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The Swimmer [Kindle Edition]

Joakim Zander
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £1.19 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description


On a remote Swedish island, a little girl, Klara, grows up without a father. Now, twenty years later, she discovers a secret: a secret that powerful men will kill to keep hidden.

On the other side of the world, an old spy hides from his past. He used to be the best agent in the field. These days the only thing he lives for is swimming in the local pool.

Then, on Christmas eve, Klara is thrown into a terrifying chase across Europe. Only the Swimmer can save her. But time is running out...

Product Description


'Guilt and atonement and revenge ... THE SWIMMER is an impressive, fast-paced thriller' Boras Tidning. 'Elegantly constructed ... the language creeps up on you ... a remarkable debut novel' Goteborgs-Posten. 'Well-written and incredibly thrilling ... avoids the predictability of the genre' Skanska Dagbladet. 'A terrific page-turner, rich with complex conflicts and a big, chillingly credible conspiracy' Chris Pavone, bestselling author of The Expats. 'At the end you look up and see the world differently' Lesley Thomson. 'A thrilling debut ... a novel with rare ambition with a crackling denouement and strong characters, it richly deserves its reputation' Daily Mail. 'Timely, relevant and exciting' Literary Review. 'Builds to exceptional tension' Independent. 'An absorbing chase thriller ... an excellent debut' The Times.

About the Author

Joakim Zander was born in Stockholm. He spent ten years working in Brussels as a lawyer, and now lives in Lund, Sweden, where he writes full time. THE SWIMMER is his first novel, and has been sold to 28 countries around the world.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 868 KB
  • Print Length: 437 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0062337246
  • Publisher: Head of Zeus (3 July 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #114 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Joakim Zander was born in 1975 in Stockholm, Sweden. He was raised in the small town of Söderköping but, growing up, he also lived in Syria and Israel and was a high-school exchange student in the USA. After completing his military service in the Swedish Navy, he studied law at Uppsala University and later earned a PhD in Law from Maastricht University. Cambridge University Press published his dissertation, The Application of the Precautionary Principle in Practice, which was awarded the Rabobank Prize. Zander has worked for the European Parliament and the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. He currently lives in Lund, Sweden, with his wife and two children. The Swimmer is his first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking thriller 30 Aug. 2014
By Bookie TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Swimmer is a gripping, impressive and fast paced debut from Joakim Zander. The complex plot grabs from the literally explosive opening scenes in a sweeping narrative which moves skilfully between a number of characters and plot lines, ultimately drawing all together in a truly dramatic denouement.

It's difficult to give a plot resume without divulging too much detail, but this story really does have it all. A CIA agent on a desperate mission to save someone he doesn't know, black ops involving a rogue organisation, global politics including a strong female, Zara, who works in Brussels and is unwittingly involved in a race to
find out the nature of encrypted material on a laptop.

I was impressed by the strong sense of place. Brussels felt real, as did the remote Scandinavian island locations. Each character is richly detailed and with strong dialogue this is a bang up to the minute thriller. I whipped through this in almost one sitting. It's not a book you can put down easily and with a plot which at times felt horribly real, it's an amazing vehicle to explore themes of guilt, revenge and atonement. A truly cracking read.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your standard Scandi crime thriller......... 2 Sept. 2014
By SteveN
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase it takes place in multiple locations - Middle East, Belgium, France & Sweden, with the different threads wound together in a climax in the Swedish archipelago.
The story is told from a number of different perspectives, often changing on a chapter-by-chapter basis, so, if you don't enjoy this writing style, be warned!
The author has a well-rounded, fluid writing style and maintains the tension well. I think you have to suspend your disbelief in so many "page-turners" these days with authors desperate to find an original plot, but this is a believable contemporary storyline, well-told and the characters are developed intelligently.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and read it very quickly, always looking forward to picking it up again once put down.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tour de Force - A Must Read Novel 12 Sept. 2014
By C. E. Utley TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book really is an exceptional achievement. It is hard to believe it is a first novel. Zander's prose, perfectly translated (into American rather than English) by Elizabeth Clark Wessel, is a joy to read. The characters are expertly drawn. The plot, though complicated at times (because what appear to be two stories are being told and they only come together towards the end) is genuinely gripping. Zander's ability, in particular, to describe fast moving action scenes is astounding. But there is much more to the novel than mere action.

Although the story starts with a bang (literally), it does not continue, for a while, in that vein. Instead, we are gently introduced to Mahmoud Shammosh (a Ph.D student in Sweden) and his former girl friend, Klara Walldeen, a Swedish girl of great beauty now working in Brussels for an MEP. True, the second chapter recounts some strange email messages, which turn out to be of vital importance to the plot, which Mahmoud has been getting, but nothing spectacular happens immediately.

The descriptions of life in the EU quarter of Brussels are all too credible. The parasitic nature of EU bureaucracy and its hangers on is gloriously portrayed. George Loow, the young lobbyist, is a character anyone who has ever had anything to do with modern politics will instantly recognise. He swaggers around Brussels, performing slightly shady tasks for his firm's clients, revelling in the trappings of "success". There are hot young women galore. There are expensive cars, grand restaurants, seedy nightclubs and a certain amount of recreational drugs. George, whose father is understandably disappointed in him, is in his element. But he is weak, not evil.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Around Us The Madness Of Empires Continues 21 Oct. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Damascus, July 1980, a car is blown apart with a young woman inside. A man, with a young baby in his arms, looks in horror, from the window in their flat. He understands this bomb was meant for him, and thus the stories begin.

We move from 1980, in alternating chapters, as told from this man's story, and then in the third person from other's viewpoints. This is a complicated story, involving the CIA, the Swedish Parliament, several law offices throughout Europe, but all involving Klara Walldeen. Klara is the daughter of that man in Damascus, and what puts her in jeopardy involves many others and many other times. As the story evolves we are introduced to George Loow, a Lobbyist for an exclusive PR firm in Brussels; Mahmoud, a PhD candidate, former soldier; Gabriella, a lawyer and friend of Klara's; and various and sundry people in the CIA and other organizations.

This is a fast paced novel, covering much of Europe, but it is convoluted in its timeline. We are not privy to how these myriad of characters interface until the last few chapters. This is a well written and mysterious novel, full of secrets from atrocities in the field to Abu Ghraib. I particularly liked the character of Klara, pulled into the secrecy and mysteries of the past. I am looking forward to the next book by this author.

Recommended. prisrob10-21-14
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Swimmer - unputtdownable! 8 Sept. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
The most compelling book I have read in ages - couldn't put it down. Very topical and a plot that was completely plausible and characters that I really beleived in. Brilliantly put together with all the twists and turns of the plot and every strand was followed through, I highly recommend it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Ok but not the best book
Too disjointed and too much going backwards and forwards. Wasn't clear at times what was going on or who the characters were.
Published 10 hours ago by Kathryn Skidmore
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting fast read
Quite a complex storyline, that bounced around a bit. I did struggle with the foreign place names but the story built up - it was so good that I just raced through trying to find... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Ruo-Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read :)
Published 5 days ago by Mrs D F Huxtable
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very well written and exciting to the end
Published 5 days ago by Ms Virginia Newbold
3.0 out of 5 stars The Swimmer Lacks Depth
A reasonable page turner but no more than that. Fast-paced plot but a bit silly in a few places. Reasonable holiday read.
Published 8 days ago by Derek Boyd
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrongly charged
This was supposed to be be a free book due t an email offer. However Amazon appear to have charged me for it. not happy
Published 8 days ago by zulu
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money
Trite formulistic shallow and lazy. The cover is a pretty picture so one star.
Published 8 days ago by The Zookeeper
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating read and not worth the effort - 3-
Disappointing is the best way to describe this espionage novel. The cover carries the comment, "Comparable to the best of Le Carre". Read more
Published 25 days ago by Blue in Washington
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by raymi
4.0 out of 5 stars page turner
Slow going and a little confusing at first. Then couldn't wait to read the next page. Exiting finish, really enjoyed the book.
Published 1 month ago by Wendy Mepham
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