Monday, October 3, 2011

review: red wolf by liza marklund

While working on her latest piece, newspaper reporter Annika Bengtzon finds herself in the middle of a murder conspiracy that reaches into the Swedish government. Despite her boss taking her off the story and her husband being displeased with her return to work (she'd previously taken time off after a different story put her life in jeopardy), Annika continues to dig for details.

As I read the first few pages of Red Wolf, I wondered if something was lost in the translation of Swedish to English. My main issue with the beginning of the book was a lack of connection to not only Annika, but all the characters who just seemed to be thrown in without explanation. As I continued to read, I began having a nagging feeling that this was not the first book featuring Annika. That would explain the additional characters and why there were seemingly random references to things in Annika's recent past. So to the internet I went and discovered that Red Wolf is book five in the series; however, not all of the preceding books are readily available in America (earlier works were published, but are out of print). Once I discovered this, I decided to fault the publisher rather than the author; thus, proceeding to read as if the things I felt were extraneous (like the nonsense with Anne's custody issues) would make perfect sense had I read the first four books prior to Red Wolf. I began enjoying this book about a journalist investigating a long ago terrorist act much more after that. The pacing was still a little slow, but the primary plot held my interest. If all the parts with Anne as well as Thomas when he wasn't interacting with Annika were eliminated, I'd boost the rating to 5/5. I read each of those boring scenes in the belief that the subplots would tie into the main one, but was sorely disappointed.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Atria Books.


  1. This is a Scandinavian crime series I haven't heard of yet and only the second one I've noticed by a woman. Will have to keep it in mind! I read Camilla Lackberg's Ice Princess this summer and it was pretty good.

  2. I thought The Ice Princess was really good. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series being released in the US.