A deep-cover CIA agent races across Europe to save the daughter he never knew in this electrifying debut thriller - an international sensation billed as "Homeland meets Stieg Larsson" that heralds the arrival of a new master sure to follow in the footsteps of Stieg Larsson, John Le Carré, and Graham Greene.
In the end, you cannot hide who you are.
Klara Walldéen was raised by her grandparents on a remote archipelago in the Baltic Sea, learning to fish and hunt and sail a boat through a storm. Now, as an EU Parliament aide in Brussels, she is learning how to navigate the treacherous currents of international politics: the lines between friend and enemy, truth and lies.
But Klara has accidentally seen something she shouldn't have: a laptop containing information so sensitive that someone will kill to keep hidden. Suddenly, she is thrown into a terrifying chase across Europe, with no idea who is hunting her or why.
Meanwhile, in Virginia, an old spy hides from his past. Once, he was a man of action, an operative so dedicated that he abandoned his infant daughter to keep his cover. Now, he is the only man who can save Klara... and she is the only woman who can allow him to lay old ghosts to rest.
©2015 Joakim Zander (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
I listen to tons of audio books, since I am a) very short sighted and b) travel a lot. Most of my listening I do for entertainment and do not expect much in the way of "deep and meaningful". So this book was a total surprise. An exciting espionage story not full off predictable heroism and clear good and evil camps. if this story would happen, it wold happen like this. The discrepancy between US and European views and attitudes is brilliantly depicted and the narrators do their part bringing this story to life.
It did, because it moves back and forth between the story of a repentant CIA operative in the 80s and 90s and several young Swedes in 2013 caught up in a deadly hunt to destroy them.
I haven't, but I have to say that Elizabeth Roger's rendering of male voices is not very convincing.
There were several, but I won't say so as not to spoil it for other readers.
I heartily recommend this book for readers who are interested in contemporary international intrigue.
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
Honestly, I don't know why I chose this book. The description of the story was not misleading in anyway. Yet, I knew I have read my fill of spy thrillers for a lifetime and, this turned out to be a poor book choice on my part. As far as spy stories go, this one had all the requisite, predicable requirements -- spouse dead from violent act, deep grief over decades of time, need for redemption, close calls with terrorists on your heels, superhuman skills. I was just bored and stopped listening half-way through the story.
I will learn to use more credits more wisely going forward.
First off, I need to say that the narration was fantastic and was a central reason I enjoyed this book so much. The emotions and personality of the book's characters would not have resonated as deeply. Hearing their voices made it so much more authentic. I think in written form some might have come of more as caricatures.
I'm not normally someone who enjoys the spy thriller genre but this one hooked me. The desire of one character to atone for a past incident and connect with a loved one was the strong thread that held this story together for me.
It was fast-paced, had a wide variety of characters and provided an interesting look at the ramifications of "the war on terror" and the US' interference in the Middle East. I did find the ending of the "thriller" part of the book a bit too easy. After seeing the lengths the CIA would go to in order to keep secrets, they (although backed up against the wall) seemed to agree to the terms without much argument. Was it because of the personal connection between the CIA director and other characters? Because it seemed that based on everything else in the book, they would not have stopped.
I also wish (because I always want people to be reunited in a heart-warming way) was sad that after all the "swimmer" had been through he did not get to know his daughter, and yet, that would have certainly been an unlikely outcome that would have taken away from the authenticity of the story.
I felt this book also worked because it was written and set in Sweden. I'm not sure it would have felt as true if written by an American. It would have felt more "hand wringing".
I recommend it.
I am an eBay seller who listens to approx. a book a day while taking & editing photos of my items. I love a good suspenseful mystery!
I thought because of the other reviews this would be a good book but it was so boring I barely made it through half of it before I decided I'd wasted my money and I returned it!
The female narrators voice seems to be so monotone it nearly put me to sleep and the male narrator wasn't much better.
The story is complicated but I'd hardly call it exciting or suspenseful.
I've been in a rut with books lately and was really hoping this one was going to turn things around for me but I guess I'll have to keep searching!
Character development was not up to Le Carre but I enjoyed the book very much. There were enough plot twists to keep my attention. More than one reader is usually distracting for me but for this narration, the readers did such an excellent job, I hardly noticed. I give this a two thumbs up!
Reading with no hands!
Imagine the cocoon like feeling of being carried in the water. Does it remind you of the strong embrace of a protective father as you sleep swaddled in his arms? Is this memory real or something we tell ourselves must be the case?
These are the types of questions this tale provoked in the reader. A slow, ever increasing, inexorable mounting of queries with regrettably few answers. While the story kept me engaged, the frequent scene changes didn't benefit the progress.
As the father works to make right a thirty three year old mistake, we are carried along jostling to and fro, intermittently loving and being made slightly nauseous by the ride.
Be warned it's a good ride, but not always fun.
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