• Red Wolf

  • A Novel
  • By: Liza Marklund
  • Narrated by: Jill Tanner
  • Length: 14 hrs and 28 mins
  • 3.7 out of 5 stars (62 ratings)

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Red Wolf  By  cover art

Red Wolf

By: Liza Marklund
Narrated by: Jill Tanner
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Editorial reviews

Thanks to the incredible popularity of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, Swedish crime novels are a hot commodity, and thus Liza Marklund’s 2003 novel Red Wolf is getting a renewed push in the U.S. Marklund’s work shares certain qualities with Larsson’s: Her main character, Annika Bengtzon, is a journalist, and Marklund (who also co-wrote The Postcard Killers with James Patterson) is interested in commentary about Swedish society alongside a good old-fashioned mystery. Red Wolf is the fifth novel featuring Annika, but it stands pretty well on its own, and any references to previous stories are understandable in context. It’s more streamlined than Larsson’s work, although it has some of the same tendency to get bogged down in unnecessary detail.

Narrator Jill Tanner performs the story in her crisp British accent, which can take a little getting used to; her motherly tone almost makes it sound like she’s reading a bedtime story, which is at odds with the sometimes lurid account of a former 1960s radical who’s returned to Sweden and may be murdering his former associates. But once you get onto Tanner’s wavelength, her style turns out to fit the material quite well, especially since Annika herself is a mother, albeit one who’s dealing with marital problems and may not exactly be the world’s best parent. Tanner tackles the various hard-to-pronounce names of Swedish towns, roads, and people with aplomb, and keeps the story moving at a steady clip.

The various digressions about Swedish media politics and the emotional lives of Annika’s husband and best friend, however, sound tedious no matter who’s reading them. The plot hinges on a whole lot of coincidences that may make seemingly irrelevant passages suddenly important, but also tend to stretch believability a little far. Still, the story is generally intriguing, and Annika is a character worth following. Stieg Larsson fans, here’s your next step. Josh Bell

Publisher's summary

In the middle of the freezing winter, a journalist is murdered in the northern Swedish town of Lulea. Crime reporter Annika Bengtzon suspects that the killing is linked to an attack against an air base in the late 60. Against the explicit orders of her boss, Annika continues her investigation of the death, which is soon followed by a series of shocking murders.

Annika quickly finds herself drawn into a spiral of terrorism and violence centered around a small communist group called The Beasts. Meanwhile, her marriage starts to slide, and in the end, she is not only determined to find out the truth, but also forced to question her own husband's honesty.

©2011 Liza Marklund (P)2011 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about Red Wolf

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fewer words pronounced correctly

The story was good but would have benefitted from being slightly more concise. The characters were well developed and interesting. I didn’t know why a few of them were in there because they just served to be another thread to keep track of but that’s a Nordic noir thing I guess.

I have mixed opinions about narration. It was performed very well. Jill Tanner is a fine actor and has a lovely voice. The pronunciation of Swedish place names could have been worse, but not by much. She nailed what Å sounds like. But honestly, I will never understand why narrators don’t just ask a native speaker, find a newsreel, or radio station in Swedish. They’re abundantly available! The consulate in any capital likely has an elderly assistant that would LOVE to help with pronunciation just to relieve their boredom and feel useful!

One of the reasons I chose this title was because I used to live near Stockholm and I just spent a beautiful winter in Luleå. I enjoyed the description of the landscape because they’re real places. It was difficult to decipher what place was being named even the names I know very well.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

will there be more translations to english?

I enjoyed this book very much. So disappointed more of this author's novels are not in English. Enthusiastic (maybe at times a bit too enthusiastic) narrator. Annika Bengtzon, reporter, wife, mother and friend, is the protagonist, and is a believable and well thought out character. The story is a bit choppy at times, this could be the translation, but its a book I'll listen to again.

Only 1 of the 8 novels is in English. Hope there will be more. Its always a bit joyful to find an new Audible recommendation whose backlist is available. But that's not the case here. The books are there, but not available. why is that? sorry to be so peevish about this.

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5 people found this helpful