Thursday, October 15, 2015

Roslund, Anders and Hellstrom, Borge: Cell 8

The book starts in cell 8 in Marcusville prison in Ohio, one of the cells on Death Row.   It then moves
to the present time on a Swedish ferry boat on which one of the entertainers kicks a drunken, groping passenger in the face for which he is, after arrival in Stockholm, arrested.   The entertainer is an
illegal immigrant who has settled down in Sweden, has married and has a son but his passport details
do not agree with official records even though the passport is a legitimate one.   From these two
situations, the authors create a wholly believable story with the police treating the accused more than
fairly, bending the rules to allow him time with his wife, for instance.   He tells his story which provides the link between the scenes in Marcusville and the present day but at a cost.    He is a convicted murderer although the Swedish police involved believe he is innocent and he also declares
that he is not guilty despite the circumstantial evidence which led to his conviction.   The Ohio authorities are the bad guys here mainly because the murdered girl was the daughter of a senior
political aide to the State Governor, hence the conviction.   Even though Sweden will not extradite
anyone accused of crimes carrying the death penalty, a loophole is found which salves the government's conscience though it means he is returned to the USA.    There is a startling twist in
the final chapters which I did not see coming.   Again, well-paced though the varying time periods
did confuse a little.   Whether the authors wrote different parts of the book or collaborated in other
ways is unknown since, obviously, any stylistic evidence would have been erased by the excellent

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