cover image Stockholm Delete

Stockholm Delete

Jens Lapidus, trans. from the Swedish by Alice Menzies. Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, $16.95 trade paper (512p) ISBN 978-0-525-43171-8

This gloomy crime novel from Lapidus (Easy Money and two other books his Stockholm Noir trilogy) focuses on Serbian immigrants. Teddy is trying to go straight after his release from prison—where he served time for kidnapping Mats Emanuelsson, a one-time police informer now believed dead—by working as a fixer for a law firm. Teddy’s 19-year-old nephew, Nikola, who idolizes him, is just out of Spillersboda Young Offenders’ Institute and is also trying to stay clean. Meanwhile, Teddy’s coworker, newly minted lawyer Emelie Jansson, gets drawn into criminal defense work, against the rules of her upscale business law firm, by defending Mats’s son against the charge that he murdered Mats. The complicated narrative unfolds through the viewpoints of Teddy, Nikola, and Emelie. Transcripts of police interrogations with Mats fill in the background. Lapidus tackles such matters as big-business fraud, police corruption, and refugee-related tensions in a dismal “new Stockholm,” but interminable financial scheming bogs down what might have worked better as a fast-paced, action-oriented thriller. (Apr.)