cover image The Swede

The Swede

Robert Karjel, trans. from the Swedish by Nancy Pick and Robert Karjel. Harper, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-233958-4

Early in Karjel’s English-language debut, a superior thriller set mostly in 2008, Ernst Grip, a member of Sweden’s security police, joins forces with FBI officer Shauna Friedman in New York City. The pair fly to Diego Garcia, an atoll in the Indian Ocean, where Grip’s job is to interview a prisoner, another Swede, who has been tortured for years. Meanwhile, in a subplot set in the wake of the 2004 tsunami that devastated Thailand, a survivor of the disaster known only as N. travels to an isolated beach community where he befriends several other survivors; they fall under the influence of a mysterious American, Bill Adderloy, who persuades them to commit a highly complicated crime that’s to take place in Topeka, Kans. Grip strives to ferret out the details of the impending crime and N.’s part in it. Filled with rich characterization and unforeseeable twists and revelations, this mesmerizing first in a planned series will leave readers gasping for breath. (July)