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

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Last Will - Liza Marklund

This is another exciting installment in Liza Marklund’s series featuring crime reporter Annika Bengtzon. In this sixth book, we find Annika attending the Nobel Prizewinners’ dinner in Stockholm, covering this glamorous and prestigious event for the tabloid Evening Post newspaper. Then, as Annika is dancing with journalist Bosse from the rival evening newspaper to the one she works for, shots are fired on the dance floor. Finding herself caught up in the chaos that ensues, Annika is questioned as a witness, and is desperate to get back to the newsroom and tell her story, but this isn’t as straightforward as she or the paper would hope.

Further murders occur, and Annika starts to trace the links between the crimes, but remains in a difficult situation as a reporter who is also a key witness to events. The author brings in a host of modern day concerns including terrorist and security threats and the treatment of those accused, the workings of scientists, researchers and drug companies, and the challenges and demands facing the newspaper in it’s attempts to be current and relevant in the age of the Internet with it’s offering of immediate online news coverage. Annika is as doggedly determined as ever to find out the truth; why was the victim at the Nobel Prizewinners’ dinner targeted and killed? What secrets are hidden at the medical institute at the university? Who is the cold-hearted killer at work here? There is a fascinating series of short narratives interspersed amongst the main storyline, which detail aspects of the life of Alfred Nobel himself, and which cleverly link in and add to the main plot.

There are troubles for Annika at home, too, despite hoping to land her supposed dream family home in the countryside, the relationship between Annika and husband Thomas is decidedly rocky, and the pleasant new neighbourhood doesn’t seem to be as perfect and friendly as it might have first appeared. Once again she is trying to balance motherhood and her career, though a fortuitous event means that she has more money than before at her disposal. But danger is never far away for Annika and the more corruption and lies she uncovers as she edges closer to the truth, the more she must fight to keep herself and those she loves the most safe from harm as the novel builds to a dramatic and nail-biting conclusion.

I love this series, and I really enjoyed this latest installment, another addictive page-turner that I read quickly. I like the short chapters that jump about so that at one moment we hear about Annika’s family life, then about the situation in the newspaper offices, then about what the killer or suspect is up to; this keeps the novel very engaging, fresh and pacy to read. I was perhaps not quite as fond of this one as I was of  both The Bomber and Vanished, but Last Will is certainly still an entertaining, fast-paced and welcome addition to the Annika Bengtzon series, well translated again by Neil Smith, and I am already looking forward to the arrival of the next book.

Reviewed by Lindsay Healy

Published by Corgi

Thank you to the publisher for kindly sending a copy of this novel to read and review.


  1. I feel like I'm reading this series backwards! Not too sure about Annika though so this is on my maybe read if I'm in the mood pile.

    1. Thanks for commenting Ellie. I know what you mean, I think I have read them in a strange order. I have bought a couple of the others to catch up on the sections of Annika's life that I've missed so far!


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