Swedish Life

From Åke Edwardson’s Frozen Tracks (2001/2007), in the Erik Winter police procedural series set in contemporary Gothenburg, Sweden:

“‘I think I’ve found it,’ said Ringmar. ‘The meaning of life, the whole point of life.’

“‘Let’s hear it, then.’


“‘Dying? Is that the only point of living?’

“‘That’s the only point.’

“‘For God’s sake, Bertil.’

“‘That’s the way it feels right now, at least.’

“‘There’s medicine you can take for this, Bertil.’

“‘I don’t think I’m suffering from clinical depression.’

“‘Well, you’re not suffering from manic optimism, that’s for sure,’ said Winter.”


“He showed them into the kitchen, which seemed to have shrunk since last time, just as he seemed more hunched.

“This is one of the solitaries, Winter thought. One of the most solitary men on earth.

“The wood-burning stove was alight. The air in the kitchen was dry and distinctly warm, in contrast to the raw damp in the hall.

“Carlström gestured for them to sit down. He didn’t offer coffee. The kitchen seemed to be overfilled by the four men, as if a new record was about to be set for a country kitchen in the Guinness Book of World Records….”


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