Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Slowly We Die by Emelie Schepp

First Line: The woman opened her eyes and looked straight up at me.

A patient is damaged for life after a tragic incident on the operating table, leading a young surgeon to leave the profession. Now, years later, a scalpel is the instrument of choice in a series of senseless murders within the medical community.

Special prosecutor Jana Berzelius is in charge of the investigation. She and her team must find out who is preying on these victims and why. What she can't know until she is finally closing in on the killer is how her own mother's recent death is connected to the investigation.

For a long time, I was the sort of reader who had to start reading each series in strict numerical order. If I had trouble getting my hands on the first book in a series, it could be years before I began reading it, but that's what I did. Now that I have more years in my rearview mirror than I have out on the road in front of me, I've been bypassing this rule of mine from time to time. There are several writers who are adept at giving you just enough background on their characters in each book that you can jump in anywhere and don't feel lost. If you discover that you love the series, you can go back and read all those missed books. Or not. You have that choice. But there are some writers who are not skilled at doing this.

Emelie Schepp is one of the writers whose series you should read in order if you want to feel a connection with her characters. Slowly We Die is the third book in the Jana Berzelius series, and although I could admire the pacing and plotting of the novel, I could never warm to the characters. Since I am a character-driven reader, I was at a disadvantage throughout the book, so keep that in mind. If the story is more important to you as a reader, you shouldn't have a problem reading and enjoying Slowly We Die. However, if the characters are your focus, you just might. Sometimes deviating from my rule backfires. Oh well.

Slowly We Die by Emelie Schepp
Translated from the Swedish by Suzanne Martin Cheadle.
ISBN:  9780778319665
MIRA © 2018
Paperback, 432 pages

Law Enforcement, #3 Jana Berzelius mystery
Rating: B-
Source: the publisher 


  1. I know what you mean about starting with a book that comes later in the series, Cathy. I've found that to be a disadvantage at times, too. I think that's especially true in series where the characters are thoroughly developed over time.

  2. I have trouble with this too, though I don't think I did before the internet. Ha! I used to just go to the library and scan the shelves and get what was there - no matter the order. When I 'met' other readers online, I found that many were more comfortable with 'reading in order' and so I found I was too. So, I totally understand what you are saying. However, I still like to read all the books in a series when I can. I'm trying to branch out, but likely won't do it with this series (which has been on my list for a bit).

    1. That's one thing I've had to cut way back on-- reading all the books in a series. I'm going to have to weed through my TBR shelves again because I know I have books in series that I seriously doubt I'm interested in continuing.

  3. I, too, try to read books in order. I know I have started series where I am already about 22 books behind. So I do question myself at times about it. Recently I checked out a popular series and went back to look at the first books in the series. The reviews on the first book, several reviewers said that if they had read that book first they wouldn't have continued with the series. I remembered thinking at the time, if I start this series, looks like I should skip the first book. Now I can't remember the name of the series!

    Also, I have noticed on a very popular character driven series that usually gets 4 or 5 stars from its readers who state that they have been waiting for the book to come out, that the brand new readers who missed the first 8 or 9 books give it a three star rating. I always think it is because they haven't been along for the character back story or development through out the books. They probably wonder what all the hoopla is about.

    1. Yes, I think that leads some readers to wondering if they read the same book as the other people did.


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