This is the fourth and final book from this round of the Transworld Bookclub and if it isn’t too much of a pun, I’d like to say that we’re going out with a bang. Yeah, I know. Big groan. I do think the best one may have been saved until last, although it’s so difficult to say when you’re comparing such different genres as I’ve been sampling.
A massive thanks to Transworld for the books, all of which I’ve enjoyed.
Crime reporter Annika Bengtzon is woken by a phone call in the early hours of a wintry December morning. An explosion has ripped apart the Olympic Stadium. And a victim has been blown to pieces.
As Annika delves into the details of the bombing and the background of the victim, there is a second explosion. These chilling crimes could be her biggest news story yet. When her police source reveals they are hot on the heels of the bomber, Annika is guaranteed an exclusive with her name on it.
But she is uncovering too much, and soon finds herself the target of a deranged serial killer…
The story 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.
My only criticism is that it wasn’t long enough. This was one of those books where I could quite happily have read for a few more chapters to find out what happened afterwards, but then that may be me just being greedy.
I’ve just checked on Amazon and there are three more books by Liza Marklund, all about Annika Bengtzon. Guess I’m going shopping then…