensive yachts falls to the deck of his yacht just as the starters ‘pistol sounds. It’s murder, of course, but who would want to kill the Chairman of the Royal Swedish Yacht Club? Once again policeman Thomas Andreasson and his partner, Margit take on the investigation, while Thomas’s longtime friend Nora, sleuths in some rather fishy financial records. Many good twists and turns. I am disappointed that Nora is still enduring her poor marriage, but I know that the end of a marriage is not as easy as one might imagine. I was surprised that there is a plot summary of the entire first novel with all its spoilers within the first few chapters. As this second novel is a continuation of the characters’ personal dramas, I suppose it had to be done. But you won’t want to read this one if you plan on reading the first in the series.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Another re-read. I like this story because the murder is sooo interesting. There are so many witnesses to the murder (although, most don't exactly realize it), but none of the murderer. The story is interesting because you see the motive of the different characters and but you don't know exactly who or what it's about. Henrik is REALLY annoying (as he's supposed to be), so since this is a re-read, I did skip over his parts. Again, I like the relationship between Nora and Thomas. It's interesting Another re-read. I like this story because the murder is sooo interesting. There are so many witnesses to the murder (although, most don't exactly realize it), but none of the murderer. The story is interesting because you see the motive of the different characters and but you don't know exactly who or what it's about. Henrik is REALLY annoying (as he's supposed to be), so since this is a re-read, I did skip over his parts. Again, I like the relationship between Nora and Thomas. It's interesting to get a cop perspective and a layperson (who is a very helpful lawyer - who happens to know a lot about other types of law - I'm a lawyer and I do not, but that's me!). The mystery is so interesting to see how and why the murderer did what he/she did (no spoilers?). I recommend this book for someone who likes mysteries, different POVs, and nothing too dark, but still intriguing.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    I was happy to renew my acquaintance of Nora Linde and her friend Thomas Andreasson. Closed Circle has two major story lines going on. One deals with Nora and her husband and a disagreement about a house that Nora inherited; another deals with Thomas and the murder of a bankruptcy lawyer that takes place at the beginning of a famous regatta. Nora and Thomas' friendship allows Nora to discuss her dilemma with Thomas, and Thomas feels comfortable asking Nora, a lawyer, for information about what i I was happy to renew my acquaintance of Nora Linde and her friend Thomas Andreasson. Closed Circle has two major story lines going on. One deals with Nora and her husband and a disagreement about a house that Nora inherited; another deals with Thomas and the murder of a bankruptcy lawyer that takes place at the beginning of a famous regatta. Nora and Thomas' friendship allows Nora to discuss her dilemma with Thomas, and Thomas feels comfortable asking Nora, a lawyer, for information about what is involved in bankruptcy law. The characters are engaging, very human, imperfect, and believable. The plot isn't quite as believable, but that didn't interfere with my enjoyment. Kindle Unlimited. Police Procedural. 2016. Print length: 466 pages.

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