Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Saturday, 29 October 2011

The Bomber - Liza Marklund

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.


  1. This sounds like a very exciting book! I haven't heard of this author before so may have to look into their work. Thanks for sharing Lindsay!

    Megan @ Storybook Love Affair

  2. Thanks Megan, a new author to me too. :)


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