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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read
I am part of the Transworld Group

This is the second novel that I have read written by this author and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Set 5 years after Vanished, it gives you an excellent insight into what it is like to be a working mother of two children. Juggling the responsibilities of home and work, love for her husband and children but also a...
Published on 2 Jan 2012 by rah

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not So Thrilling
This was my final Transworld Challenge book and I'm pleased that it wasn't my first. I loved my first three choices, but felt pretty let down by this one.

What could have been a great action thriller was really spoilt for me by the amount of uneccessary and often irrelevant and tedious detail about the life of the main character Annika. She's a gutsy heroine,...
Published on 23 Nov 2011 by Lincs Reader


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read, 2 Jan 2012
This review is from: The Bomber (Paperback)
I am part of the Transworld Group

This is the second novel that I have read written by this author and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Set 5 years after Vanished, it gives you an excellent insight into what it is like to be a working mother of two children. Juggling the responsibilities of home and work, love for her husband and children but also a love of her work and the difficulties that this can cause.

Liza draws you in from the first page and you grab every chance that you can to read on, you want to know what is going to happen next, you associate with the main character and recognise the feelings that she has. The story unfolds in a systematic way whereby you keep up with everything that is happening and do not get lost due to too many characters or too many side issues. The home life and work life are explained in a philosophical, but practical manner which makes you empathetic but not bored. The reporter goes out on a limb for people, she involves herself fully and makes good judgement calls. Although this is a crime thriller it remains extremely humanistic, the reporter is not superwoman, she is ordinary with normal human failings, in other words she is believable.

Liza's writing style is descriptive, she includes different areas of Stockholm, encourages you to picture the scenes so that you can place the characters clearly. I value her as a writer and will definitely be buying the rest of her books.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An action heroine with a personality solves a racy intrigue, 4 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Bomber (Hardcover)
In the early morning a week before Christmas a bomb ravages the Olympic Stadium in Stockholm. Annika Bengtzon, a young mother, who has recently become crime editor on the newspaper Kvällspressen, has to leave her rather strange dream about sex in space to investigate the cause and damage. The remains of the dynamic OS-boss Christina Furhage is found on the destroyed stand, which puts Annika in the middle of a murder hunt. To find the answer Annika starts to explore the life behind the perfect front, which Christina Furhage has managed to create. The bomber has to be found quickly since the Olympic Games in Stockholm is only six months away but when Annika digs deeper into to mystery it puts her and her family in danger.
It is the first time we meet Annika and she is a refreshing change to the usual rather corpulent and arrogant male detective, who features in too many crime novels. The snoopy journalist in her drives her to write - not to solve crimes but a detective and a journalist work after the same pattern. This is a pattern the author knows exceptionally well since Liza Marklund is a successful Swedish journalist. Annika is named after Marklund's daughter Annika and her favorite editor from her time as a journalist on the Swedish national newspaper Expressen Bengt Bengtzon.
Marklund says she longed for a heroine, who reminded her about herself and her friends. A career woman, who has a husband, kids, mortgage and paranoia regarding food and health but on the same time an insatiable appetite on life. Annika is brought to life in a lively but loving manner. She is not a super woman or a Lara Croft but someone closer to human dimensions with a lot of courage combined with a huge curiosity.
While the characters only exist in Marklund's imagination the descriptions of the milieu are bringing you a piece of the real Stockholm. She has down her homework and the environment is well described. The newspaper's office is intense and sometimes hostile while you can relax the minute you get inside the friendly family home. Or can you?
This is not a book you will be able to put down and get on with your life. The action grips you from the first page, which boldly starts: "The woman, who was about to die..." and it is impossible to stop reading until you know how the last page finishes. And that is for me to know and for you to find out!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another fantastic crime author, 23 Nov 2011
By 
S. A. Broadhurst "SBroadhurst" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Bomber (Paperback)
This is the fourth and final book in my Transworld Reading Challenge and is another new author to me. A Swedish author, who has hit the crime market in UK by storm.

This book is set over seven days and includes three murders. The main character is Annika, a crime reporter who wants to find who is responsible for the crimes.

I really enjoyed this book. I found it to be fast paced and the plot flowed effortlessly. Throughout the book I found it gave us an insight into the possible conflicts faced by the media, in this case the newspapers, where journalists wanted to find and report the real story whereas the editors are governed by the constraints of reporting. This was evident in this book and I enjoyed this side to the book. The main character Annika is a working mother who also has to juggle her career with family life and this is also discussed within the book and I think this will be something that readers can identify with, a real woman with the same worries as many other working mothers.

I would recommend this book to lovers of crime fiction but be warned once you start this book, you will not want to put it down.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 10 July 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Bomber (Mass Market Paperback)
I am a fan of Liza Marklund. I love the way she makes all characters realistic, and she doesn't glamourise the world of detectives or journalists.
Liza Marklund gives her readers an insight to the world of journalism. The main character, Annika, comes to life when you read the books about her.
I couldn't put the book down. Read it! You won't be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Crime title, 24 Nov 2011
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Bomber (Paperback)
I love a good crime story and leading the from the front is the Scandinavian crowd at the moment with their brooding landscape, tough people and of course a cracking setting for a solid crime story to keep the reader in their thrall.

This title has great pace, a cracking lead character in Annika and when you add to this a realistic quality that when blended with a journalists curiosity it makes a great start to a book that is going to take readers on a journey into darkness. Add to this a stark descriptive style, a deep sense of foreboding within and it's a story that I had a hard time putting down. Just remember to make sure you have a light to hand as sounds in the dark may never be the same again. Haunting and wonderful, scary and tantalising. Cracking.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, exciting and intelligent thriller, 29 Oct 2011
By 
L. H. Healy "Books are life, beauty and truth." (Cambridgeshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Bomber (Paperback)
This novel is set in Stockholm and the plot centres around newly promoted chief crime reporter Annika Bengtzon, working at the Evening Post newspaper, who hits upon a massive story. In the fictional events of the novel, Sweden is due to be hosting the next Olympic Games, and there has been a large explosion at the main Victoria Stadium. Annika is straight into finding the facts underneath all the talk about the explosion, wanting the best story and the best picture, first. She has recently been made head of the crime team at the newspaper, and is worrying about being a boss, and dealing with the team around her, some ace reporters working with her, and some other male journalists who refuse to accept her as their chief. Additionally, now that such a big story has broken, she is working a lot of extra hours and seeing little of her husband Thomas and children Kalle and Ellen. Using her sources and her skill and eye for a story and a good picture, Annika finds out who the victim of the bomb blast was, and begins to piece together the truth. Then a second blast occurs, and the investigation is on as to the link with the first. When a further, third event happens, it becomes a personal attack which leaves everyone at the Evening Post deep in shock.

I found this an exciting, pacy read with a gripping storyline, and intriguing personality clashes between the journalists and editors at the newspaper. I liked the exploration of these conflicts. I also enjoyed the tension towards the end of the novel and the dramatic closing chapters. It's interesting reading about the views of the print journalists, and their opinions of the radio and tv reporting on the same incidents. Also how the newspaper tries to be first with the exclusive stories and increase their circulation figures, but without resorting to the sordid or excessively personal details about the people involved. The author also intelligently deals with the demands of modern working life and children and overcoming prejudices in the workplace for women. It did put me in mind a little of Stieg Larsson's novels with Annika being an intelligent journalist and some of the issues regarding women. I will definitely be reading more of Liza Marklund's novels featuring Annika Bengtzon. Great, compelling read.

This is the fourth and final reading choice of mine as part of the Transworld Book Group Reading Challenge 2011. I have read four different and very interesting titles as part of this challenge and have been very glad to have taken part.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good crime novel, 23 Nov 2011
By 
This review is from: The Bomber (Paperback)
I received this book as part of the Transworld Book Challenge. It is the third in the Annika Bengtzon series and I will definitely be hunting out the first two in the series.

Sweden is preparing to stage the Olympics when there is a bomb detonated at one of the main stadia. Is it a terrorist attack on the games or is it something more personal? The thing I found slightly strange about this novel is that Annika is a news reporter yet seems to spend a lot of time investigating the crime and looking for clues that the police have missed. This is something I was able to overlook and I enjoyed the storyline along with the "politics" that Annika had to deal with being a female crime editor at the newspaper as well as the internal battling she had to deal with over being a mother and wife as well as holding down a successful job particularly in the build up to Christmas
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing change, 23 Nov 2011
By 
Carole (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Bomber (Paperback)
This is about a journalist called Annika Bengtzon who works at an evening newspaper in Stockholm. She's recently been promoted to the head of the crime desk so is facing some challenges at work as not all of her colleagues are happy about that. You learn a lot about Annika and how she struggles to balance her home and work life. There's just enough of that to give you a feel for the character and make her come alive.

There are several other characters that are described in less detail, but that you become familiar with too. Some you like and some you really don't. It's a great mix of people, just like normal life.

Because of the author's background there is plenty of detail about the workings of a newspaper and I found that to be fascinating. I don't think I've read a crime novel set in that particular environment before and it made a refreshing change.

The book starts with Annika and her team having to cover a bombing just before Christmas. I liked the way the book was divided into each day so you got a clear picture of events and you also realised just how long the days were for the characters. The book got more tense as each day went on, not only because of the continuing actions of the bomber, but also because of Annika's home life and problems with work colleagues.

I loved the ending. I had an inkling that something like that was going to happen but I got the details completely wrong. It was beautifully done, keeping the tension just right.

This was the first book that I'd read by the author, courtesy of the Transworld Book Club, and I've since read another two, both of which were excellent. I'm looking forward to reading more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Literary Thriller, 23 Nov 2011
This review is from: The Bomber (Paperback)
I received this book from Transworld as part of my participation in their Book Club. This is the deal: you choose four free books from their book club range and they send them to you in turn as you review them. The Bomber was my fourth book.

Journalist Annika Bengtzon has recently been appointed as head of crime reporting at the Evening Post in Stockholm when a bomb tears apart the Victoria Stadium, a venue for the forthcoming Olympic games. It's almost Christmas, and Annika is torn between doing her job, not offending her vital police source, looking after her family, and dealing with hostile members of the crime reporting team who'd like nothing better than to drive her out of her role.

Mostly, the narrative follows Annika, but occasionally we get glimpses into the heads of other people in the story. These glimpses were, for me, at once too much and too little. We didn't get to know anyone as well as we know Annika, and it felt most of the time as if the story could do without trying to show us other characters' feelings. Had they been fleshed out more, they might have improved the book. As it was, the narrative would have been smoother and faster-paced without them. To an extent, the book is trying to do two things: be a crime novel with a thrilling search for a mad bomber, and illustrate the life of not just Annika, a woman struggling in what's still a man's world, but of everyone around her. The more literary aims have a tendency to interfere with the needs of the thriller.

That said, this book provides a fascinating insight into the workings of a newspaper. There's a sense throughout that Marklund is on firm ground here: she's writing about what she knows. The call outs, the missed meals, the petty office politics, and the sense that however well you did today, what matters is how well you will do tomorrow. It's rare to read a novel so well grounded in its subject.

Swedish crime fiction is having something of a vogue in the UK at the moment, but this book deserves to be read for itself, not just as part of a trend. I'd definitely be interested in reading more Annika Bengtzon books should they come my way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A chilling thriller, 23 Nov 2011
By 
JudithAnn (Houten, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Bomber (Paperback)
What it's about: Annika Bengtzon is a journalist in Stockholm who is woken in the middle of the night because a bomb has gone off in the Olympic Stadium that is being built in the city. A few days later there is a second explosion.

From the start, Annika is spending all her time on the investigation, and with a persistence you can only expect from a newspaper journalist, she digs deep. However, she does have some eye for decency and will not pursue someone who is incoherent with grief.

With her husband and children demanding to see more of her, and some of her colleagues critical of her, their new female boss, she is having a difficult time. Not to mention that it's almost Christmas and she hasn't had time at all to prepare for it. But when her investigation leads her to dangerous territory, the question is whether she will even be home for Christmas.

What I thought: You know the kind of book where you start reading and think "Hey, yes, this is exactly as I like it"? This is that kind of book. I started reading and I felt at home straight away. While I wasn't constantly thinking about the book when I was not reading it, as soon as I picked it up again I was happy in my little Bomber world.

I thought the atmosphere was brilliant: a wintery Stockholm, just before Christmas. It was cold, very cold, there was snow, there was sleety rain, there was slushy, melted snow. It was no pleasure to be outside. But Annika Bengtzon takes buses, taxis, and walks through the awful weather, a lot. It gives a melancholy, sad, atmosphere to the book.

Annika herself lives the life of successful women: while at work, she has to rush be in time to pick the kids up from nursery, or has to ask her husband to do it for her. At home, she's rushing off to work. Neither her work nor her home life seems satisfactory. She has to disappoint people, especially herself, a lot of the time. Everything seems a struggle.

In addition, not all of her colleagues like their new female boss. More out of principle than for who she is, really. That seemed very real. Especially as Annika, like a real woman, doesn't dare to confront her colleagues and stoically undergoes their behaviour towards her. The result is that their behaviour becomes even worse. Luckily she has a boss who believes in her and looks out for her.

The only drawback was the bomber for me: quite a rambling story (by the bomber) about the reasons behind the attacks. That story wasn't very interesting or comprehensible, and I'm sure it was meant that way, but it also made the reading less compelling for me.

What I really liked was Annika's intelligence, following up throw-away comments that people make, that turn out to be quite important. I also liked how professional she is in one sense, and how vulnerable in another. Liza Marklund managed to invent a real-life character that is neither a cliché nor too commonplace to be interesting.
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The Bomber
The Bomber by Liza Marklund (Paperback - 24 Nov 2011)
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