The Crow Girl | Erik Axl Sund | Book Review (Ending Explained!)
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!
July 2, 2020 @ 5:14 am
Simply superb write-up ……Suddenly after reading it, I too became curious to read such a dark, psychothriller book though I am more of fifty shades darker types!😀
July 2, 2020 @ 5:14 pm
Super thrilled to hear that you liked it, Geetika!😀 If you are fifty shades darker type of person I have an amazing trilogy to pass on to you next time u come here!😈
Thank you so much for all the love, gal!😘❤️☺️
October 14, 2020 @ 9:11 pm
Hey there! I just finished this book and loved reading your review! I particularly loved the list you made of who killed who, etc. At one point during my reading I wanted to make up a list of how many people Victoria had killed at that point because I was losing track (totally unaware at the time that it wasn’t her!). Anyway, I too was confused about the part where she mentions Viggo’s basement and it had me wondering – had she been taken to the basement where they found all the body party’s and such? Or did she mean another basement at another property of Viggo’s? Maybe there were two places like that….eeeeek!
Two questions I still had after finishing the book:
1. On the list of car registration #’s that the cop pulled from the film of Ulrika’s rape – one of the names is a Carl Moller and I recognized all the names on the list except that one and it never came back up in the story. Did I miss something earlier on?
2. In one scene Hurtig is waiting in the car for Jeanette and it says that he has time to type a quick text before she gets in and the text is asking whomever he is texting if they are going to send the pictures. It never said who he texted, and so I was thinking he was working with one of the killers! Did I just totally misinterpret that piece? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
December 18, 2020 @ 3:14 pm
Hey Matina!! Mighty thrilled to hear that you like the book review! 😀 And I totally understand the need of listing the kills and the killers! Crow Girl sure was a wild ride and keeping a track of exactly who killed who was an adventure in itself!
And thanks a million for the idea: Victoria was talking about another of Viggo’s basement! This totally makes sense now!! You made my life easy, Matina! 😀
Now about the questions!
1. That’s right, Carl Moller was never mentioned anywhere else apart from this part of the story.
2. Matina, it’s been a while since I read the book and will have go back and read that bit again and I will… but I don’t think Hurtig had anything to do with the murders or murderers! That’s what I personally feel but will go through that part again and get back! 😀
Once again, I’m so glad that you read the book and read my review too! (And terribly sorry for the delay in responding!)
Have a wonderful day!
January 25, 2021 @ 7:09 pm
Thanks for the great book review!! I was just reading the comments, and thought I’d share my thoughts about the mysterious text Hurtig sends. @Chandani, @Matina
Hurtig types a text reading “Talk tonight? Are you sending the pictures?”
Hurtig is painted as quite a good, honourable character who is also quite lonely. It is mentioned somewhere in the first half of the book that Hurting would like to comfort and support Jeanette in more ways than as her colleague. Perhaps Hurtig has some sort of unrequited feelings for Jeanette, and is affected by Jeanette’s crush on Sofia; he seems to go quiet when Jeanette talks of how much she likes Sofia.
Regardless, between the mourning over his sister’s suicide, his lack of close family, and his keenness to spend time with Johan, he can be interpreted to feel sombre and lonely (perhaps depressed) at times. This is what leads me to think that he sends the text to a love interest – someone he met online perhaps? It may also be the case that he’s reaching out to someone from the depths of his lonliness – a family member/friend perhaps.
Alternatively, the mystery of the text may have been included to further emphasise how much Jeanette doesn’t know about Hurtig’s personal life, as the authors repeatedly mention. It could suggest that Hurtig does have a partner or someone he’s talking to, or even a friend/relative he’s close to. As we follow Jeanette’s point of view for most of the book, leaving the recipient of the text unknown to us as the reader reminds us that not even we know all that much about Hurtig, but that’s okay, because we ultimately trust that he is a good man from his behaviour in the police force. The state of his personal life doesn’t define his character, and that can be a noteworthy point for us to apply in other aspects of life too.
I know some of these ideas are quite abstract haha. I’ve just finished reading the book and all the events are whirling around in my head. Would love to hear if you guys might agree with any of what I’ve suggested 🙂
April 15, 2021 @ 6:03 pm
I totally agree! Hurtig definitely was one of the good guys! Thanks a bunch for the insight!!
And I absolutely understand you having the ‘crow girl’ hangover! I took quite a while to come out of her world!
Do let me know what you’re reading these days! Would love a good recommendation list! (I just finished reading ‘The girl with a dragon tattoo’ series!) 😀
Once again, Thanks for the wonderful comment, Radhika! 💖
February 23, 2021 @ 8:22 am
This book was too confusing to enjoy.
Too many characters; too many loose ends.
What happens to von Kwist?
Who leaves millions to someone they just met? Very convenient! Not realistic
Did the doctors who treated Viggo know he is a woman? ( he has had chemotherapy)
April 15, 2021 @ 6:08 pm
Hey Jean, I’m so sorry to hear that you did not like the book!
It has been a while since I read the book and sorry for not having the answers right now, but will try revisiting and getting back! Meanwhile, do let me know what you’re reading these days! Do share a list of your favorites!
You have a wonderful day, Jean! Happy reading!💖