cover image 1795: The Order of the Furies

1795: The Order of the Furies

Niklas Natt och Dag, trans. from the Swedish by Ian Giles. Atria, $28 (400p) ISBN 978-1-9821-4597-2

Natt och Dag triumphantly concludes his 18th-century Bellman noir trilogy (after 1794: The City Between the Bridges) with this grim and captivating political thriller. Three years after the assassination of King Gustav III, Sweden is governed by the despotic GustavAdolf Reuterholm, whose regency is under threat from Gustaf Mauritz Armfelt, the late monarch’s favorite member of the royal court. Armfelt has become a fugitive after leading a squashed plot to overthrow Reuterholm; meanwhile, his imprisoned lover, noblewoman Magdalena Rudenschöld, has passed a list of the rebellion’s conspirators to escaping inmate Anna Stina Knapp. Reuterholm’s thugs set out to find and kill Knapp, while her friend, Jean Michael “Mickel” Cardell, partners with brilliant university student Emile Winge to locate her first. Natt och Dag fortifies his tense plotting with evocative prose (ringing bells remind one character of “the toll of tentacles seeking him and no one else, singing out his vulnerability for all to hear”) and transporting historical detail. It’s a brutal, satisfying end to a superior series. Agent: Federico Ambrosini, Salomonsson Agency. (Apr.)