Life is not fair and changes can be mean. This is Per Persson’s knowledge about life and the reason why he works as a receptionist in a run-down hotel where he also sleeps in a shabby room behind his workplace. One of his guests is Hitman Anders, a murderer who has just left prison after more than 30 years and who makes him shiver. When Per gets to know Johanna Kjellander, a priest who lost her parish due to faithless preaching, his life takes a whole new course. Johanna cleverly sees the chance to make something out of Hitman Anders’ presence – and especially to make money with the ex-criminal. What starts as a great business soon attracts the attention of Stockholm’s underworld and a crazy getaway across Sweden starts.
Readers who loved “The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window” and “The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden” will recognize Jonas Jonasson’s stile at once. Again, we find strange and singular characters who are far from being real and first of all classic losers but blessed with a certain cleverness which enables them to challenge life. This ends in total chaos as was to be expected, but is fun to read since you immediately fall for them and see the disaster coming. This might all sound a bit repetitive and yes, it is. Albeit new characters and a new story you cannot avoid a certain feeling of having it already read. For me, this was ok since what I appreciated most in the two predecessors was Jonasson’s way of writing, he is a master of a funning expression which makes you laugh over and over again. It is often short sentences which contain so much and are hilariously absurd.
All in all, you get exactly what you expect from the author. A funny story written in Jonasson’s well known ironic-naïve stile.