Kan man dö två gånger?

Kan man dö två gånger? Can One Die Twice?

Bäckström #4

The Sea Scout Edvin is put ashore on the island of Ofärdsön to look for mushrooms. Instead, he finds a half-buried skull.

Despite Edvin only being ten years old, he knows just what to do. Stuffing the skull into a plastic bag, he runs off from the Scout camp and heads straight home to his neighbor – Detective Evert Bäckström.

Can One Die Twice? is Leif GW Persson’s thirteenth novel since his debut in 1978, and the fourth installment in the Evert Bäckström series.


  • “[Bäckström has] invigorated the perpetually overcast Monday prevailing in the world of Swedish crime fiction. Unlike the flock of subdued, divorced and scarred middle-aged men who now colonize the suspense genre, there’s absolutely nothing depressing about Leif GW Persson’s detective. /…/ The highlights of the novel – obviously! – include the initiated depiction of police work. That the Professor of Criminology knows what he’s talking about is particularly noticeable in the dialogues, which are credible in a way that makes the usual cop-jargon in the conventional crime fiction fade in comparison. /…/ the entertainment value is high.”

    Göteborgs-Posten, Sweden

  • “[Can One Die Twice? is] a solid police procedural, more of a whodunnit than a high-octane action novel, with a particular focus on police work and its phases. Often pedagogically explained, always with tongue in cheek. What’s nice (so to speak) about Leif GW Persson’s novels is that his police officers, no matter how overweight and alcohol-fueled they are, aren’t as deeply unhappy as the Swedish crime fiction standard usually prescribes. /…/ One can tell that Leif GW Persson enjoys writing this. His police prose is efficient, smooth, and humorous /…/ Bäckström’s conversations with Edvin is reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes’ classic methods and belongs to the highlights of Can One Die Twice? Hopefully we’ll get to see more of this duo in future works. As a novelist, Leif GW Persson gives a just as safe and reliable impression as when he investigates murders on TV. We can be grateful that we have him.”

    Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden

  • “Persson shows whose home court we’re on. He joyfully includes us in the more qualified investigation, and truly cares how the pages are filled. DNA, foreign politics, diplomacy, insurance fraud, prosecutors who go ballistic, a sister helping the police, a father recalling the depth of specific areas of lake Mälaren – everything is just right, and one cannot help but care. Leif GW Persson isn’t afraid to lay out a very qualified puzzle where light is killed by darkness, but I do solemnly swear that one can keep up with all the twists and turns and understand the motifs: the little one grows, the rich one is unable to buy happiness, a crime is a crime is a crime, and when the riddle is finally solved there is yet another exquisitely beautiful final twist that is as horrific as it is redemptive.”

    Sydsvenskan, Sweden

  • “[Leif GW Persson] is in addition a skilled writer with a supremely light touch. [Can One Die Twice? is] a police procedural that’s ceaselessly entertaining, with a fully intelligible plot.”

    Kristianstadsbladet, Sweden

  • “It ought to be said straight away: this is one of [Leif GW Persson’s] most successful books to date. Above all it is a thoroughly funny novel. Leif GW Persson plays mercilessly with his characters: Evert Bäckström is more insufferable than ever, and the caricature of Prosecutor Hanna Hwass is so sharp-tongued it stings. /…/ As is usual in his books, we are given a meticulous walkthrough of the police’s everyday work to find the evidence proving that Evert Bäckström is right – something his colleagues doubt till the end. On the tough march towards the truth the author is as always highly credible. /…/ Leif GW Persson must have had a blast when he wrote this novel. And the best part about that is that the reader does too. While at the same time being given a lesson in real-life forensics.”

    Norrköpings Tidningar, Sweden

  • “In Leif GW Persson’s new crime novel, Can One Die Twice?, the country’s most criminally charged Inspector is in top shape. /…/ Bäckström is, as always, fat, entirely bereft of morals, an alcoholic, and basically convinced that he is surrounded by idiots. That Leif GW Persson is enjoying himself while writing is obvious. The novel is full of humor, tragedy, sarcasm, and Bäckström’s outrageous inner monologues.”

    Norrbottenskuriren, Sweden

  • “[Leif GW Persson] is full of clever humor, besides also being an expert at handling the language so well. Here there is much to smile at, and not least reconsider your own views on. [Leif GW Persson] knows his stuff after a long career in the crime fighting service.”

    Upsala Nya Tidning, Sweden

  • “An extraordinarily well-constructed and adept crime novel with many layers.”


    Politiken, Denmark

  • “[Can One Die Twice?] is absolutely Leif GW Persson’s best crime novel so far.”

    Bogpusheren, Denmark

  • “GW Persson is an excellent writer with an intelligible and flawless language, and his books are in addition to being entertaining, always exciting.”

    Kristeligt Dagblad, Denmark

  • “One of my absolute favorites, from the wide range of dubious characters of crime fiction, must be Police Detective Evert Bäckström from the Stockholm police department.”


    Verdens Gang, Norway

  • “A crime novel so realistic it could have happened in real life.”


    Dagbladet, Norway

Photo: Thron Ullberg Leif GW Persson
  • Crime
Reading material

Swedish edition

Rights sold

Czech Republic, Moba

Denmark, Modtryk

Finland, Otava

Germany, Btb

Iceland, Ugla

Italy, Marsilio

Japan, Tokyo Sogensha

Norway, Vigmostad & Bjørke

Poland, Czarna Owca

Russia, Centrepolygraph

Slovakia, Marencin

Sweden, Albert Bonniers

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