Reviews

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Soderberg's excellent debut, the first in a projected trilogy, chronicles a global turf war among Spanish drug runners, German gangsters, Russian hit men, and Swedish cops. Caught up in this chaos is nurse Sophie Brinkmann, whose life since the death of her husband has revolved around her 15-year-old son and her work at a Stockholm hospital. A patient of hers, Hector Guzman, unleashes long-dormant emotions by taking her to restaurants and a poetry reading, as well as by introducing her to his family. Hector, a Spanish publisher, also leads a crime syndicate, which has ties to a transatlantic drug trade and is at war with rival gangs. Sophie becomes the target of Gunilla Strandberg and her unscrupulous squad of police detectives, who will do anything to get at Hector. The jam-packed plot's big-picture view of politics, business, and an international crime ring illustrates how being surrounded by violence affects individuals. While Sophie is an innocent, she is no pushover. Her inner resolve helps her maneuver in precarious situations. Fans of Nordic thrillers will find much to like. Agent: Leyla Belle Drake, the Salmonsson Agency. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Sophie Brinkmann loves her teenage son, her nursing job, and her beautiful cottage in the suburbs of Stockholm. But the day Hector Guzman is rushed to the hospital with a broken leg and multiple fractures, her life changes. But is it for the better for Sophie? While she grows increasingly enamored of Hector, fascinated by his hold over her, and curious about his mysterious life, her own life becomes a subject of greater investigation. Cajoled into spying on Hector's business dealings by a subversive police unit, Sophie herself is tailed, bugged, and harassed. Though her son's life is endangered, her job in peril, and her once placid life increasingly threatened, Sophie cannot extricate herself from Hector's world. When a long-lost love reappears within Hector's circuit, Sophie's submersion in a European underworld of guns, drugs, and extortion seems even more rooted. VERDICT This first volume of a projected trilogy is brimming with characters, subplots, betrayals, and tragedies. Yet Soderberg's decision to weave these facets into each other-each chapter contains multiple narrators, perspectives, and dramatic arcs-leads to an ultimately overwhelming and overwrought tale. What begins as a thrilling adventure through the Swedish criminal underworld gradually becomes an exhausting, cynical trek teeming with extreme violence. Still, some hard-core fansÅof Scandinavian mysteries may want to try this thriller.-Jennifer Rogers, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community Coll. Lib., Richmond, VA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* Get ready for another round of hype in which one more heavily promoted Scandinavian thriller will be touted as the next Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It's a shame, really, because this gripping crime novel, the first in a trilogy, deserves to stand completely on its own. Yes, it's set largely in Stockholm, and, yes, it stars a woman of remarkable strength and resiliency, but Soderberg, a veteran screenwriter, is a very different kind of writer than investigative journalist Larsson; this novel is much faster paced than Dragon Tattoo, and while the multiple characters are richly complex, the narrative rumbles ever forward without Larsson's emphasis on backstory and research techniques. When we first meet Sophie Brinkman, an unassuming nurse and single mother, she seems the polar opposite of Lisbeth Salander. That changes slowly but inexorably after Sophie gets to know one of her patients, the suave Hector Guzman, a charming family man but also as Sophie eventually discovers the head of an international crime ring. (Comparisons to the Corleone family are also inevitable and not entirely unjustified.) Soon enough, Sophie finds herself in the middle of a gang war as Guzman's family battles a rival Russian contingent. Throw in a gaggle of rogue cops and Sophie's old boyfriend, who turns up out of nowhere with a history of his own, and you have a multistranded plot that holds together as exquisitely as finely wound silk. But, as with the Larsson trilogy, it's the woman at the center who sparks the engine. By novel's end, Sophie has realized that she was bigger than she had dared to see. We see it, too, and are ready to follow her anywhere. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Soderberg's novel was the smash of the 2011 Frankfurt Book Fair, and movie rights have already been sold. Promotion plans for the novel's release will take full advantage of the book's international success.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Soderberg's excellent debut, the first in a projected trilogy, chronicles a global turf war among Spanish drug runners, German gangsters, Russian hit men, and Swedish cops. Caught up in this chaos is nurse Sophie Brinkmann, whose life since the death of her husband has revolved around her 15-year-old son and her work at a Stockholm hospital. A patient of hers, Hector Guzman, unleashes long-dormant emotions by taking her to restaurants and a poetry reading, as well as by introducing her to his family. Hector, a Spanish publisher, also leads a crime syndicate, which has ties to a transatlantic drug trade and is at war with rival gangs. Sophie becomes the target of Gunilla Strandberg and her unscrupulous squad of police detectives, who will do anything to get at Hector. The jam-packed plot's big-picture view of politics, business, and an international crime ring illustrates how being surrounded by violence affects individuals. While Sophie is an innocent, she is no pushover. Her inner resolve helps her maneuver in precarious situations. Fans of Nordic thrillers will find much to like. Agent: Leyla Belle Drake, the Salmonsson Agency. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Sophie Brinkmann loves her teenage son, her nursing job, and her beautiful cottage in the suburbs of Stockholm. But the day Hector Guzman is rushed to the hospital with a broken leg and multiple fractures, her life changes. But is it for the better for Sophie? While she grows increasingly enamored of Hector, fascinated by his hold over her, and curious about his mysterious life, her own life becomes a subject of greater investigation. Cajoled into spying on Hector's business dealings by a subversive police unit, Sophie herself is tailed, bugged, and harassed. Though her son's life is endangered, her job in peril, and her once placid life increasingly threatened, Sophie cannot extricate herself from Hector's world. When a long-lost love reappears within Hector's circuit, Sophie's submersion in a European underworld of guns, drugs, and extortion seems even more rooted. VERDICT This first volume of a projected trilogy is brimming with characters, subplots, betrayals, and tragedies. Yet Soderberg's decision to weave these facets into each other-each chapter contains multiple narrators, perspectives, and dramatic arcs-leads to an ultimately overwhelming and overwrought tale. What begins as a thrilling adventure through the Swedish criminal underworld gradually becomes an exhausting, cynical trek teeming with extreme violence. Still, some hard-core fansÅof Scandinavian mysteries may want to try this thriller.-Jennifer Rogers, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community Coll. Lib., Richmond, VA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.