- this edition published by Atria Books 2012
- English translation by Neil Smith 2011
- Originally published in Swedish 2006
- ISBN 978-1-4516-0692-8
- source: my local library
- 399 pages
A frosty December night in Stockholm.
A thousand guests attend the prestigious Nobel Prizewinners' dinner.
The evening is one of prestige and glamour.
Until two shots are fired on the dance floor.
Crime reporter Annika Bengtzon is there, covering the event for the Evening Post. As the police realize she caught a glimpse of the suspect, she is far more interested in getting back to the newsroom.
But as more brutal murders follow, Annika finds herself in the middle of something far larger than she had anticipated. No longer just a reporter but also a vulnerable key witness, she begins to close up the gaps linking these crimes, just as the suspect starts closing the net on Annika herself.
I have only read one novel by Lisa Marklund earlier: 4.5, THE BOMBER and my memory is pretty vague.
So, as needs must, this novel worked pretty well for me as a stand-alone, although it was apparent there was quite a back story involving Annika's relationship with the police Inspector Q. This novel is mid way in the series.
Annika was only meters away from the assassin who fired the shots at the Nobel Prizewinner's dinner and killed a scientist. Because she can therefore give them valuable information about the person who fired the shots, the police put a ban on her releasing information. She assists them in creating an identikit picture but is put on idefinite leave from her newspaper as it becomes apparent that none of her work can be published. Her leave, on full pay, coincides with an office reorganisation, and her family's move to a new house in the country leads to conflict with a very crusty neighbour.
The biggest danger comes though when the assassin realises that Annika can identify her. Although Annika can't get anything published she continues to investigate the case, trying to find out why the original victim was murdered.
The main story runs parallel to information about Alfred Nobel himself, and disagreements among scientists in particular about whether the prizes actually fulfil the intentions of Nobel's final will.
My rating: 4.5
The Annika Bengston series (Fantastic Fiction)
1. Studio Sex (2002)
aka Studio 69 / Exposed
2. Paradise (2000)
3. Prime Time (2002)
4. The Bomber (2001)
5. Red Wolf (2003)
6. Last Will (2012)
7. Lifetime (2013)
8. The Long Shadow (2013)
9. Borderline (2014)
10. Without a Trace (2015)
11. The Final Word (2016)