Posted 20 hours ago

Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All

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We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. Johanna Kjellander, temporarily resident in room eight, is a priest without a vocation, and, as of last week, without a parish. But towards the end of the novel, Anders finally gets put away when he assaults a guy from the government – I guess that’s the line in the sand? When I first decided to read this book, I have to say I was quite intrigued about reading it, but by eventually completing it, I'm a little underwhelmed and very disapointed. By the time they finally decide to be less selfish, their good intentions will have been lost to many readers.

Whilst a lot of the things that I loved in Jonasson's other novels were present - quirky personalities, happy coincidences and a lot of heart - the moral compass of this tale was way off.

This dearth of story development, coupled with characters who – while initially pleasingly odd – aren’t particularly loveable or even interesting, meant the story failed to grip me. There’s a switch-around for Part Two, in which Hitman Anders becomes more sympathetic, and Per less so. When Hitman Anders turns to religion, the lucrative business is in danger, and the vicar and the receptionist have to find a new plan, quick. Both the lack of character development, the uncredible/poor plot and the fact that this story isn't funny at all unfortunately just made me feel really disappointed by this book in general.

This story plot literally can be described as "A GANGSTER, A VICAR AND A RECEPTIONIST WALK INTO A BAR" and you get a funny read about an atheist female Protestant vicar, a hitman who has be released from prison and plans to keep "clean" and receptionist at a 1-star hotel (who happens to be currently homeless). My wish for them to stop it without being punished too much was almost satisfied, though I still felt there was something missing. Instead of laughing out loud, my eyebrows worked overtime as I became more and more annoyed by the plot and characters. It’s also a commentary on faith and whether it has any sustaining purpose or whether it’s just a numbing sop to make people feel slightly better about their miserable lives. After the main characters had been introduced, it was a lot less funny, albeit not without the odd laugh.

Perhaps she, sometimes reminiscent of pre-Counter-Reformation indulgence-sellers, or fraudulent televangelists, is meant to symbolise negative aspects of the church in a country where people still pay taxes to it, and where freedom of religion was made legal much later than in Britain.

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