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Into a Raging Blaze Hardcover – 3 Jul 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (3 July 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 1782066039
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782066033
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 4.4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 611,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andreas Norman, born 1972 in Stockholm, is a Swedish former diplomat and acclaimed writer of the debut novel En rasande eld (Into A Raging Blaze). This political thriller rocked Sweden upon release with its portrayal of the mass surveillance that anticipated Edward Snowden's revelations. The book was hailed as "a dazzling suspense novel" and Andreas Norman as the thriller debutant of the year in Sweden 2013. A bigscreen adaption of the book is currently being produced, the film opening in Spring 2016.

Andreas Norman made his debut as a writer in 1996 with a poetry collection published by Albert Bonniers Förlag, but then made an unexpected career change and became a diplomat, joining the Swedish foreign service in 2003 after years of studies and work abroad. As a diplomat in worked at the Swedish Embassies in Bosnia-Hercegovina, FYROM-Macedonia and Lithuania. For several years he served at the so-called Counter-terrorism Unit of the Swedish Foreign Ministry. It was in this latter position he had the opportunity to enter the inner circles of the intelligence community and top secret diplomacy, experiences which he transformed into a chilling and captivating page-turner.

What if you sent an email, thinking you were just doing your job, and then realised that you were now regarded as a threat to the nation? What if every single part of your private life came under scrutiny, without you even understanding why? What if you realised that something had gone terribly wrong, so wrong that you would put you life in danger if you'd try to find out the truth? This is the starting point of Into A Raging Blaze. A political thriller set in the world that used to be the author, Andreas Norman's, everyday life: intelligence and diplomacy.




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Review

'Norman's understanding of the dark, destructive side of surveillance is second to none, and at its best, Into a Raging Blaze is convincing and addictive' Guardian.

'A modern take on the spy thriller ... Norman's warning is a clear message to the 'nothing to hide, nothing to fear' camp who challenged the import of the Snowden revelations ... A Le Carré-esque yarn that's rooted in verisimilitude . No faint praise that' Independent.

'An excellent and very up-to-the-minute novel ... Is this how others see us now? If so, alas!' Literary Review.

'Norman handles its derring-do deftly. For British readers, however, the main source of interest is its unflattering reverse-angle view of our spooks at work' Sunday Times.

'Solid description of the insides of the corridors of power ... A Snowden-showdown whistle-blowing scandal' Independent (Best Noir Newcomers).

'Gripping and unnervingly believable, it's a fictionalised exposé of Anglo-American spying' Choice.

'Much hyped, but largely worthy of the hype; a strong debut by a Swedish Ministry insider moving provocatively in Snowden/Assange 'leaks' territory' Barry Forshaw, Guardian.

'A first-rate debut thriller that asks: Who watches the watchers if they don't choose to be seen? The narrative starts slow but doesn't take long to build up speed. From then on, watch out!' Library Journal (starred).

'Rarely have I read such a well-written debut novel as this ... Well orchestrated dramaturgy, rich language, and extremely believable characters ... Andreas Norman has written a dizzying thriller' Dagens Nyheter Newspaper, Sweden.

From the Inside Flap

Stockholm, 2011.
Carina Dymek is on a fast track for promotion at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, when she is approached by a stranger and given a USB stick containing a report to circulate in her department. Unwittingly, she delivers a time bomb of classified information that sends her career up in flames and puts her on the radar of the security service, Säpo.
Tasked with investigating how Dymek gained access to the confidential report, the formidable Bent Jensen of Säpo is quietly approached by the British MI6, who have an undisclosed interest in the leak. She finds out that Dymek's boyfriend is an Egyptian Swedish national. But it's MI6 who link his family to an extreme faction within the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo.
The case explodes into an international manhunt. Liaising with the ruthless MI6, Bente uncovers the secretive plans contained in that leaked report: plans for an omnipotent, Europe-wide Intelligence Service. Forces hone in on Dymek, while Bente begins to suspect she is a red herring caught in a far wider net: one in which social media is abused for intelligence and civil rights are sacrificed to national security.
Andreas Norman, a former Swedish Foreign Ministry official, has written an explosive exposé of Anglo-American spying and surveillance on European civilians in the name of counter-terrorism. This dizzying thriller anticipated the Edward Snowden revelations and rocked Sweden on publication.


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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Carina Dymek is a career civil servant, aspiring to be a diplomat. Astute, highly intelligent and committed, she’s dedicated to her job and focused on promotion. Perhaps her only fault is a forthright honesty, which is where the trouble starts. After a diplomatic meeting in Brussels, “Jean” approaches her and gives her a USB stick containing a confidential proposal for a European Intelligence Service. Uncertain of what to do, she does the right thing by emailing her superiors asking them to sort out the problem.

What a mistake! Dymek’s actions open a Pandora’s Box out of which come the CIA, British Intelligence and the Swedish Security service. Dymek is flagged up as a leak, a security risk and with a boyfriend called Jamal, even though he’s a career civil servant too, there has to be a terrorist connection! Dymek is then thrust “into a raging blaze” as she becomes a target for out of control intelligence operatives, anxious to neutralise this non existent terrorist threat to make sure that their plans for an unaccountable Europe wide Intelligence Service aren’t derailed. Dymek is helpless in the face of this onslaught and the scene of Dymek’s rendition is truly frightening. I’ll never look at a bucket in the same way again

The story has a slow start, but it’s an utterly plausible book which shows that once doubts are expressed about someone, they gain an unstoppable momentum. It was also interesting to read this book after interviewing Anders De La Motte, who questioned how data and information is widely used and often misused. In this novel, the intelligence services only believe what they want and what suits their agenda, using a narrative based on ill-informed data driven guesswork.
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Format: Hardcover
Yet another Scandinavian crime/thriller novel – this one mostly set in Sweden. A Swedish civil servant in the diplomatic service, Carina Dymek, goes to a meeting in Brussels. After the meeting, a man present there gives Carina a flash drive (oho!) concerning proposals to set up an European anti-terrorism unit. Carina gives this to the Justice Ministry on her return to Sweden, whereupon she is suspended from her post for leaking sensitive information. Carina is puzzled by this and then learns that the man at the Brussels meeting has links to a Middle Eastern Islamic terrorism. As they say, the plot thickens deeply, and poor Carina is thrust into a maelstrom of Le Carré-like subterfuge. She does not know whom to trust and thus has to battle against the layers of deception to get at the truth. It is a fascinating story that is definitely worth sticking with after a slowish start.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Drambuster on 28 Aug. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Andreas Norman is a former Swedish diplomat and from reviews I've read elsewhere, the book is accurate to the point where those who know him say you can spot which office he was thinking of such is his credibility with the themes in this book.
And that credibility means that we should be worried about our personal freedoms in the light of terrorism and the often repeated but never explained threats governments tell us we face.
In this novel, an ordinary, hard working civil servant stumbles into a murky wold of espionage and intelligence games after she has a secret document foisted on her. The result is truly frightening, more because we know the author was at the heart of such problems than from the writing. It's a good book but it is too long and the pace sometimes suffers for it. The first 150 pages do little for the actual story but show the intricacies of the EU. Once the plot gets going however, it's a good story with much to credit. Again though, in places it labours and is a little over detailed with pieces that don't add to the tale. Stick with it though as there is much to make you think.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patrick F. O'Connor on 5 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author knows the EU scene and writes an atmospheric thriller which is depressing if true about the machinations of security services in this day and age.A slow start builds to a satisfactory conclusion
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