x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Engrossing Nordic noir

Alexander Soderberg, a television scriptwriter and story editor, is the latest Swedish author of a trilogy thriller with The Andalucian Friend.

Since the posthumous publication of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy from 2005 to 2007, the popularity of “Nordic noir” enjoyed a brief resurgence, resulting in a public receptive to further literary thrills from the genre. No stranger to the art of crime fiction himself is Alexander Soderberg, a scriptwriter and story editor for Swedish television.

Soderberg’s debut novel begins appropriately with a character list, foreshadowing the tangled web of connections at the base of the drama. Caught square in the middle of the ensuing chaos is Sophie Brinkmann, a practising nurse, single mother, widow, and prime target of the forces on the trail of her current love, Hector, whose suave exterior belies some deadly secrets. To cap it off, an ex-boyfriend, Jens, and new stalker, Lars, are part of the same criminal vortex.

Part one of a trilogy, The Andalucian Friend is the ideal mix of tangible suspense and intricate characterisation which makes for an engrossing story throughout. While most of the plot threads are tied up before the epilogue, there’s still enough to entice readers to stick with Sophie for the next in the series.

Noori Passela is a frquent contributor to The Review