The Swede

The Swede
Author: Robert Karjel (author), Nancy Pick (translator)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Genre(s): Mystery, Spy Thriller, Bisexual
Page Count: 352
Reviewed by: LenaRibka
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

A Swedish security agent is summoned to interrogate a terror suspect held by the FBI —but the prisoner isn’t the only one with something to hide.

At a remote military base in the Indian Ocean, the FBI is trying to get a prisoner to confess. But the detainee, a suspect in an Islamist-inspired terror attack in the United States, refuses to talk.

Ernst Grip, a Swedish security officer, has no idea why he’s been dispatched to New York City. The FBI agent he meets on arrival, Shauna Friedman, seems to know a little too much about him. And when he arrives at his real destination, the American authorities have just one question: Is their terror suspect a Swedish citizen?

In the process of uncovering the prisoner’s true identity, Grip discovers the man’s ties to a group of other suspects—a ruthless American arms dealer, a Czech hit man, a mysterious nurse from Kansas, and a heartbreakingly naive Pakistani. The closer Grip gets to the truth, the more complicated the deception becomes. Who is real and who is leading a double life?


My hubby loves to watch cooking shows and sometimes I watch them with him.
It is why the first thing that came spontaneously on my mind – I blame him for this because HIS cooks like to use it- a symphony of delicious flavors . You know the one that touch all of the senses and causes an explosion of flavors in your mouth, like the eruption of Mount Etna.

It is exactly what Robert Karjel did to me: with his The Swede he offered me a 5-course menu à la carte: magnificent, superb, terrific, fantastic, simply great.

How often did you come across a book that you wanted already to rate with 5 stars halfway up to the end? I knew around 50% that I have been reading something special: a multilayered complex and INGENIOUS story line, soooooo brilliantly written (sincerest thanks to Nancy Pick, the translator, I know what a difficult job it is, but she did it perfectly) and THE CHARACTERS….THE CHARACTERS are..( I need Nancy Pick to translate for me!)

It is when I have to say some words about THE SWEDE. There are two of them in this book: Ernst Grip, a Swedish security officer, and N., a prisoner with an unknown nationality, presumable SWEDISH, but Ernst has to prove it. The original title of this book is actually My Name Is N . But if you read The Swede, then you think about Ernst Grip as THE SWEDE. Well at least I do. I don’t want to tell about the plot, because it is twisted and unique and soooo clever and I don’t want to spoil you anything.

This book has EVERYTHING that an entertaining read offers: spy thriller, nature catastrophe, romance (not in the main focus though), religious fanatics, art, suspense, policy, great writing, mysterious and captivating story, fabulous characters and wow-ending.
Just go and read it.

For your information:

check This book has been nominated for the 28th Lambda Literary Award in the category Gay Mystery. It is WHY I decided to read it. Honestly, I would have probably skipped it – the rating wasn’t very impressive and I wouldn’t have discovered this book otherwise if it hadn’t landed on the “lammy” list. It is why I am grateful to the jury for nominating this book and thereby made me aware of it.

check Robert Karjel is a lieutenant colonel in the Swedish Air Force. (I’m impressed, and not only because of the back cover that has a photo of him in his flight suit.)

check Don’t read it if you want in the first place a romance. It is NOT a romance, it is in the first place a great psychological thriller.

check Be warned: it is a thriller with a bisexual hero. It seems that some readers have problems with it.


check If you decide not to read it, it is your own fault.


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