The Devil’s Scent

Police detective Malin Fors has finally had enough. Once again, she has been betrayed by a man she loves. Once again, she has fallen off the wagon and turned to the bottle for its poisonous comfort. When she fails to solve the murder of a young boy, something snaps within her and a drunken night ends in a drunk tank. After a failed stint in rehab, her boss Göran Möller gives her an ultimatum: quit your job or take a leave of absence and get a change of scene. With his helps she is offered a temporary position as a liaison officer with the Swedish embassy in Bangkok.

Malin takes refuge to Bangkok, where she spends her days taking in the smells and tastes of the city in a haze of alcohol and casual sex. Work is not too demanding, leaving lots of time for rehabilitation – or so she tells herself. She finds a forbidden love in Aroon, a mysterious and illusive youngster who waits for her at a club every day. Aroon has awakened something in her that she hasn’t felt in a long time, but in her heart she knows that there’s something off about their relationship.

Malin is gradually learning to maneuver the corrupt city that is her new home, trying not to cause trouble. But her dulled senses are awakened when a Swedish woman is found murdered in a sadistic way, her face cut off. Malin is called upon to assist the Thai police in their investigation, and together with local police officer Pimcharn Chiwarat, she works tirelessly to identify the woman and get to the bottom of why she was murdered. It turns out the victim was a con-woman who had made many enemies over the years. Had one of the people she hoodwinked stricken back? The police discover ties to a prostitution ring, and when another body turns up dead Malin’s own morality comes into question…

Malin becomes aware that she is being followed, and when her gun is used in the murder of a police officer, she knows that the only way to save herself is to track down the real murderer. Malin goes underground in Bangkok and is forced to use all her skill to solve the case and unwind the web of lies that has been spun around her.

The Devil’s Scent is the first installment in Mons Kallentoft’s third suite about police detective Malin Fors. This time, Malin is forced to navigate a city defined by a mentality of eat or be eaten. Without the support of her partner Zeke and her daughter Tove, she is left completely to her own devices. With The Devil’s Scent, Kallentoft proves that Malin Fors is one of the most interesting characters populating crime fiction today.

“The Devil’s Scent is almost too good when delving into the abyss of Malin Fors and her demons.”
Corren (SE)

“A thrilling, occasionally profound, and often very thought-provoking story.”
DAST Magazine (SE)

“Kallentoft’s style has never before been this intense and feverish, it’s incredibly impressive. While the suspense is high, the character portrayals are alive, shimmering – and fragrant.”
Upsala Nya Tidning (SE)

“As a deep dive into the abyss where Malin Fors finds herself together with her demons The Devil’s Scent is almost too good. It’s painful, both to read and to contemplate afterward.”
Östgöta Correspondenten (SE)

“This is a captivating page-turner, there’s no doubt about it. Kallentoft proves that he’s still incredibly skilled at cliffhangers, and his hints about the next book makes you long for the second instalment in the series.”
Norran (SE)

“Mons Kallentoft is the foremost standard-bearer of hardboiled Swedish crime. The pace is rapid, the plot at times gritty, and the heroes not as noble as one might expect from the champions of justice.”
Östra Småland (SE)

“Intimate portrayals of people and milieus are telltale characteristics of Mons Kallentoft’s crime novels. This time he takes it even further. Malin’s alcohol abuse is portrayed closely with great realism. As a reader you gain understanding of the difficulties of rehabilitation. The portrayal of Bangkok as a city is particularly realistic, even naturalistic.”
Ölandsbladet (SE)

Mons Kallentoft is an award-winning, bestselling writer, beloved for his combination of psychological insight, intricate plots and raw, poetic prose. With the two thrillers in the Palma Diptych, Kallentoft breaks new ground and establishes himself at the forefront of contemporary Scandinavian crime.

Learn more about Mons Kallentoft