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Red Wolf: A Novel (The Annika Bengtzon Series) Paperback – September 20, 2011

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Editorial Reviews Review

Beneath a dark winter sky . . . death waits patiently.

A journalist is murdered in the frozen white landscape of a northern Swedish town. Annika Bengtzon, a reporter at a Stockholm-based tabloid, was planning to interview him about a long-ago attack against an isolated air base nearby, and now she suspects that his death is linked to that attack.

Against the explicit orders of her boss, she begins to investigate the event, which is soon followed by a series of shocking murders. Annika knows the murders are connected. At the same time, she begins to suspect that her husband is hiding something, and nothing can counteract the loneliness that has crept into her life.

Behind everything lurks the figure of the Red Wolf, a cold-blooded killer with the soul of a lover. In the end, she must discover the truth not only about the murders but also about the lies that are destroying her own family.

Amazon Exclusive: Karin Slaughter Reviews Red Wolf

Karin Slaughter is the author of Broken, Undone and Blindsighted.

I’ve been a fan of Liza Marklund for a while, so it’s a true pleasure to help introduce her to an American audience now that her series is going to be available here. It’s obvious why Liza's work has inspired such a loyal international fan base. Her voice is crisp and clean and she has a knack for building intricate and suspenseful plots. Her storytelling keeps readers guessing right to the end with twists and turns that keep you guessing until the last page.

One of Marklund’s greatest achievements is the subtle strength of her heroine, Annika Bengtzon, an incredibly passionate and believable character. Like many women, Annika struggles to keep her career and family in balance. Though sometimes one suffers for the other, her love of both, and the sacrifices she makes, paint the portrait of a modern woman's complicated and credible life. Annika is not just there to make wry comments and complain about the injustices in the world. She is there to do something about it. With each new story, Marklund reveals deeper layers of Annika’s character. She has carved herself a place in the exclusive collection of strong modern heroines.

In Red Wolf, Annika defies her boss to investigate the hit-and-run death of a journalist in a northern Swedish town. It turns out to be only the first of a series of truly shocking murders and with each brutal death, Annika feels more and more desperate to find the truth. She begins to suspect that the man behind the slayings is on a mission from his terrorist past. To make the case even more untenable, it looks as if some very important people are protecting him. As the violence escalates, Annika must also contend with her deteriorating home front situation. She realizes that her quest to solve one mystery has made her ignore another one--her husband is hiding something from her.

It is clear that Liza brings her own background as a journalist to her work. She isn't just there to tell a story, but to focus on the craft of storytelling. The insider's look at the development of a news story and the progress of an investigation is dead-on. They give Liza's work a vivid intensity that makes the reader feel as if they are looking over Annika's shoulder. As a crime author who has spent much time exploring the world of law and order, I am always impressed with Marklund’s handling of the storied life of a female journalist.

Liza Marklund’s writing has developed quite a cult following over the years and I am but one member of the international groundswell. I can’t wait for American readers to catch the wave!

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Marklund's superb fifth novel featuring Stockholm journalist Annika Bengtzon (after Prime Time) finds Annika, who's no longer officially on the crime beat at the Evening Post, working as an independent reporter, mostly pursuing terrorism stories, particularly relating to Communist protests in the 1960s and '70s. While she's investigating in the northern town of Luleå, a fellow journalist and source dies in a hit-and-run accident, which turns out to be the first in a series of murders. Annika traces these murders to a deadly act of sabotage on a Swedish military base in 1969, and begins to suspect that the man behind the present-day slayings and the army attack—known only by his code name of "Ragnwald"—has returned to kill again. Meanwhile, Annika's marriage falters as she and her husband juggle two careers and two children. Marklund (The Postcard Killers with James Patterson) imbues Annika with a fierce intensity without sacrificing her vulnerability. (Feb.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Annika Bengtzon Series (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (September 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451602073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451602074
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Book Sake VINE VOICE on February 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The book was a slow start. I struggled to get through the beginning chapters, but once I got into the middle of the book, the suspense of "who done it" was so intriguing I could not put it down. I am glad I picked the book back up. I have read books that this author has co written with other authors and was impressed with those, but not so much with this one written on her own. I would forewarn any one planning to read this to be prepared for the slow start, but the end is worth it.

Book Reviewed by Nancy for [...]
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Josephine on February 3, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Red Wolf. This novel features tabloid reporter Annika Bengtzon, here working on a story about a terrorist attack in the late Sixties when she hears about the death of another journalist investigating the same incident. She is drawn deep into the complicated web of the murder and finds several brutal killings linked to the victim's relatives. Apart from the deaths and terrorists, Annika's private life is falling apart and for the first time I'm actually enjoying the parts you often want to skip through to get back to the action - the emotional turmoil of a separation is excellently depicted. In addition, Marklund builds suspense in a way that will keep you on the edge of your seat and rob you of hours of sleep.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Don Wallace on February 9, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good crime novel. Fast paced and intense, the dialogue is credible and the journalist Annika Bengtzon's personal involvement and concerns is excellent depicted. In fact, the book's greatest virtue is perhaps Annika's struggle with her husband's infidelity. The cold, industrial landscape and the midwinter darkness in the north of Sweden is a perfect setting for a crime novel and the author did not waste this at all.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Julie A. Smith on February 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Cover: Scary cool!

First Sentence: He had never been able to stand the sight of blood.

Annika Bengtzon is a reporter and mother of 2 who is writing a series of stories on domestic terrorism. On the hunt for an inside scoop on the F21 terrorist attack, she travels to Lulea to meet with Benny Ekland, a fellow reporter. By the time she gets there, Ekland has been struck and killed by a hit-and-run automobile, and the teenager who saw the attack is afraid to go to the police with the information. Annika suspects that he knows who the attacker was, but he never tells her so.

Soon Annika is on the trail of a man nicknamed Ragnwald (Geran Nilsson), a suspect in the F21 attacks who left Sweden years ago and is purported to be an assassin-at-large. As more people are murdered, Annika uncovers secrets that appear to involve the highest levels of government, and makes herself a target as well.

This is the fifth in a series, and I think I would have done better with it if I had read the first. In that book, it appears that Annika was taken hostage by a serial killer known as the Bomber, and she still suffers some sort of anxiety and/or panic attacks as a result. Because this is a translation from the Swedish, it might have helped me as an American reader to have more nuances available in the translation, as I often felt disconnected from the action and dialogue - for me, there were many incongruous statements with no filler. The politics of Sweden and it's history didn't transfer well for someone not familiar with it.

Otherwise, the writing was good and there were some twists that I didn't see coming.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on March 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Annika Bengtzon series has a slightly confusing history. THE BOMBER, the first book published in Sweden, is actually the fourth chronologically in the series. Fortunately, the novels have been released in series chronology in the United States, so that the newly published RED WOLF follows the events set forth in THE BOMBER. We are still three Bengtzon books behind Sweden; I am not going to attempt to translate the titles, but they form a trilogy, describing events that take place some months after RED WOLF. This is a pivotal work, a perfect place to jump into Bengtzon's life if your acquaintance with Marklund has been limited to THE POSTCARD KILLERS, her recent collaboration with James Patterson.

Bengtzon is an investigative reporter for a Swedish tabloid newspaper who often finds that she becomes, rather than reports on, the story. She is back at her desk after some time off following the traumatic events of THE BOMBER. Those events --- skillfully recounted here to bring readers unfamiliar with them up to date --- have caused Bengtzon some problems personally and professionally, and, interestingly enough, led to a significant if unintentional political upheaval. At the office, Bengtzon's editors are looking at her with a somewhat jaundiced but careful eye, concerned that her ability to zero in on and pursue a story will cause the paper difficulty just as it regains circulation in a particularly tough market.

Bengtzon's decision to do a report on a long-ago, unsolved terrorist attack at a remote Swedish military airbase is reluctantly approved by her editor as an article she can write without getting into trouble. That changes when a reporter at a small local paper is killed in an apparent accident just before Bengtzon is supposed to interview him.
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