“Some Kind of Peace” Camilla Grebe and Åsa Träff (Simon and Schuster) – novel review

Some Kind of Peace by Camilla Grebe and Asa Traff book cover

Widowed Siri is a counsellor, treating patients with anxiety and compulsive disorders. A previous patient had taken her life, an action that, as Siri’s husband pointed out before his fatal diving accident, was no one’s fault. Siri’s current patients include an anorexic in recovery, a young woman with borderline personality disorder and a man with a compulsive disorder. She works in a small clinic with two other therapists and a clerical assistant. Still grieving from her husband’s untimely death, Siri maintains an outward appearance of competence whilst drinking heavily and sleeping with all of her lights on.

Until the body of her patient with borderline personality disorder is found on her property, initially thought drowned. The police suspect someone connected with the clinic, a suspicion strengthened when the recovering anorexic gets an anonymous letter urging her to stop using the clinic alleging that Siri is incompetent and had killed a patient. Resisting police efforts to get her to temporarily move out of her house, at least initially, Siri starts looking at her patients and colleagues through an unfamiliar lens of suspicion. It’s only when the clinic’s clerical assistant is put in a coma after a road traffic accident that wasn’t an accident that Siri appreciates how much danger she’s in.

Siri herself, grieving and frequently suffering from too many glasses of wine, is frustrating at times – a psychologist who occasionally has little insight into human character until the police arrest the wrong man. However, the remaining characters and twists and turns of the plot as suspicion falls on one character, then another, the lyrical quality of the prose, translated by Paul Norlen, make this an engaging, if light, read. “Some Kind of Peace” is perfect for a summer beach.

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