At the center of Alexander Söderberg's debut novel, Sophie – nurse, widow, single mother – falls in love with Hector, the head of an international crime ring. As the relationship deepens, Sophie gradually becomes involved in a deadly turf war that has tragic consequences.
Sophie Brinkmann, the beautiful, dark-haired Stockholm nurse at the crux of Swedish author Alexander Soderberg's tense, accomplished debut novel... The Andalucian Friend has a populous international cast of shady Swedish cops, vicious Spanish, German and Russian crooks, and the 'ordinary' citizens caught in between ... swift, well-written and often grisly saga...comes to a conclusion of sorts, there are enough aspects left unresolved to look forward to at least two more books of deadly peril, with new danger at every turn.
Soderberg, a former screenwriter from Sweden, has crafted his novel — the first in a projected trilogy — in a way that will be familiar to readers of the late Stieg Larsson: The ordinary meets the outre; mayhem ensues ...people — cops and gangsters — are all crooked, all mildly befuddled by Sophie’s inherent morality ... Soderberg has messily overpopulated his narrative with characters who are difficult to tell apart, and some of his dialogue strains for tough-guy cadence ...puts his cinematic background to good use, creating one tense scene after another and jump-cutting all the way to a climax that’s as bloody as something out of Njals Saga.
Sophie Brinkmann, nurse and single mother of teenager Albert, becomes caught up in a global turf war between organised crime syndicates when she falls for her patient Hector Guzman ... There's an enormous cast, a lot going on in the way of unreported hits-and-runs, house-breakings, shootings and kidnappings – the citizens in this version of Stockholm must be the least observant people on the planet – and some rather loose plotting, so it can be difficult to keep track of exactly what's happening and why. Moral expectations are inverted, too, to such a degree that, at the end, what should be a real tragedy lacks the poignancy required for a satisfactory conclusion.