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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An honest person whose life is about to be turned upside down and destroyed by a dishonest world
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...
Published 5 months ago by Romancrimeblogger

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Credible voice, albeit a bit too long.
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...
Published 3 months ago by Drambuster


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An honest person whose life is about to be turned upside down and destroyed by a dishonest world, 14 July 2014
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.

A long time ago a friend told me how he felt grubby after reading an espionage novel. This one is the same and even Bente Jensen, who is the only person with the intelligence and guts to question and challenge what’s happening to Dymek ends up making what I’m sure readers will see as immoral compromises in the name of national security.

Final verdict – a good first time thriller that’s definitely worth reading
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4.0 out of 5 stars Never accept a flash-drive from a stranger!, 11 Nov 2014
By 
Douglas Kemp (Northamptonshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Into a Raging Blaze (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
3.0 out of 5 stars Credible voice, albeit a bit too long., 28 Aug 2014
This review is from: Into a Raging Blaze (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
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow start good ending, 5 Oct 2014
By 
Patrick F. O'Connor "barry" (London, GB) - See all my reviews
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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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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well researched fast moving book, 30 Aug 2014
I thought this was a great book. the background was credible as the author worked in the business. I would compare this to a Le Carre in style.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ... EU but once it got going it was a good thriller., 25 July 2014
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Slow start with lots of detail about the workings of the EU but once it got going it was a good thriller.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but..., 30 Sep 2014
This review is from: Into a Raging Blaze (Hardcover)
Thanks to NetGalley for review copy

This is a hard book to review. In some ways it's a three star read, while in others it's five star.

Firstly the negatives. The translation just isn't great and in places leads to the prose being stilted and halting. While I was given a review copy and some grammatical mistakes are to be expected, I think that this was a more fundamental issue and was not just something a little more editing would fix. The story itself is also just too long. The author could have told his tale in two thirds the length and if he had done so it would have been a sharper and edgier tale.

Then there's an element I was simultaneously happy and unhappy with. The plot takes place within the byzantine world of the EU. Obviously some context is needed here and the author provides it in spades. As somebody generally interested in politics I was fine with this, in fact I feel I learnt something of the inner workings of the European Union, but I imagine many readers would find it a turn off.

Which finally leads me to the positives. Without giving away too many spoilers, the plot itself is strong and mirrors much of what later came out through the Edward Snowden saga about the NSA. I particularly enjoyed the portrayal of the British intelligence services and felt that the general cynicism and amorality of the intelligence world was pitch perfect. As the author used to work in this field himself it was all too convincing.

I would definitely read more of this author's work but think that next time his publishers need to guide him a little more.

I give this three stars.
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Into a Raging Blaze
Into a Raging Blaze by Andreas Norman (Hardcover - 3 July 2014)
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