This was a really difficult read for me. Not difficult like my previous book, Intruder in the Dust, was difficult--thankfully, there is no stream of consciousness here. And not difficult in the writing style--I sailed right through the the story. It wasn't over my head. No, what was hard was the subject matter. I have a very difficult time reading stories that involve children being murdered, abused, or harmed in any way. The only thing that helped me overcome the subject was the deft manner in which it was handled. The writing is clear and simple and it carries the reader straight through the action. The deaths are described in such a way that you feel the horror of the situation without being immersed in it. It also helps that Sjöwalll and Wahlöö write such a good police procedural. You are concentrating on the policemen and their methods far more than on horrible crimes--which for me is a good thing.
Overall, my enjoyment of the writing, the characters, and the story itself far outweighed any squeamishness on my part to read about child-murder. Four stars out of five.