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The Swede: A Novel Hardcover – July 7, 2015
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A sophisticated debut novel about a Swedish security force agent on a mysterious special assignment to the U.S., The Swede fuses the psychological tension of Jo Nesbø’s thrillers with the gripping international intrigue of I Am Pilgrim and Red Sparrow.
Ernst Grip of the Swedish security police has no idea why he’s been dispatched to a remote American military base in the Indian Ocean. Met by FBI agent Shauna Friedman, he learns that the U.S. wants him to determine whether a prisoner they’re holding is a Swedish citizen.
The detainee, known only as “N.," is a suspect in an Islamist-inspired terror attack in the U.S. heartland. Tortured by the CIA, he refuses to talk. Yet all the evidence points to a cabal of survivors from the devastating 2004 tsunami that struck Thailand: a ruthless American arms dealer, a Czech hit man, a mysterious nurse from Kansas, a heartbreakingly naïve Pakistani—and a Swede.
But the prisoner is not the only one harboring dangerous secrets. Grip hides a double life that will lead him into terra incognita, and Friedman, too, is not who she appears to be. In a world ruled by fear, mistrust, and deadly betrayal, these unlikely partners must learn to trust one another if they hope to stay alive.
Drawing on his military and diplomatic experience, Robert Karjel explores the uneasy repercussions of 9/11, illuminating the moral compromises that people—and nations—make in the name of security and survival.
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A “superior thriller…. Filled with rich characterization and unforeseeable twists and revelations, this mesmerizing first in a planned series will leave readers gasping for breath.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Think le Carré meets Homeland.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“With this smart, compelling English-language debut, Karjel deserves a place in the rankings of notable Nordic crime writers.” (Booklist (starred review))
From the Back Cover
A Swedish security agent is summoned to interrogate a terror suspect held by the FBI in this sophisticated, fast-paced thriller—but the prisoner isn't the only one with something to hide.
At a remote military base in the Indian Ocean, the FBI is trying to get a prisoner to confess. But the detainee, a suspect in an Islamist-inspired terror attack in the United States, refuses to talk.
Ernst Grip, a Swedish security officer, has no idea why he's been dispatched to New York City. The FBI agent he meets on arrival, Shauna Friedman, seems to know a little too much about him. And when he arrives at his real destination, the American authorities have just one question: Is their terror suspect a Swedish citizen?
In the process of uncovering the prisoner's true identity, Grip discovers the man's ties to a group of other suspects—a ruthless American arms dealer, a Czech hit man, a mysterious nurse from Kansas, and a heartbreakingly naive Pakistani. The closer Grip gets to the truth, the more complicated the deception becomes. Who is real and who is leading a double life?
The Swede is a riveting, intense novel about the compromises that people—and nations—make in the name of security and survival. Within this world built on secrets, Grip and Friedman have to learn to trust each other if they hope to stay alive.
- Publisher : Harper (July 7, 2015)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062339583
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062339584
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Dimensions : 1.3 x 6.1 x 9.1 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,500,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Taut prose keeps the story compelling, the characters intriguing and the solution satisfying. I'll keep reading more of Karnel's work, for sure.
The plot was interesting and required the reader to pay attention to the small hints about how things not being what they seem. The translation could have been better or needed a better editor. Misused words and odd phrasing broke some of the reader's engagement and were jarring. The characters as a whole were intriguing and I enjoyed the take on the Westboro Baptist Church.
It was a good read and I hope to see more of this writer and The Swede.