From the Publisher
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE CRIME BOOK OF THE YEAR
“A high-impact Swedish thriller.” —The New York Times
“Superb . . . Roslund and Hellstrom play out the tale in taut, short scenes, meting our revelations and shocks in sure, knowing fashion, ending with the shock that all but undoes the rest . . . Box 21 is profound.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer
“This dark, explicit novel is another impressive crime thriller from Scandinavia. . . . A good read.” —Arizona Republic
“Gripping . . . the story takes a number of surprising twists and turns.” —The Washington Post Book World
“This excellent crime thriller is bound to please fans of Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander series.” —Library Journal
“A remarkable tale of loss, addiction and revenge. . . . This taut and nuanced thriller should appeal to fans of Mo Hayder, Denise Mina and, of course, Henning Mankell.” Publishers Weekly
“What is it with Scandinavians and great crime writing? Something to do with the long nights, I guess. Box 21, with its sharply drawn cast of jaded cops, junkies, thugs, and victims, is a gripping tale of modern-day slavery, damage, and revenge, shocking and compelling in equal measure.” —Simon Lewis, author of Bad Traffic
The New York Times
A high-impact Swedish thriller.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Superb . . . Roslund and Hellstrom play out the tale in taut, short scenes, meting our revelations and shocks in sure, knowing fashion, ending with the shock that all but undoes the rest . . . Box 21 is profound.
This dark, explicit novel is another impressive crime thriller from Scandinavia. . . . A good read.
The Washington Post Book World
Gripping . . . the story takes a number of surprising twists and turns.
author of Bad Traffic Simon Lewis
What is it with Scandinavians and great crime writing? Something to do with the long nights, I guess. Box 21, with its sharply drawn cast of jaded cops, junkies, thugs, and victims, is a gripping tale of modern-day slavery, damage, and revenge, shocking and compelling in equal measure.
…gritty…Box 21 (the title refers to a storage locker where Lydia hides valuables) is no sermon, but the authors make their outrage clear…if the nasty realities of the sex trade don't scare you off, Box 21 is a harsh but vivid reminder of just how brutal men can be.
The Washington Post
The Swedish writing team of Roslund and Hellström make their U.S. debut with a remarkable tale of loss, addiction and revenge set in Stockholm's seedy underworld. Ewert Grens, a veteran detective, is haunted by a tragic incident that occurred 25 years earlier that left his young wife, a fellow police officer, an invalid. When the man responsible, notorious criminal Jochum Lang, is released from prison, Grens vows to put him away for life. Meanwhile, the detective arrives at a crime scene where a teenage prostitute, Lydia Grajauskas, has been nearly beaten to death by her Russian pimp. Alternating chapters fill in the backstory of Lydia and Alena Sljusareva, girls lured away from Lithuania under false pretenses and sold as sex slaves. In a bizarre twist, Lydia escapes from her hospital bed and ends up taking hostages. This taut and nuanced thriller should appeal to fans of Mo Hayder, Denise Mina and, of course, Henning Mankell. (Oct.)
Another best-selling Swedish crime thriller translated for American audiences, this book is the work of TV personality Roslund and former criminal and current youth worker Hellström. Their dark and gritty tale revolves around Lithuanian sex slaves Lydia and Alena, vicious and rarely convicted mob enforcer Jochum Lang, and Hilding Oldeus, a desperate heroin junkie. Their stories converge when cranky, old-fashioned police inspector Ewert Grens is assigned to the investigation of Lydia's horrific murder by her pimp, Lang and Oldeus get out of jail, and Grens resumes his crusade to put Lang away permanently. Bleak and pessimistic, even for Scandinavian crime stories, this international best seller has a style reminiscent of the classic Maj Sjöwall and Per Walöö Martin Beck mysteries and is also set in downtown Stockholm. VERDICT This excellent crime thriller is bound to please fans of Stieg Larsson's The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo and Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander series. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/09.]—Jessica Moyer, Univ. of Minnesota, Coll. of Education & Human Development, Minneapolis
A tangle of criminal plotlines converge combustibly at a Stockholm hospital in this edgy thriller, the second the collaborators have published in English (The Beast, 2005). As a child, Russian-born Lydia Grajauskas visits her father in a Swedish prison. Eleven years later she's a sex slave, working with other immigrant girls and beaten regularly by her boss Dimitri. Police detective Ewert Grens visits his ex-fiancee Anni, barely alive in a convalescent facility. In the 25 years since mobster Jochum Lang put her in this condition, Ewert has simply been going through the motions of his life. Hilding Oldeus, drug addict and petty criminal, roams the streets, committing an array of offenses. Upon learning that Lang is about to be released, Ewert seeks the calming influence of Bengt Nordwall, veteran and family man, his mentor on the force. He tries unsuccessfully to get Hilding to turn state's evidence against Lang and secure his retention. All these plot threads lead to Soder Hospital, where Lydia is taken after her latest beating. Her friend Alena uses the surrounding confusion to escape and try to implement the duo's grand getaway plan. Pursued by Lang, Hilding also arrives at the hospital demanding drugs of his sister Lisa, who's a doctor there. Then Lydia gets hold of a gun, takes a group of hospital staff hostage and demands to see Bengt. Further twists follow. Fresh, slangy and moves at breakneck pace, though it loses some of its energy as it narrows its focus.