cover image The Other Son

The Other Son

Alexander Soderberg, trans. from the Swedish by Neil Smith, read by Gildart Jackson. Random House Audio, , unabridged, 11 CDs, 13.5 hrs., $45 ISBN 978-1-101-88926-8

Book two in Soderberg’s announced trilogy (after 2014’s The Andalucian Friend) throws us into the middle of protagonist Sophie Brinkmann’s continuing struggle for survival, caught in the middle of a violent turf war between two Scandinavian drug cartels. A working knowledge of the first book may not be a necessity but it will help in understanding how Sophie, a nurse and single mother, could have fallen in love with her patient, Hector Guzman, the leader of one of the cartels. It would also provide clues as to her relationship to Jens Vall, who seems to be a good-guy arms dealer. Without that and other info, the best way to enjoy this dense thriller is to ignore the past and let reader Jackson’s crisp, dramatic British delivery whisk you along at a breakneck pace that manages to speed up as Sophie’s situation grows ever darker. Jackson smoothly adds the appropriate accents as the action hops from Istanbul to Berlin; Biarritz, France; Sonora, Mexico; and Stockholm, simplifying this complex, overpopulated tale so that most listeners will be ready for book three. A Crown hardcover. (July)