BORDERLINE by Liza Marklund

April 15, 2015
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The Annika Bengtzon Series #9

In the ninth book of this Scandinavian series, reporter Annika Bengtzon gets a tip about a body found behind the local school and she arrives with the police. A woman has been stabbed to death, the fourth such murder in Stockholm.

The police don’t think the murders are related, but Annika does and starts investigating. Her investigation gets sidelined when her on again, off again husband Thomas gets kidnapped. He’s volunteered as part of an EU delegation in Nairobi, mostly because of the hot young British delegate, and they all go missing, their driver shot and killed.

Thomas’s boss is with Annika to handle the exorbitant ransom demands, and they get more involved than they probably should. The point of view switches between Annika, her investigation into the serial killings and the effects of the kidnapping on her and the children, with Thomas and the other kidnap victims, the deplorable conditions in which they are kept, and their constant fear of execution.

Highly suspenseful and sure to appeal to Scandinavian thriller fans of Steig Larssen, Jussi Adler-Olsen and Camilla Läckberg.

Copyright ©2015 Booklist, a division of the American Library Association.

4/15 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

BORDERLINE by Liza Marklund.  Atria/Emily Bestler Books (April 14, 2015).  ISBN 978-1476778297. 384p.

THE SON by Jo Nesbo

May 16, 2014

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Nesbo is a Norwegian author who has made his mark in English speaking countries with translations of a series of novels about Harry Hole, who is a detective operating in Norway. The Son is a stand alone novel and an excellent addition to his previous books.

Sonny Loftus has been in prison for 12 years for crimes that he has not committed. He is compensated by an easy incarceration and all the heroin he can consume to insure that he take the blame for those crimes. He is popular with the other prisoners due to his ability to calm them down and soothe them.

Sonny became an addict when his father, a police officer, committed suicide and he agreed to serve time in jail. But when Sonny learns a long held secret about his father, he executes a brilliant escape from prison and begins to hunt the people that caused his father’s suicide. Among these are two men; one known as the “Twin” and the other the “Mole,” who figure prominently in the crime scene in Oslo.

In the course of his investigation, Sonny meets a young woman who is head of a home for the indigent and falls in love with her. She reciprocates when she meets him while he is staying at the home. He also successfully kicks the heroin habit and becomes fixated with living a normal life with Martha, the young lady he met.

Police methods, investigations and good and evil people are similar to these types all over the world and the events of Sonny’s quests, while set in Oslo, are very much like those of a novel set anywhere else in the world. Characterizations are well done and readers will empathize with Sonny and his decisions to take vengeance on various people, as well as his finding both the “Twin” and the “Mole”.

Well done and engrossing book.

5/14 Paul Lane

THE SON by Jo Nesbo. Knopf (May 13, 2014). ISBN 978-0385351379. 416p.

GAME by Anders de la Motte

December 28, 2013

Henrik Pettersson isn’t about to pass up a free phone. No one is around to claim it, after all. But the phone is strange with seemingly no way to turn it on. Still, it’s sleek and looks cool and should fetch him at least a few bucks at a pawn shop. That’s what HP thinks until he’s invited into the game. He initially believes it’s a prank but the invitation is just too tempting and the revelation that points earned translates into cash is all HP needs to be drawn in. As the game progresses, though, the tasks HP is set with escalate soon placing his own sister in danger. Now he must decide, is it worth it to continue even when leaving could mean his own life? Game kicks off an exciting trilogy that’s already made waves in Anders de la Motte’s native Sweden. The author draws on his own experience in policing and IT to create a frighteningly believable scenario in which otherwise ordinary folks become pawns of a far-reaching conspiracy all under the guise of gaming.

12/13 Becky Lejeune

GAME by Anders de la Motte. Atria/Emily Bestler Books; Reprint edition (December 3, 2013). ISBN 978-1476712888. 400p.