Monday, November 21, 2011
John Meyer Frey was sentenced to death at the age of 17 in Ohio. Tried as an adult, he was convicted of brutally murdering his girlfriend Elizabeth Finnigan. John steadfastly proclaims his innocence and is befriended by guards and fellow prisonsoners during his decade on death row.
Edward Finnigan, Elizabeth's father, longs for the day when he can watch John Frey die. He feels cheated when Frey dies of heart disease before he can be executed, and he's unable to let go of the grief and hatred that have consumed his life.
Fast forward a few years and John Schwarz, a singer on a ferry between Finland and Sweden is arrested for violently attacking a drunken ferry passenger. Detective Inpsector Ewert Grens of the Stockholm Police is intrigued when the police begin to realize that Schwarz has been living in Sweden under an assumed name. As dogged an investigator as he was in THREE SECONDS, Grens won't rest until he knows Schwarz's real identity. As the facts come to light, reaching all the way to the United States, Grens finds himself in the unusual position of trying to keep a criminal from being extradited to a country that condones and enforces the death penalty.
Inspector Grens is almost as solitary as he was in THREE SECONDS, but it's heartening to note that Roslund and Hellstrom have given more depth to this likable character in CELL 8, as he begins to enjoy life a little more.
CELL 8 is a fine mystery, but it's more than that. It's also a thought provoking discourse on the death penalty and of the politics and machinations involved in extradition between countries with differing views of this form of punishment.
Pub. Date: January 3, 2012
Hardcover and eBook