After a traumatic incident, journalist Annika Bengtzon has become obsessed with writing about terrorism. Whilst investigating an obscure terrorist attack in northern Sweden from thirty years earlier, she uncovers a string of murders carried out by a vicious killer. As Annika is drawn further into a complicated web of murder and politics, her marriage begins to fall apart around her. Can she help catch the killer and save her relationship?
I read a Liza Marklund novel a few years ago, and remember it being okay but not amazing, so I expected this to be a fairly solid thriller, if not up to the standard of some of the Scandinavian greats like Henning Mankell. However I was pleased that this book was a brilliant thriller - exciting, well plotted and engaging. It has a decent mix of crime and family drama, as Annika Bengtzon is a woman who prizes her family alongside her career, and struggles to combine the two to the best of her ability, which I'm sure any working mother could relate to.
The story is clever and fast paced, with a lot of sub plots that add to character development. In particular, Annika's husband, Thomas, and best friend, Anne, both have storylines that provide some action outside of the murder and mayhem, but also help to show Annika as a rounded character with a life away from her work.
This is well-written and atmospheric, and Marklund has clearly done a lot of research, which adds to the story. I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys a clever thriller, especially fans of Scandinavian crime fiction, and I will certainly go back and seek out some of the earlier novels in this series.