Review: Borderline by Liza Marklund

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Transworld Digital, 2014. Kindle edition (1422 KB). Originally published by Piratförlarget in Swedish in 2011 as Du gamla, du fria . English translation by Neil Smith, 2014. eISBN: 9781409043492 ASIN: B00KY3N3OS. Pages 480 years after the events narrated in Lifetime and The Long Shadow (see my reviews HERE and HERE). Annika Bengtzon and her husband Thomas Samuelsson have returned to live together and are back in Stockholm after spending three years in Washington, DC. For more information on the series see my previous entry: An Update of the Annika Bengtzon series.

Thomas is in Nairobi attending a Frontex conference. That summer, when the family returned to Sweden, he got a job at the Agency for Guidance in Migration Issues. In the last two days, Annika is trying to get in touch with him, but he doesn’t answer his phone.

Simultaneously, the body of a woman has appeared, all covered with snow, behind a nursery school in Axelberg. A dead body doesn’t necessarily mean that a crime has been committed but, instinctively, Annika believes this isn’t one of those cases. Since her return, four other women have  been murdered in Stockholm, all stabbed. 

At this point, Jimmy Halenius, under-secretary of state at the Department of Justice and Thomas’s boss, informs Annika that Thomas, together with six other EU representatives, has disappeared, in fact they have been kidnapped. He is one of the members of a delegation that went to the Somalia border for a field inspection. What follows is the story of Annika in Sweden, told by a third person narrator, intertwined with the first person account of Thomas’s captivity.

Many and varied are the topics covered in this book, the ninth in the series featuring crime reporter Annika Begtzon and, in my view, it won’t disappoint any of her loyal readers. The story is not only attractive, but it is also extremely convincing and tackles some highly topical issues, without forgetting that this is a work of fiction. The result is an absorbing and very interesting read.

Liza Marklund is an author, publisher, journalist, columnist, and goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Her crime novels featuring the relentless reporter Annika Bengtzon instantly became an international hit, and Marklund’s books have sold over 15 million copies in 30 languages to date. She has achieved the unique feat of being a number one bestseller in all five Nordic countries, as well as the USA. She has been awarded numerous prizes, including the inaugural Petrona award for best Scandinavian crime novel of the year 2013 for Last Will, as well as a nomination for the Glass Key for best Scandinavian crime novel.

Neil Smith studied Scandinavian Studies at University College London, and lived in Stockholm for several years. He now lives in Norfolk.

My rating: A (I loved it).

Borderline has been reviewed at Crime Scraps Review (Norman) and Euro Crime (Michelle Peckham).

Liza Marklund website

The Random House Group

Simon & Schuster

Salomonsson Agency

Boderline por Liza Marklund 

Tres años después de los acontecimientos narrados en Lifetime y The Long Shadow (ver mis reseñas AQUÍ y AQUÍ), Annika Bengtzon y su esposo Thomas Samuelsson han vuelto a vivir juntos y están de regreso en Estocolmo después de pasar tres años en Washington, DC. Para obtener más información sobre la serie ver mi entrada anterior: An Update of the Annika Bengtzon series.

Thomas está en Nairobi asistiendo a una conferencia de Frontex. Ese verano, cuando la familia regresó a Suecia, consiguió un trabajo en la Agencia de Orientación sobre Cuestiones de Inmigración. En los últimos dos días, Annika está tratando de ponerse en contacto con él, pero él no contesta a su teléfono.

Simultáneamente, aparece el cuerpo de una mujer cubierto de nieve detrás de una escuela infantil en Axelberg. Esto no significa necesariamente que se haya cometido un crimen pero, instintivamente, Annika cree que este no es uno de esos casos. Desde su regreso, otras cuatro mujeres han sido asesinadas en Estocolmo, todas apuñaladas.

En este punto, Jimmy Halenius, el subsecretario de Estado del Ministerio de Justicia y jefe de Thomas, informa a Annika que Thomas, junto con otros seis representantes de la UE, ha desaparecido, de hecho han sido secuestrados. Él es uno de los miembros de la delegación que se trasladó a la frontera con Somalia para una visita sobre el terreno. Lo que sigue es la historia de Annika en Suecia, contada por un narrador en tercera persona, entrelazada con el relato en primera persona de la cautividad de Thomas.

Muchos y muy variados son los temas que se tratan en este libro, el noveno de la serie protagonizada por la periodista de asuntos criminales Annika Bergzon y, en mi opinión, no va a decepcionar a ninguno de sus fieles lectores. La historia no es sólo atractiva, sino que también es muy convincente y aborda algunos temas de gran actualidad, sin olvidar que se trata de una obra de ficción.El resultado es una lectura absorbente y muy interesante.

Liza Marklund es autora, editora, periodista, columnista y embajadora de buena voluntad de UNICEF. Sus novelas negras protagonizadas por la implacable periodista Annika Bengtzon se convirtieron inmediatamente en un éxito internacional, y los libros de Marklund han vendido más de 15 millones de copias en 30 idiomas hasta la fecha. Ella ha conseguido algo excepcional convertirse en un éxito de ventas en los cinco países nórdicos y en los EE.UU. Ha sido galardonada con numerosos premios, incluyendo la primera edición del premio Petrona a la mejor novela negra escandinava del año 2013 por Last Will, junto con una nominación al premio Glass Key a la mejor novela negra escandinava.

Neil Smith realizó estudios escandinavos en University College de Londres, y vivió varios años en Estocolmo. Ahora vive en Norfolk.

Mi valoración: A (Me encantó).

12 thoughts on “Review: Borderline by Liza Marklund”

  1. I like your excellent review more than I did the one Marklund novel I tried, The Bomber. That was a few years ago and I may just have been in a sour mood, or something, so I guess I should give her another try.

    1. I would suggest to star reading Red Wolf alternatively take into account that Last Will, Lifetime and The Long Shadow are somehow a loose trilogy and should be read in that order. I will also prefer Neil Smith translations as a general rule.

  2. Can’t wait to read “Borderline”. I’ve enjoyed every one in the series and it is sometimes hard for writer’s to keep the reader’s interest, especially with certain but Marklund is exceptional. I hope the English translation is available now.

    Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:31:05 +0000 To:

  3. Thank you for your quick response Jose. I appreciate it. I checked with both Amazon and Chapters Indigo (where I order my books online) and both sites had “Borderline” available on a pre-order basis only. Indigo will not have the book available until February 2, 2016! I live just outside Vancouver, British Columbia and, unfortunately, international authors’ books take much longer to reach North American distributors.

    Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:31:05 +0000 To:

    1. unfortunately, international authors’ books take much longer to reach North American distributors

      You’re telling me. One used to be able to get around this by using a sire called The Book Depository, except then Amazon bought it. However, a European friend recently put me onto a site called Wordery, which does much the same thing. The prices are generally (not always) fairly reasonable. I haven’t checked it for Borderline.

      1. Good tip – wonder would it work vice versa, say you want a book that’s out in the US but it’s not available in the UK? Or is there an equivalent US site? Be useful if anyone has any tips, for future reference.

      2. I’ve no idea if there’s a corresponding site selling US books to Europe. My big frustration, here in the US, is that there are whole rafts of authors and their books that I read about on European sites (and salivate over) yet have a hard time finding here. I think it was the admirable jacquiwine who tipped me off to Wordery.

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