Box 21

Box 21

3.3 66
by Anders Roslund, Borge Hellstrom
     
 

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Three years ago, Lydia and Alena were two hopeful girls from Lithuania. Now they are sex slaves, lured to Sweden with the promise of better jobs and then trapped in a Stockholm brothel. Suddenly they are given an unexpected chance at freedom and with it the opportunity to take revenge on their enslavers and reclaim the lives and dignity they once had. What will

Overview

Three years ago, Lydia and Alena were two hopeful girls from Lithuania. Now they are sex slaves, lured to Sweden with the promise of better jobs and then trapped in a Stockholm brothel. Suddenly they are given an unexpected chance at freedom and with it the opportunity to take revenge on their enslavers and reclaim the lives and dignity they once had. What will happen now that the tables are turned and the victims fight back? Box 21 is a mind-blowing psychological thriller of the highest order.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“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, starred review

“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

Patrick Anderson
…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
Publishers Weekly
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.)
Library Journal
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
Kirkus Reviews
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312655341
Publisher:
Picador
Publication date:
10/26/2010
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
776,595
Product dimensions:
6.94(w) x 11.80(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Anders Roslund is the founder and former head of Kulturnyheterna (Culture News) on Swedish Television. Börge Hellström is an ex-criminal who helps to rehabilitate young offenders and drug addicts.

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Box 21 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 66 reviews.
DTWright More than 1 year ago
Being a big fan of the Martin Beck novels, the Wallander series, and especially the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, I was looking forward to this. Unfortunately, the characters are wooden, the exposition leaden, and the plot, not to put too fine a point on it, plods. Perhaps the translation is not very good, but the crudely drawn and hackneyed central character -- the detective Ewert -- seem to indicate that the problem is in the original text. Save your time and money.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Twenty-five years ago in Stockholm, criminal Jochum Lang left cop Anni Grens an invalid. Her spouse police detective Ewert Grens vowed to insure this punk never got freed. Now Jochum walks; but Grens, ignoring the pleading of his long time crony Bengt Nordwell to move on, stalks him looking to find something to return the SOB to prison. Grens and his partner Sundkvist arrive at a violent crime scene. Teenage Lithuanian prostitute Lydia Grajauskas was nearly killed by her Russian pimp. The Swedish detectives learn that Lydia and Alena Sljusareva were tricked into coming from Lithuania to Sweden three years ago under the ruse of legitimate employment, but sold as sex slaves instead; Jochum the enforcer is involved with the ring to Grens' glee. However while at Soder Hospital recovering from the beating, Lydia fearing deportation takes hostages. This is a super Swedish police procedural with several twists and spins as what related events that happened over the past quarter of a century are told in alternating chapters with what is occurring in the present. The fast-paced story line is character driven as the audience will feel the hatred Ewert does not try to hide as his reason for living is to destroy Lang like he did Anni. Fans who appreciate a refreshing different type of police procedural will want to read BOX 21 as Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom keeps the readers off kilter, past and present. Harriet Klausner
bridget3420 More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best thrillers I have read in a really long time. I liked everything about it, the writing style, the characters, everything was perfect. This would be the perfect gift for the reader in your life.
goldengirlAB More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoyed this riveting and at times, chilling, look at the international sex trade. The story is real life and suspenseful with a clever twist at the end. The shocking under story is how pervasive this type of crime is in a country with an educated, "civilized" society.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent and hard to put down.love it
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Tigerpaw70 More than 1 year ago
Also published under the title "The Vault" in the UK Book 2 in the Ewert Grens series The novel holds two main stories that are dark, extraordinarily sad and definitely not for the faint at heart. Both threads involve one of Stockholm's best detectives Ewert Grens. The first plot opens, with the release from prison of a notorious criminal; Jochum Lang. Detective Grens who has personal and professional reasons, feels Lang is a threat to the public, a hard core criminal and he makes it his mission to put him back behind bars. Grens strong feelings are based on an incident that happened twenty five years earlier. His colleague and girlfriend at the time was beaten to within an inch of her life and has been institutionalized ever since, a case that haunts him to this day. When Grens discovers that criminal bosses are hiring Lang as a strong arm he seizes the chance to send him back to prison. The second plot is fast paced and full of credible action with a sad tone, another case Detective Grens is working in parallel that is demanding much of his time and skill. Lydia Grajauskas and Alena Sljusareva are two Lithuanian girls who have been tricked into leaving their country only to become sex slaves and property of the man they call Dimitri-B astard-Pimp. We first learned about the girls when they are into a three year old nightmare servicing 12 clients a day, their moral at the extreme low and often beaten into submission. One day Lydia was so badly beaten that the neighbours called the police and was transported to the hospital. Her terrifying ordeal is revealed and at the same time she seizes the opportunity to fulfill a dream, take matters into her own hands and escape the hands of her captor. The writing is crisp and steadfast with short chapters that shift back and forth between several colourfully portrayed characters: the criminals, the victims and the cops. I found it rather hard to get into this tale at first but once I became familiar with the writer's style and phrasing, it all fell into place, at this point the story gelled and I was hooked. I like this novel; it is a complex and intense psychological thriller that delivers a brutally intimate view into the drug and sex slave trade.
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