The paperback release of the international bestselling Marked For Life by Crime Writer of the Year 2016, Emelie Schepp, just came out in June in the UK! I’m excited to be part of her blog tour.
“Schepp couples an insightful look at the personal and professional lives of her characters with an unflinching
multi-layered plot loaded with surprises.” –Publishers Weekly
“A fast-paced thriller with a good blend of police procedure, the draw of a ninja-strong female lead, and enough adrenaline to make a good night’s sleep a near impossibility.” -Booklist
When the head of the migration board is shot dead in his living room, the last thing the police expect to find at the crime scene is a mysterious child-sized handprint in the childless home. The young and brilliant but emotionally cold, public prosecutor Jana Berzelius steps in to lead the investigation, unintimidated by the hysterical widow or the threatening letters she tried to hide. Jana is steely, aloof, impenetrable… until more bodies begin to surface.
On a deserted shoreline a few days later, the bruised and heroin-riddled body of a young boy is found along with the original murder weapon, and the sinister underworld of the migration board’s dealings begin to unravel.
Berzelius is drawn more deeply into the case when she recognizes something strangely familiar about the scarred and beaten boy – a name carved deep into the flesh of his neck that triggers flashes from the night terrors she’s suffered since childhood. As memories begin to emerge of her own violent, fear-ridden past, Berzelius must trace her connection to this boy in hopes of finding out what happened to her.
Now, to protect her own secrets, she must find the suspect behind these murders, before the police do. Read an excerpt below!
EMELIE SCHEPP is an international bestselling Nordic crime author with Marked for Life published in 29 countries. From a background in marketing, publicity and project management Emelie was last year awarded Crime Writer of the Year 2016 as voted by Swedish readers, and won The Specsavers Readers’ Choice Award. She lives with her husband and two children in Sweden.
It was inevitable that the media would seize upon the story. As soon as the TT national wire service reported that a young boy had been found murdered, the Norrköping police press officer found himself fielding calls from dozens of journalists eager for more details. Since it involved a minor shot to death, the entire nation was gripped, and on the morning TV shows various experts were invited to give their views. The presence of a weapon near the body led many to assume the boy was involved in criminal activity, which sparked discussions about the level of violence among today’s youth, and the tragic consequences.
When the phone rang with the news, it woke Jana Berzelius from her sleep. She got out of bed and took a shower, hoping it would wake her up. Thanks to Per, she had a dreadful hangover.
They’d ended up having three glasses of Scotch – more than she could handle. And before that they had shared a bottle of wine with their meal and ignored the advice about drinking one glass of water for every glass of something stronger.
Feeling a little better after her shower, she swallowed a painkiller for her headache and stretched out on the bed for a few moments, her hair still wet. She counted slowly to twenty, then got dressed, brushed her teeth and looked for a packet of peppermint-flavoured gum. Only then was she ready for the meeting at the police station.
‘We are here to summarize what we’ve been able to discover about the boy who was found dead out at Viddviken this morning.’
Gunnar used a magnet to put up the photo on the whiteboard before continuing.
‘Anneli, who is still at the scene, says the boy had been shot. She estimates that he died between 19.00 and 23.00 on Sunday night, though we’ll need to wait for the medical examiner to confirm that. According to Anneli, broken vegetation around the body indicates that the boy was in motion, and his injuries are consistent with having been shot from behind.’
Gunnar took a sip of water and cleared his throat.
‘At present we don’t know whether the victim has other injuries or if he’d been sexually assaulted. Again, we’ll have to wait for the autopsy – the medical examiner has given his word the report will be with us as soon as possible, hopefully tomorrow. The boy’s clothing has been sent to forensics.’
He got up and went to stand by the map on the whiteboard.
‘We’re still combing the area, but as yet we haven’t found any footprints or trace evidence left at the murder scene by the perpetrator. The only thing we can be relatively certain about is that the dead boy at Viddviken is the same boy who was seen on CCTV footage from Östanvägen.’
‘And the murder weapon?’ said Henrik.
‘We don’t yet know whether the weapon found near the body was used to shoot him. All we can say for certain is that the weapon found near the boy was a Glock, and Hans Juhlén was killed . . .’
‘. . . with a Glock.’ Henrik completed the sentence.
‘Exactly. The serial number is as yet unknown. The weapon’s been sent to the national lab. They’ll examine the bullets still in the gun and let us know whether they’re a match for the ones that killed Hans Juhlén. If they are, it supports the theory that this boy was somehow involved in Juhlén’s murder. We’ve taken his fingerprints too.’
‘And?’ said Mia.
‘They matched. The handprints and fingerprints in Hans
Juhlén’s house match the boy’s,’ said Gunnar.
Emelie Schepp’s Marked for Life is out 6th July (HQ, £7.99)
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