PanThe New York Journal of BooksAs expected in a story of international intrigue, fast cars, boats, planes, and high body counts abound. Not expected are the surprise emotional trap doors in scenes which drop the reader into the same pits of perfect despair suffered by the characters. Also unexpected to the point of improbable is the general storyline ... [Sarah Bancroft\'s] main role in this novel is to be cloying and annoying...Her persona is so distracting it seriously diminishes the impact of an otherwise decent spy story ... just a decent spy story and no more. It is a dumping ground of random thoughts. The title itself seems randomly selected. By page 11, Khalid’s daughter is no longer the mysterious new girl at the private Swiss academy. By then, she is well on her way to becoming a prisoner ... Silva also makes it clear that the spy business is tough and best left to the menfolk. Hopefully, in Allon novel number 20, Silva can embrace the same epiphany of enlightenment enjoyed by Khalid by book’s end.
MixedThe New York Journal of Books... dark and deep, a black hole of a story ... the plot becomes most impenetrable. Characters and subplots wind around themselves like thick vines in a primal forest. Little light penetrates the frequently long paragraphs. Strange flora, such as repeated references to Doc Marten shoes and IKEA products snag at the reader. What begins fast paced mystery ends with a seemingly unscripted roll of the dice ... has many actual knives glinting from its many, many pages. There are trails of blood and women rendered helpless before they fall victim to the worst of crimes in the dense prose forest ... Nesbo keeps Nordic mayhem fresh as winter slips to spring. He has not lost his touch for torturing Hole in this, the 12th installment the detective’s ongoing nightmare. Hole just cannot seem to wake up and die right.