Last Will

Liza Marklund, trans. from the Swedish by Neil Smith. Atria/Emily Bestler, $25 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4516-0692-8
Near the start of Marklund’s uneven second Annika Bengtzon thriller made available to U.S. readers (after 2011’s Red Wolf), crime journalist Bengtzon, far from her usual beat, witnesses a crime while covering the annual Nobel Prize dinner in Stockholm’s city hall: a female assassin known as “the Kitten” fires a silenced handgun at two guests on the dance floor, killing Caroline von Behring, the chair of the Karolinska Institute’s Nobel committee. As a witness to the shooting, Bengtzon is saddled with a disclosure ban by the enigmatic Detective Inspector Q, effectively muzzling her reporting efforts. When her newspaper puts her on paid leave, Bengtzon begins her own investigation at the Karolinska Institute, a leading biomedical university. Von Behring isn’t the only prominent scientist to die, and Bengtzon follows a trail leading to Alfred Nobel, the founder of the storied prize. Despite an intriguing premise, Marklund overstuffs her plot and buries any suspense under scientific minutiae. Agent: Niclas Salomonsson, the Salomonsson Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2012
Release date: 04/10/2012
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