Box 21: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$4.00
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it is still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Box 21: A Novel Hardcover – October 13, 2009

Book 2 of 3 in the Ewert Grens Series

See all 17 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$3.97 $0.01

New Book in the "Inspector Montalbano" Series
Someone is toying with Italy’s favorite detective in the eighteenth installment of the "Inspector Montalbano" mystery series. Learn more

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The Swedish writing team of Roslund and Hellström make their U.S. debut with a remarkable tale of loss, addiction and revenge set in Stockholm's seedy underworld. Ewert Grens, a veteran detective, is haunted by a tragic incident that occurred 25 years earlier that left his young wife, a fellow police officer, an invalid. When the man responsible, notorious criminal Jochum Lang, is released from prison, Grens vows to put him away for life. Meanwhile, the detective arrives at a crime scene where a teenage prostitute, Lydia Grajauskas, has been nearly beaten to death by her Russian pimp. Alternating chapters fill in the backstory of Lydia and Alena Sljusareva, girls lured away from Lithuania under false pretenses and sold as sex slaves. In a bizarre twist, Lydia escapes from her hospital bed and ends up taking hostages. This taut and nuanced thriller should appeal to fans of Mo Hayder, Denise Mina and, of course, Henning Mankell. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The Swedish writing team of Roslund and Hellström make their U.S. debut with a remarkable tale of loss, addiction and revenge set in Stockholm’s seedy underworld. Ewert Grens, a veteran detective, is haunted by a tragic incident that occurred 25 years earlier that left his young wife, a fellow police officer, an invalid. When the man responsible, notorious criminal Jochum Lang, is released from prison, Grens vows to put him away for life. Meanwhile, the detective arrives at a crime scene where a teenage prostitute, Lydia Grajauskas, has been nearly beaten to death by her Russian pimp. Alternating chapters fill in the backstory of Lydia and Alena Sljusareva, girls lured away from Lithuania under false pretenses and sold as sex slaves. In a bizarre twist, Lydia escapes from her hospital bed and ends up taking hostages. This taut and nuanced thriller should appeal to fans of Mo Hayder, Denise Mina and, of course, Henning Mankell. (Oct.)
 
“What is it with Scandinavians and great crime writing? Something to do with the long nights, I guess. Box 21, with its sharply drawn cast of jaded cops, junkies, thugs, and victims, is a gripping tale of modern-day slavery, damage, and revenge, shocking and compelling in equal measure.” —Simon Lewis, author of Bad Traffic
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Gold Box Deal of the Day: Up to 80% Off Fiction Favorites
Today only, more than 15 fiction favorites are up to 80% off on Kindle. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books; First Edition edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374282951
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374282950
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,138,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

This book is extremely well written, in the style of Larsson.
Amazon Customer
I definitely recommend "Box 21" to anyone who enjoys a mystery, a crime novel, or an exciting read.
delicateflower152
By the end, I didn't care much what happened to the characters, I just wanted to the book to end.
C. Baker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Murphy on September 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
With its unassuming title and Swedish origin, North American readers might be tempted to let Box 21 slide into the "maybe later" category of books. This would be a mistake for readers that have a serious interest in any of the following: crime thrillers, anthropology, social justice, women's rights, ethical conundrums, or, absent any of the above, fresh, potent, and innovative contemporary literature.

Like a kayaker or river rafter putting in on an unknown river, the reader of Box 21 will experience maximum excitement and tension if he or she dips their oar without much knowledge of the rocks, rapids, waterfalls, and vortexes that wait downstream. A skeletal outline of the plot: Set in contemporary Stockholm, Box 21 pits two detectives, one cynical and bitter, one idealistic and philosophical, against two plot strands that are only loosely intertwined: a death related to heroin addiction, and two deaths related to sexual slavery. In the unfolding of the plot, the reader is deeply immersed in the graphically portrayed worlds of drug addiction, and the world of kidnapping women from developing nations and inducting them into the sexual slavery of prostitution. The story is told in almost excruciatingly sharp focus, authors Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom disdain the use of the use of any literary airbrushing that might lessen the impact on the reader.

The gritty adherence to realism in this novel is not accidental. Borge Hellstrom is a recovering drug addict that has done jail time for his drug-related crimes. Currently working to rehabilitate young criminals and/or drug addicts, there is a soul-scalding immediacy to his descriptions of an addicted young man teetering on the edge of catastrophe. Anders Roslund developed the Swedish TV show Culture News.
Read more ›
6 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
BOX 21 is an exemplary crime novel. But it sure doesn't tempt me to visit Stockholm.

The hero, if there is one, is Ewert Grens, a grizzled, insufferably rude investigator of the Stockholm PD who's only tolerated because he's also the best. Twenty-five years previously, the love of his life, fellow officer Anni, received severe skull injuries while trying to apprehend the notorious thug, Jochum Lang. Anni now hangs on in a long-term care facility, and Lang is about to be released from prison. Loneliness and bitterness control Ewert's life.

Lydia Grajauskas, along with Alena Sljusareva, are two young women who've been confined, humiliated and sexually debauched for the past three years after having been lured to Sweden from Lithuania. Now, Lydia is hospitalized unconscious after being severely flogged and her arm broken by her pimp. The noise alerted the neighbors who called the police, including Grens. While recovering, Lydia vows it will not happen again; she implements an ingenious plan for vengeance.

Hilding Oldéus is a drug addict who's hit bottom. He's hospitalized after overdosing in a photo booth of the central train station, but not before selling heroin he's cut with washing detergent to the niece of his supplier. She dies, and the brutal enforcer Lang is sent to teach Oldéus a meaningful lesson.

The paths of Ewert, Hilding, Jochum and Lydia all intersect at Söder Hospital.

BOX 21 is a forceful and original psychological sortie into Stockholm's underbelly. The reader who prefers a happy ending, or at least one in which justice universally prevails, may find this atypical novel depressing.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Aderyn VINE VOICE on February 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I really think approaching this novel as simply a crime story, thriller, or detective novel is too shallow. Granted, all of those elements are present, but they aren't the heart of the book. Its heart is in its multidimensional characters, living their sloppy, imperfect lives just as we all do, against a backdrop of grim police work and the international sex slave trade. I can only hope that some of the readers who found it too graphic and violent have seen some of the real-life news coverage about sex slaves, young women tempted with promises of high-paying jobs in other countries who find themselves trapped with no hope of escape. The author seems to have gotten this exactly right.

Granted, this is a bleak novel. No one is saved in the end, no one is better for their experience. It poses many questions and offers no answers. However, like all good art, it will command your attention, extract an emotional response, and remain with you long after you read it.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Carrie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book arrived with all kinds of promise . . . ."Best crime novel of the year" . . ."a mind blowing psychological drama" and "suspenseful, gripping and intelligently written".

Somehow, I missed the party. The book starts out by slowly and awkwardly introducing its characters who never get beyond flat and characterless. Even after 100 pages of descriptions of activities of these uninteresting people, I never really cared about them because the authors never bothered to give them any depth.

For instance, the authors introduce police officer Ewert Grens and let us know that he mourns the loss of Anni because he relives her life-changing accident over and over and over and over. But, the readers aren't given real insight into Anni and Ewert's relationship in order to grieve with him or to understand him. The closest we come to really getting to know a character is the prostitute, Lydia Grajauskas, but the authors arranged their narrative so that we don't know much about Lydia until the end of the book, and, unfortunately, by then we have lost interest.

And, the ending. So very predictable.

This book has potential - the bones are there. A better narrative and three dimensional characters could have made the book a winner.

Maybe it's the translation. Maybe not. I love a good thriller, but this book just never gripped me so that I didn't want to put it down. I cannot recommend it.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?