"She lay on her back fastened by leather straps to a narrow bed with a steel frame. The harness was tight across her rib cage. Her hands were manacled to the sides of the bed."

A dark and ambiguous start to this second instalment in the trilogy. The abuse of women by men is a thread that weaves almost continuously through this Trilogy. In 2004 Sweden was chastised by an Amnesty International Report for failing utterly to reduce violence against women and for failing to help existing victims. In a press release Amnesty said: "The prevalence of gender-based violence shatters many people's image of Sweden as being the most gender equal country in the world."

Child abuse has also been a historic problem in the country. Anti-spanking laws were introduced in 1979 which had initial success but recent reports (e.g. Lindell C, Svedin CG, Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2001 Mar;36(3):150-7) point to an alarming increase through the 1990’s in police reports of child abuse.