The De­part­ment of Sen­si­tive Crimes

Scottish Field - - BOOK REVIEWS -

BY ALEXANDER MCCALL SMITH

LIT­TLE, BROWN

£18.99

★★★★ ★

McCall Smith, who is well­known for his prodi­gious writ­ing speeds, hav­ing now penned over 100 nov­els, has es­tab­lished a new genre, Scandi Blanc, which con­trasts with the op­pres­sively heavy and re­lent­lessly dark Scandi Noir. McCall Smith’s lat­est page-turner makes for an easy and light-hearted read, even if it is still full of crime. We fol­low di­vorcee and de­tec­tive Ulf Varg, whose de­part­ment is tasked with solv­ing crimes which are con­sid­ered ‘un­usual’ and out­side the realms of ‘nor­mal’ polic­ing. There is no short­age of th­ese ab­nor­mal cases through­out the novel, fea­tur­ing the stab­bing of a man to the back of a knee, miss­ing uni­ver­sity stu­dents, a mys­tery boyfriend and a case in­volv­ing ly­can­thropy – all the while Ulf is bat­tling a soft spot for his colleague Anna.

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