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The Andalucian friend
by Soderberg, Alexander

Publishers Weekly Soderberg's excellent debut, the first in a projected trilogy, chronicles a global turf war among Spanish drug runners, German gangsters, Russian hit men, and Swedish cops. Caught up in this chaos is nurse Sophie Brinkmann, whose life since the death of her husband has revolved around her 15-year-old son and her work at a Stockholm hospital. A patient of hers, Hector Guzman, unleashes long-dormant emotions by taking her to restaurants and a poetry reading, as well as by introducing her to his family. Hector, a Spanish publisher, also leads a crime syndicate, which has ties to a transatlantic drug trade and is at war with rival gangs. Sophie becomes the target of Gunilla Strandberg and her unscrupulous squad of police detectives, who will do anything to get at Hector. The jam-packed plot's big-picture view of politics, business, and an international crime ring illustrates how being surrounded by violence affects individuals. While Sophie is an innocent, she is no pushover. Her inner resolve helps her maneuver in precarious situations. Fans of Nordic thrillers will find much to like. Agent: Leyla Belle Drake, the Salmonsson Agency. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Sophie Brinkmann loves her teenage son, her nursing job, and her beautiful cottage in the suburbs of Stockholm. But the day Hector Guzman is rushed to the hospital with a broken leg and multiple fractures, her life changes. But is it for the better for Sophie? While she grows increasingly enamored of Hector, fascinated by his hold over her, and curious about his mysterious life, her own life becomes a subject of greater investigation. Cajoled into spying on Hector's business dealings by a subversive police unit, Sophie herself is tailed, bugged, and harassed. Though her son's life is endangered, her job in peril, and her once placid life increasingly threatened, Sophie cannot extricate herself from Hector's world. When a long-lost love reappears within Hector's circuit, Sophie's submersion in a European underworld of guns, drugs, and extortion seems even more rooted. VERDICT This first volume of a projected trilogy is brimming with characters, subplots, betrayals, and tragedies. Yet Soderberg's decision to weave these facets into each other-each chapter contains multiple narrators, perspectives, and dramatic arcs-leads to an ultimately overwhelming and overwrought tale. What begins as a thrilling adventure through the Swedish criminal underworld gradually becomes an exhausting, cynical trek teeming with extreme violence. Still, some hard-core fans┼of Scandinavian mysteries may want to try this thriller.-Jennifer Rogers, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community Coll. Lib., Richmond, VA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Soderberg's excellent debut, the first in a projected trilogy, chronicles a global turf war among Spanish drug runners, German gangsters, Russian hit men, and Swedish cops. Caught up in this chaos is nurse Sophie Brinkmann, whose life since the death of her husband has revolved around her 15-year-old son and her work at a Stockholm hospital. A patient of hers, Hector Guzman, unleashes long-dormant emotions by taking her to restaurants and a poetry reading, as well as by introducing her to his family. Hector, a Spanish publisher, also leads a crime syndicate, which has ties to a transatlantic drug trade and is at war with rival gangs. Sophie becomes the target of Gunilla Strandberg and her unscrupulous squad of police detectives, who will do anything to get at Hector. The jam-packed plot's big-picture view of politics, business, and an international crime ring illustrates how being surrounded by violence affects individuals. While Sophie is an innocent, she is no pushover. Her inner resolve helps her maneuver in precarious situations. Fans of Nordic thrillers will find much to like. Agent: Leyla Belle Drake, the Salmonsson Agency. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Sophie Brinkmann loves her teenage son, her nursing job, and her beautiful cottage in the suburbs of Stockholm. But the day Hector Guzman is rushed to the hospital with a broken leg and multiple fractures, her life changes. But is it for the better for Sophie? While she grows increasingly enamored of Hector, fascinated by his hold over her, and curious about his mysterious life, her own life becomes a subject of greater investigation. Cajoled into spying on Hector's business dealings by a subversive police unit, Sophie herself is tailed, bugged, and harassed. Though her son's life is endangered, her job in peril, and her once placid life increasingly threatened, Sophie cannot extricate herself from Hector's world. When a long-lost love reappears within Hector's circuit, Sophie's submersion in a European underworld of guns, drugs, and extortion seems even more rooted. VERDICT This first volume of a projected trilogy is brimming with characters, subplots, betrayals, and tragedies. Yet Soderberg's decision to weave these facets into each other-each chapter contains multiple narrators, perspectives, and dramatic arcs-leads to an ultimately overwhelming and overwrought tale. What begins as a thrilling adventure through the Swedish criminal underworld gradually becomes an exhausting, cynical trek teeming with extreme violence. Still, some hard-core fans┼of Scandinavian mysteries may want to try this thriller.-Jennifer Rogers, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community Coll. Lib., Richmond, VA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.