Book Review: The Quarry by Johan Theorin

The Quarry by Johan TheorinEarlier this year, I read Johan Theorin’s first book, Echoes from the Dead, which I very much enjoyed. My review of that book is here. The Quarry is the third book by this author, and like the first two, it takes place at the Swedish island of Öland.

The books are part of a quartet of thrillers that take place at the island, but can be read in any order.

The Quarry: What it is about

Per Mörner hasn’t been in contact with his estranged father Jerry since last year, when he gets a distressed call from him. Not really wanting to, he decides to take a quick look to see if his father is alright, and finds him wounded in a house that has been set on fire. The house is his father’s film studio and it seems that one of his colleagues is still in the house. Per tries, but cannot rescue him.

Per has recently moved to a cottage near the quarry in Öland where he gets to know the neighbours. One woman, Vendela Larsson, believes there are elves about. When she was young, she used to leave precious items behind for them, and they would fulfil her wishes. Another neighbour is a woman that Jerry recognises when he comes to stay at Per’s cottage.

Jerry insists his colleague isn’t dead and when Per starts an investigation, he finds that several people he wants to talk to have died at some point, but all before their time.

The Quarry: What I thought

From the first moment I was “back” in Öland, I loved this book. I recognised the first person we encounter there and I recognised the general setting and feel of the book.

I wasn’t sure about the elves and at some point it seemed that the author was allowing them to become real, which I felt didn’t fit in a thriller, but eventually, there was of course a rational explanation to all that happened.

Several times I was worried for the main person, so in that sense, it was a real thriller. The actual mystery that Per Mörner was researching, wasn’t terribly interesting, but the effect on his life definitely was. I already forgot what the actual issue was but I won’t so easily forget the scenes of the area and the people that live on Theorin’s Öland.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I got this book: as a finished copy from Doubleday(Transworld Publishers) for review

I read this in: English, the original language is Swedish (Blodläge)

Number of pages: 409

First published: 2011 (June)

Genre: thriller


About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

10 Responses to Book Review: The Quarry by Johan Theorin

  1. Cindy says:

    I doubt that I could get past the elves!

  2. I haven’t read any of these books. Should I start with the first one or are they the kind of books where you can pick up anywhere?

    • Leeswammes says:

      It doesn’t matter, Boof. Although one or two of the people were the same as in the first book, they didn’t take a special place in this book. So, no, read them in the order you want.

  3. Mark Nelson says:

    Just finished The Quarry myself. Great book, although not quite as good as the second Oland book ‘The Darkest Room’. I would definitely recommend reading the books in order though as the character of Gerlof is the glue that holds all the books together

    • Leeswammes says:

      I will definitely read the second book too, Mark. I’m not sure Gerlof was too much different form the first book for me. Again, he was out of the old people’s home. But this time, he was less involved in solving the crime. Of course I don’t know what I missed about him that’s in the second book, but I didn’t find I was missing something really.

  4. Nadine Nys says:

    What is it about Scandinavian authors? They seem to be the specialists in crime writing! Another one to add to my list. Thank you, Judith!

  5. I’m not sure how I feel about adding a “fantasy” element in such a gritty thriller — but if you say it works, I believe you!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Col, yes, I thought it as fine. After a while it dawned on me what the things with the elves could be so then it became interesting to see whether I was right.

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