cover image The Bucket List: An Agent John Adderley Novel

The Bucket List: An Agent John Adderley Novel

Peter Mohlin and Peter Nyström, trans. from the Swedish by Ian Giles. Overlook, $27 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4197-5218-6

Swedish authors Mohlin and Nyström’s engrossing debut and series launch opens in 2019 in a Baltimore hospital, where FBI agent John Adderley, the son of an American father and a Swedish mother, is recovering from gunshot wounds he sustained while working undercover for a drug cartel. When John receives a letter from his mother imploring him to come home to Sweden and clear his brother Billy’s name in the decade-old murder case of Emelie Bjurwall, who was the heir apparent to a clothing company, he negotiates with his superiors to go undercover in Sweden as a Swedish cop to investigate the case. Flashbacks to 2009 illuminate the strained family life of Sissela and Heimer Bjurwall, Emelie’s parents, and a mysterious “bucket list” tattoo on Emelie’s wrist proves central to Heimer’s comprehension of his daughter’s final days, as well as John’s inquiry, which explains the presence of Billy’s semen on the rock where Emily’s blood was found. Evocative questions about family and professional expectations help ground this knotty, plausible story, articulating the mistakes people make with the ones they love. Scandi noir fans will look forward to this complex lead’s further adventures. Agent: Judith Toth, Nordin Agency (Sweden). (July)