I cruised around the Web earlier today, trying to get a line on how exactly this novel fared amongst the majority of book reviewers...and so far, I sorta agree with the ones that called it must-read Scandinavian Crime fiction, as opposed to the ones that suggested it was maybe too long, or maybe a somewhat pasted-together rehash of what had gone before but with the gore amped up, or maybe choppy and confusing.
it turns out that this was originally three linked books, that have been combined for a North American audience. so of course it's long. as for the gore--well, I've read Nesbo's The Leopard, and Black's The Killing Lessons, and many other gory and violent novels. so I don't know who should be accused of trying to outdo the other, but it's all kind of similar, if that's a fault. as for choppy...it does jump around but mainly between two key characters, though it has been very busy filling in every detail of most aspects of the personal lives of the two of them, while at the same time moving a complex serial killer case along. I'm completely captivated, and hate putting the book down to do other things.
one review did manage to feed me a pretty significant Spoiler--it was very shocking to encounter a review revealing a major plot twist--and the only thing that kept me from going berserk about it is that the idea--the twist--had actually occurred to me earlier this morning. so I just thought 'oh. I guess that wasn't such a crazy notion after all.". of course, I'm seeing certain scenes and a certain character differently than if I knew a specific detail, now spoiled. I still love the book.
another review talked about The Crow Girl in relation to "that other long, translated, major Crime novel" thrust upon us in 2016: a Japanese novel called Six Four. apparently, the reviewer thought Six Four justified its huge page-count in the end, but felt that Crow Girl does not, and is generally the lesser effort. I've read Six Four, in English translation, and I can tell you I'm of the opposite opinion: Six Four was okay, but became a bit of a grind for me, with a lot of pages and not much actually happening, and a "twist" near the end that maybe didn't need 600 pages to get to--how about 300, instead. no, I'm finding this Erik Axl Lund book much more riveting, with a lot going on, a lot more to think about bursting from all the pages, and more like The Hermit, by Thomas Rydal...as in: "okay--could be shorter, but since I'm enjoying it, who cares.". and again, The Crow Girl is actually three books combined.