Written by Liza Marklund
Review written by Sara Townsend
Sara-Jayne Townsend is a published crime and horror writer and likes books in which someone dies horribly. She is founder and Chair Person of the T Party Writers’ Group. http://sarajaynetownsend.weebly.com/
Released: 26th May 2011
Trainee journalist Annika Bengtzon has secured a summer placement at Sweden’s biggest tabloid newspaper. She’s desperate for her big break, but she spends most of her time having to deal with the cranks who call the tip-offs hotline. But then she gets a call saying that the naked body of a young woman has been found in a nearby cemetery….
Thus we follow Annika as she attempts to piece together the victim’s story – who she was, where she came from, and what happened to her. Annika’s junior status on the newspaper is a source of frustration for her, as she constantly comes up against barriers when she attempts to write her stories, and has the senior members of the newspaper staff dismiss as irrelevant leads she thinks are worth following up.
It’s a source of frustration for the reader, too. For much of the book Annika seems to spend a lot of time waiting around, getting thirsty and drinking Coke, and going to the toilet. The writing style of the novel is oddly formal at times, with dialogue seeming stilted and disjointed, though I am prepared to accredit this to translation issues rather than the writing itself.
At times the story is too similar to Annika’s quest, appearing to meander round in circles without going anywhere. However, the ending of the book is a cracker – everything comes together, all the seemingly irrelevant pieces of the puzzle connect, and a twist I really didn’t see coming smacked me soundly over the head with dramatic flourish.
My advice to readers is, stick with this book all the way to its conclusion. At times it may be hard going, but it’s worth it in the end.