Tag Archive | Crime Fiction

Review of The Swede: A Novel by Robert Karjel, Nancy Pick (Translator)

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About The Swede

A Swedish security agent is summoned to interrogate a terror suspect held by the FBI —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?

My Review

The characters were full of intrigue and differences, enough to create interest for the reader.

The plot was involved, at first you are curious to see how it all fits together and believe me it falls into place wonderfully. Loads of suspense complete with knotty twists will continually grasp your attention.

Impressive work from Karjel. Everything pulls together nicely at the end. Identities are revealed at the tail end amplifying the suspenseful conclusion.

Exciting debut, anticipating more from the talented Robert Karjel.

About Robert KarjelRobert-desk-webres-500x500

I was born in 1965 in Gothenburg, Sweden. My mother is Swedish, and my father Estonian.

At the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, I majored in Applied Physics.

After graduation, I entered the military. At first I flew fighter jets, and then helicopters. I became a Lt. Colonel in the Swedish Air Force. I’m proud to have trained with the U.S. Marine Corps and flown its attack helicopters.

I’ve written four thrillers, and I’m finishing a new one now, sequel to The Swede/ My Name Is N. This next one, based on my experience with the Swedish Air Force, is about pirate-hunting in the seas near Somalia.

Researching my novels has taken me to the Libyan Desert, Amazonian drug dens and the secret archives of the Vatican.

In my downtime, I’ve taken my younger daughter scuba diving in Egypt and the Maldives. I’m also a runner, and I like sea-kayaking.

And then there’s the kitchen. For celebrations with friends and family, my official job is to make fancy desserts and chocolate pralines.

I have two daughters. The older is attending college in the US; the younger goes to high school in Stockholm, where I live myself.

My latest novel, The Swede (in the UK, My Name Is N), was published by HarperCollins in July. This is my first novel to be translated into in English.

Published July 7th 2015 by HarperCollins (first published 2010)

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Review: We Shall Inherit the Wind (Varg Veum #1) by Gunnar Staalesen, Don Bartlett (Translator)

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About We Shall Inherit the Wind

1998. Varg Veum sits by the hospital bedside of his long-term girlfriend Karin, whose life-threatening injuries provide a deeply painful reminder of the mistakes he’s made. Investigating the seemingly innocent disappearance of a wind-farm inspector, Varg Veum is thrust into one of the most challenging cases of his career, riddled with conflicts, environmental terrorism, religious fanaticism, unsolved mysteries and dubious business ethics. Then, in one of the most heart-stopping scenes in crime fiction, the first body appears…

A chilling, timeless story of love, revenge and desire, We Shall Inherit the Wind deftly weaves contemporary issues with a stunning plot that will leave you gripped to the final page. This is Staalesen at his most thrilling, thought-provoking best.

My Review

The narrative is refreshing Eco-Warriors, wind turbine farms, religion, family tension, secrets, questionable business practices, disappearances and murder. The pace is incredibly quick and interesting making it difficult to put down.

The translation is excellent, wonderfully descriptive writing. Varg Veum is an enigma of sorts, the fact he’s mature was different within itself and a welcomed change. He possesses enough charisma fascinating the reader, professional with a strong sensitive side without being overly dramatized.

A slight edginess makes this a standout, between plot, characters and presentation more than satisfying read.

About Gunnar Staalesen18776

One of the fathers of Nordic Noir, Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over four million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour), lives in Bergen with his wife. The next instalments in the Varg Veum series – Where Roses Never Die and No One Is So Safe in Danger – will be published by Orenda Books in 2016 and 2017.

Published May 8th 2015 by ORENDA BOOKS (first published May 1st 2015)

Review & Giveaway: The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova by Lloyd Lofthouse

Redemption of Don Juan Casanova•Publisher: Three Clover Press (May, 2015)
•Available in: Print & ebook, 325 Pages

Don Juan Casanova wants to discover what it’s like to be loved by only one woman. His problem is that he was raised by his grandparents to become a Lothario, who loves and then leaves women for the next conquest, and as he approaches 40, he is facing a crisis.

His grandfather and then younger brother have been viciously murdered, and Don is the prime suspect. As he struggles to stay out of jail and end his life of serial seductions and find one woman to love, he’s discovering it isn’t easy to kick an old habit, and his mother isn’t helping by quoting scripture every chance she gets in an attempt to change her son’s lifestyle of sin for one of piety.

A rather nontraditional narrative, entertaining but failed to really grab a hold of me. An exaggerated plot was a bit much for my taste. Lofthouse is a competent writer, extremely diverse, never formulaic, not lacking creativity.

Inventive plot, an array of characters. Plenty of mystery, thrills, secrets, ample twists and turns. Well placed humor made me smile often. The sub plots were a great addition, Mandy’s story was affecting. Don Casanova is multidimensional, compassionate, intricate, truly seeking redemption from his philanderer lifestyle. You can’t help but root for his shedding of old skin.

Entertaining read, you’ll be held in suspense until the end. Certainly not run of the mill which adds an element of interest. Lofthouse always surprises, this is no exception.

About Lloyd Lofthouse:Lloyd Lofthouse

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, who worked as a maître d’ in a 15 million dollar nightclub for a few years. He also taught English literature in the public schools for most of 30 years where he explored Romeo and Juliet with thousands of high school students.

A romantic at heart, in his award winning novels, he tests true love in difficult situations and the challenges of keeping that love alive. My Splendid Concubine, his first novel, is an epic love story that teaches acceptance and respect for other people and their cultures. Running with the Enemy, his second novel, is a love story that will either cost the characters their lives or will complete each other’s hearts. The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova, his third novel, is the story of a man raised in a world of sin and seduction, who craves the love of one woman but fears, because of his infamous reputation as a libertine, that he’ll never find a woman to love who will trust him to be faithful.

Lloyd Lofthouse lives with his family in California’s San Francisco Bay area.

Connect with Lloyd Lofthouse Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google+

Buy ‘Redemption of Don Juan Cassanova’ by Lloyd Lofthouse:

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Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win a copy of The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova please complete the giveaway form below. Open Internatinally. Ends 6/9/15
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Duke City Hit (Duke City Trilogy #2) by Max Austin

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Vic is a high-priced hitman with a legendary record of success. That is, until someone starts eliminating his marks before he can get to them . . . until his manager puts him in the middle of a vicious drug-cartel feud . . . and until a young man walks into his life with a big .45 and a startling revelation.

Very entertaining story, fast paced, smooth writing, well done for a novella.

I like Vic, however I wish we were more familiar with him, as is, we are privy to a rough sketch of this hitman, potential to elaborate on him without a doubt. Given his occupation, perhaps this was the authors intent – keeping Vic mysterious, enigma like sure teases the reader craving for more of this gritty man besides his idiosyncrasies.

The narrative was a thrill up to the end where there was a surprise adding even more action and excitement to an already jammed pack plot.

The area I had difficulty with – the instant bond between father and son, no way, too many loopholes in their instantaneous relationship. Felt contrived, implausible given the details. Not sure how I felt about Penny’s change towards the end, but it certainly seems plausible due to greed.

A fun novella, not to be taken seriously but made to be enjoyed. Fans of action with a hitman at the apex will be turning the pages furiously.


Ebook, 150 pages
Expected publication: December 16th 2014 by Alibi
ISBN13: 9780553390315

Review: The Son by Jo Nesbo

19101283The Son
Jo Nesbo
Knopf May 13, 2014 
Pages 401
ISBN13: 9780385351379
A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads •  Amazon  •  Indiebound  •  Powell’s Books

Reviewer: Melinda
Recommendation 3/5

From Goodreads:
Sonny Lofthus, in his early thirties, has been in prison for the last dozen years: serving time for crimes he didn’t commit. In exchange, he gets an uninterrupted supply of heroin—and the unexpected stream of fellow prisoners seeking out his uncanny abilities to soothe and absolve. His addiction started when his father committed suicide rather than be exposed as a corrupt cop, and now Sonny is the center of a vortex of corruption: prison staff, police, lawyers, a desperate priest—all of them focused on keeping him stoned and jailed, and all of them under the thumb of Oslo’s crime overlord, the Twin. When Sonny learns some long-hidden truths about his father he makes a brilliant escape, and begins hunting down the people responsible for the hideous crimes he’s paid for. But he’s also being hunted, by the Twin, the cops, and the only person who knows the ultimate truth that Sonny is seeking. The question is, what will he do when they’ve cornered him?

My Thoughts
Jo Nesbo creates a riveting story of crime and corruption within the Oslo police department. No Harry Hole in The Son, fear not, the suspense, thrills and action are present and accounted for. A great standalone Nesbo fans will enjoy. Crime fiction at its best from the premier thrill king Nesbo.

The writing is average at best, however, the suspense compensates for the lack of strong writing. The Son will captivate your attention as you zoom through the excitement. Mayhem galore keeping the reader on their toes as you swiftly turn pages.

Undoubtedly this will be widely popular. Perfect for a film adaptation. Twists and turns, suspense – this book has all the ingredients for a successful crime fiction. Navigating through the plot is a no brainier but the suspense makes it worth while and darn good!

Another hit in the crime fiction genre from Jo Nesbo.