I certainly know of Liza Marklund - I've been steering patrons towards her books when they ask for 'another' Scandinavian author. I've read reviews of her books and know that they're good reads, but hadn't actually sampled one myself until I sat down with The Bomber. And yes - she's very good!
Annika Bengtzon is the newly promoted head of the crime division at The Evening Post newspaper in Stockholm, Sweden. She's having a hard time juggling family life with two small children and a husband who is also devoted to his career. Adding in staff that seem determined to see her fail ratchets up the stress in her life.
When a call comes in that there had been a bombing at the Olympic village that is under construction for the upcoming summer Olympics, Annika answers the initial call herself. But is it a terrorist act or murder? Annika's nose for ferreting out the real story is fantastic for the paper, but maybe not so good for her personally. She's put herself on the killer's radar....
I loved this character! Annika is nowhere near perfect. Marklund has made here into a believable, likable 'real' person. She struggles with everyday pressures, tries to overcome her insecurity and be a good mother, wife and boss. She doesn't always succeed. But where she does succeed is in her dedication to ferreting out a story, seeing clues and connections that others miss. Bengtzon's reporter instincts and actions ring true as Marklund herself worked as a reporter and editor, and it shows in her writing.
I also found the plotting to be excellent. Although there were plenty of suspects, I didn't figure out who is was until almost the last page. I became quite caught up in the story. The everyday details of Annika's life also provided an interesting look at life in Sweden.
This was a character and series I definitely enjoyed and I'll be picking others by this author. (And I can forgive Marklund teaming up with James Patterson for a co written book.)
Read an excerpt of The Bomber.