Monday, March 23, 2009

Island of the Naked Women - Inger Frimansson

Tobias is a writer. He started out writing poetry, but determined that writing poetry simply wouldn't pay the bills. So he turned to novel writing, his most recent being a mystery novel. When his father falls from the hayloft on his farm and is incapacitated, Tobias returns to help his father's partner, Sabina, take care of the farm and bring in the cattle from Shame Island (a.k.a. Island of the Naked Women).

Tobias and his father have a very strained relationship for no reason other than male pride. Carl Sigvard is a farmer; he works hard with his hands. He's proud of his son but doesn't know how to express that pride. Tobias' mother took him off the farm when he was young so he is a city boy and doesn't have interest in the farm. He feels that his father is ashamed of him and the work that he does. However, Tobias is attracted to Sabina and when the sparks fly, problems spring up like weeds.

Island of the Naked Women is classified as a mystery, but there is not really a mystery for the reader. He/she knows what has transpired at all points in the book. This book deals more with the mind and is thus a psychological thriller. At many points I was reminded of Edgar Allen Poe as I read. Guilt and paranoia abound.

The characters are not characters that I really found myself connecting with, but they were characters that intrigued me and made me think. Again, the mental aspect of the book coming into play, and that alone kept me turning pages and wondering just where the plot was going.

In many ways Island of the Naked Women is a modern-day tragedy. But regardless of what classification or genre it falls into, it's a book that will challenge the reader's perceptions.

Island of the Naked Women is a book that was originally published in Sweden by Inger Frimansson. This is the first book I've read by Frimansson, but she does have other books in translation available in the United States. She's also the only female writer to be awarded the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers' Award twice. I believe that Island of the Naked Women will be released in the United States in April. I have not had much luck locating it for pre-order options (perhaps closer to its U.S. release date), but it will be published in the U.S. by Caravel Mystery Books ( And I'm sure additional information could be found on Inger Frimansson's website:


Jack April 15, 2009 at 9:24 PM  

Since I'm the publisher of the US edition of ISLAND OF THE NAKED WOMEN, I feel compelled to write to say you can order this book from us directly ( If you say you read about it on Jen's Book Thoughts, I'll give you a 20% discount on this book, or on either of Frimansson's other books (the ones which won her Best Mystery of Sweden honor TWICE).

Jack Estes, Publisher
Caravel Books (a mystery imprint of Pleasure Boat Studio)

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