Who doesn’t love a book/movie where one has to search for “Ending explained” after reading/watching?! (I don’t mean to say I’m a bit slow but I do like to confirm my theories… or may be I am! 😀 )
The main reason I’m writing a book review for ‘The Crow Girl’ is: When I googled “ending explained” for the book, I did not find it anywhere instead, I found such contrasting reviews. One called it ‘a masterpiece’ whereas other said it was ugly and confusing! While I don’t think I’ve read enough books to call it ‘a masterpiece’, I felt it was terribly unfair to call it “ugly and confusing”! So here goes my review! (Plus, I believe I’ve figured the ending and will try explaining it, towards the end of this book review!)
It is your normal story about a cop and and a killer. Police superintendent, Jeannette Kihlberg is stuck with murder mystery of a dead boy who’s found in a garbage bag near a metro station in Stockholm. And that is where the normalcy ends! The boy is severely mutilated and mummified.
During the search, she meets a psychologist, Sofia Zetterlund and they team up to find the murderer and that’s where it gets absolutely crazy, bizarre, gory, interesting and insightful, all at the same time!
I never knew what they call ‘a layered story’… until now! Not at any given point you will know who exactly the murderer is! The moment you believe you know him/her, let me tell you right now, YOU’RE WRONG! You’re just so wrong! (Interestingly, I read a comment on the book somewhere, ‘But who is the killer?!’ And I promise I’ll try to help!)
Well, in a lot of reviews they say the gore is wayyyyy too much and it is ‘not for the faint hearted’ and stuff like that, which is pretty true but there is something about how the author has written it. There is certain kind of elegance with which he deals with such dark, disturbing and gut-wrenching things. (Honestly, GOT has hardened us all quite enough! Even then, the bits about child pornography, pedophilia & incest are deeply disturbing aspects of the book that you got to put up with.)
Highlight: The Nausea
There is this portion, little before you reach half way through the book, IT IS ABSOLUTELY KILLER! The way the author has written it, it will almost make your head spin! How distinctively he divulges the crucial most detail in the story, it is an experience! And that is when I just had to google the Author! (When I’m absolutely awestruck with someone’s work, I wanna know everything about them and wonder how their head works the way it works!)
What I found was SO cool! It is actually authors! Erik Axl Sund is a pseudonym for a Swedish writer duo, Jerker Eriksson and Håkan Axlander Sundquist and this is their first novel! :O One hell of an entry, guys!
Plus, they’re actually musicians in a punk/rock band! I’ve massive respect for artists! (Also, I found the idea of the pseudonym super cool! Jerker got his name part first, so Hakan got to put two name parts: Erik Axl Sund! Equality & Balance! So if I ever co-write a book with Ram, our pseudonym is going to be Ram Chand Dave! 😀 )
If you like a book where you get everything in written lines or detailed explanations then this book is not for you. If you don’t like unfinished businesses or if you are a sucker for closures then this book is definitely not for you. BUT! If you like to witness a story about how crazy, spectacular, dark and bright, a human mind can be, then please go for it! It is a psycho-thriller like none other! (Also, if you’re a feminist, all the more reasons to read it!)
So, yes please! By all means, go pick up the book, especially for ‘the nausea’ part! It was published as a trilogy in Sweden but I got it as one fat ass book from Bookchor’s Lock the box and I did not even realize when it was about to end. It is a total page-turner which will make it difficult to come out of The Crow Girl’s world when you’re done reading!
I’d give it 4.5/5 stars for ingenious plot, intricate characters & all the psycho-analyses done by Sofia Zetterlund as well as Erik Axl Sund! If crime fiction is your thing, then there’s noway you should miss this one! (Feel free to buzz and borrow the book if you know me!)
AND once you’re done reading the book, please read and verify the ‘ending explained’ part below! Actually, I also have a question that I’d love your help with.
Alright! Ready for the Ending Explained part? (This is gonna be full of spoilers, so by all means, please excuse yourself!)
The major trap is the lines on backside of the book saying, ‘Goodbye, Hannibal Lecter. That old cannibal is a psychologically interesting as a pet canary in comparison to Victoria Bergman’! While this makes a great endorsement, you are tricked into believing that Victoria Bergman is THE psycho-serial killer or The Crow Girl!
Turns out, Victoria does have those personalities in her head, including The Crow Girl & Sofia Zetterlund but the times when she believed she was murdering, was in his head too! It was just what she thought and believed she did! She did not even kill Martin! The only people she killed were her parents, Bengt Bergman & Birgitta Bergman, by shutting them into Sauna and setting the house on fire!
Then comes our Victoria Jr., aka Madeleine! She killed a bunch of people for all the right reasons. Alright, let’s make an table here to make this easy!
|Victoria Bergman/Sofia Zetterlund||Bengt Bergman|
|Linnea Lundstorm, Charlotte Silfverberg||Suicide|
|Viggo Durrer/Gilah||Henrietta Durer|
Samuel Bai (Fight with Rodya, the guy who tried to kill Ulrika Wendin)
All the 50 children including the the dead boys found around Stockholm
YUP! The biggest twist, Viggo Durer or Gilah, is our serial killer! A Jewish girl, an illegitimate child, abused by her brothers, who ran away from a camp in Dachau. She starts living like a boy to survive in men’s world who then reaches Sweden. The family mess, gender mess and violence in childhood is what made Gilah, Viggo durer, a pedophile, a sadist and a serial killer.
A part about someone dumping another body of a boy in a lake, ‘She’ is used so you’re tricked into believing that it is Madeleine, where as ‘she’ in that part is for Viggo Durer. Actually a lot of places ‘She’ is the word that could be anyone; Victoria, Madeleine or Viggo/Gilah! A second reading would make the story crystal clear, but I don’t think I have it in me to read it again!
If wishes came true…
There are a certain things that I would have wanted to read, like a face-off between Victoria & Madeleine or Viggo himself saying how he became what he became or Jeanette’s reaction on knowing that Sophia Jetterlund IS Victoria Bergman…but no complaints…I guess I can make peace with it.
In the end, you do have to put in efforts to actually see the entire story! Which, don’t you think is truly, THE thrilling part of the story?
There is something I could not understand! At some point, Victoria/Sofia talks about how she wants to forget what she saw in Viggo’s basement! Now what’s that? She already knows about him being the killer? When did she visit his basement? Would love for you to shed some light on this if you’ve already read the book! TIA!
Please feel free to correct me If I’ve gotten anything/something/everything wrong in comments section!
P.S.: The nauseating part I talked about before is the part where the authors divulge that Sofia Zetterlund IS Victoria Bergman! Gosh! I literally felt giddy! It was so disorienting! Writing is truly an art! How a person (or two) sitting that far can make you feel physically so sick just with his words!