cover image Cell 8

Cell 8

Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström, trans. from the Swedish by Kari Dickson. Sterling/SilverOak, $24.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4027-8715-7

Two intriguing yet apparently unconnected story lines power Roslund and Hellström’s stellar follow-up to Three Seconds (2011), once again featuring Det. Supt. Ewert Grens of the Stockholm police. An Ohio death row inmate, convicted of killing his 16-year-old girlfriend when he was 17 years old, dies of heart disease. Six years later, the police arrest a Canadian expatriate living in Sweden for repeatedly kicking a drunken man in the head. The narrative takes a wild turn after the cantankerous Grens discovers that the foreigner in their jail cell is a convicted murderer, the same death row inmate who supposedly died in America six years earlier. Thriller fans will relish the bitter Nordic atmospherics, relentless pacing, and brilliant twist ending, but it’s the authors’ deep exploration into the personal and political fallout from the use of the death penalty that makes this novel such a provocative reading experience. (Jan.)