Friday, January 21, 2011

Red Wolf-Liza Marklund

Red Wolf
Liza Marklund
Atria, Feb 15 2011, $25.99
ISBN: 9781451602067

In Stockholm, Evening Post reporter Annika Bengtzon no longer works the crime beat (see The Bomber for why). Instead her assignments are more independent as she follows stories over the country involving terrorist activity mostly tied to the Communist movement of several decades ago.

Annika travels to Lulea to meet a journalist who is giving her a lead on a story. Instead her source is killed in a hit-and-run accident that Annika believes was deliberate. Refusing to back off even when more related homicides occur, the intrepid reporter follows clues that tie back to a deadly sabotage incident on a military base in 1969 by someone using the code of "Ragnwald". She thinks this cold blooded killer has returned as a serial killer.

It has been several years since Bengtzon conducted an investigation (see Studio Sex), but her return to Prime Time has been worth the wait as she is at her best in this terrific police procedural. The story line focuses on the social impact of the final Soviet decade on Sweden today so that readers obtain a strong whodunit investigation wrapped inside a national psyche struggling with mostly late 1980s Cold War events. Fans will enjoy this strong Scandinavian thriller as Bengtzon, who has personal issues as well, struggles to tie the dots of then to now.

Harriet Klausner

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