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

Thursday 23 February 2012

Vanished - Liza Marklund

'Our circumstances shape us, but the choice is always our own.'

Another installment of the Swedish crime series by Liza Marklund and featuring 'Evening Post' reporter Annika Bengtzon. In this novel, Annika is actually just working in the capacity of copy-editor, her past having had a bearing on her current role at the newspaper. As the novel commences, two bodies have been found out at a Stockholm port and a woman is on the run from a gunman. At the newspaper, Annika takes a call from a mysterious woman wanting the newspaper to run a story about her organisation, the 'Paradise Foundation', which, she claims, exists to help people disappear, to escape from troubled pasts. Annika starts to look into the woman and the organisation, and realises that things aren't all as they first seemed. Our heroine has worries of her own, as her beloved Grandmother is taken ill, and her uneasy relationship with her mother is placed under greater strain.

Alongside these storylines, there is also the ongoing daily activities at the newspaper, much of which is seen through the eyes of both Annika and also the editor, who is often mulling over the internal politics and who is aware that change is needed in the near future to keep the newspaper up to standard and at the forefront of the market. As well as this, there are further murders and links to serious international crime. The author also highlights social issues within Sweden, primarily through the character of Thomas Samuelsson who works at a local authority. 

This is a fast-paced crime novel. I really enjoyed reading it, I like this author's style of writing, and felt like the plot carried me along. It’s one of those reads where I kept thinking, I'll read just one more chapter. I read 'The Bomber' last year, another novel by this author featuring Annika, and the events recounted in that novel are actually further on in Annika's career than the ones in 'Vanished'. But I think the story is strong enough for anyone to read this as a stand-alone book. Having said that, it’s always nice to read a series in order to see the main character develop. For me, it’s kind of interesting to see what Annika was like before, as in this novel she is much less confident I think, and dealing with personal problems and her own demons, as well as uncovering scandal and finding herself in risky situations. I love the newsroom setting and feel that this is authentic, given the author's background in newspaper reporting.

Another top read from this author for me with an engrossing storyline and compelling characters, very well translated by Neil Smith, and I look forward to reading the rest of the novels featuring Annika very soon.

Thank you very much to the publisher for sending me a proof copy of this novel to read and give an honest review.

Published by Corgi on 16th February 2012 ~ available now in paperback, e-book and audio formats.

My review of The Bomber by Liza Marklund.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think I've ever read a book set in Sweden. This one sounds great.


Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leave a comment. It's great reading your comments and I really appreciate them :)