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The Long Shadow

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Overview

In this follow-up to Liza Marklund’s “stunningly great” (BookReporter.com) thriller Lifetime, newspaper reporter Annika Bengtzon is left to pick up the pieces after a shocking and complex murder case turns her world upside down and leaves her personal life in shambles.

Meanwhile, an intruder brutally murders an entire family on Spain’s Costa del Sol, and Annika must fly to the glitzy locale to report on the case. Upon arrival she discovers that a fifth family member is ...

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The Long Shadow: A Novel

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Overview

In this follow-up to Liza Marklund’s “stunningly great” (BookReporter.com) thriller Lifetime, newspaper reporter Annika Bengtzon is left to pick up the pieces after a shocking and complex murder case turns her world upside down and leaves her personal life in shambles.

Meanwhile, an intruder brutally murders an entire family on Spain’s Costa del Sol, and Annika must fly to the glitzy locale to report on the case. Upon arrival she discovers that a fifth family member is unaccounted for. Soon, the killers are found, but they too have met their demise—in the same grisly manner they killed the Söderström family.

Amid a culture weighed down by drug smuggling and money laundering, Annika must try to find the missing girl before it’s too late.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/03/2014
Marklund’s busy eighth Annika Bengtzon novel finds the dogged Stockholm crime reporter still struggling with the personal and professional aftershocks of her deadly previous case in 2013’s Lifetime. Her latest assignment for her newspaper is hardly a sunny one: writing about the slaughter of former hockey star Sebastian Söderström and his family during the robbery of their Spanish villa. If that weren’t grim enough stuff for Annika to handle while trying to adapt to sharing custody of her two children with her ex (and his dim girlfriend), as well as having to suffer an equally clueless new editor, she’s soon uncovering money laundering, drug trafficking, and glimpses of a history of horrific abuse and murder stretching back decades. Despite the often confusing subplots, this installment in the Bengtzon chronicles offers plenty of suspense. Agent: Niclas Salomonsson, Salomonsson Agency (Sweden). (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-20
Her spirits dimmed but not quenched by her last round of collisions with violent death (Lifetime, 2013), Stockholm reporter Annika Bengtzon ventures abroad in search of more dragons to slay. That's not how it seems to her higher-ups. Anders Schyman, editor in chief at the Evening Post, wants to promote her to lead editor; Patrik, the subordinate who's promoted over her when she refuses the job, wants her to color within the lines and fill out all the right forms. The rumor that the victim of a robbery killed along with his family was retired Swedish hockey player Sebastian Söderström sends Annika off to his home on the Costa del Sol—or, as she soon learns to call it, the Costa del Crime. Drugs, contraband, illicit cash: Everything dirty seems to pass through this paradise, and Annika's soon filing story after story on criminal matters related to the robbery and the murders. She is not, however, pleasing her bosses. They're unhappy that an enterprising photographer has caught Annika kissing Jimmy Halenius, her ex-husband Thomas' highly placed boss at the Ministry of Justice, and that Lotta Bartholomeus, the photographer temporarily assigned to Annika, has complained of her high-handed treatment. And they seem utterly indifferent when Annika discovers that Söderström's daughter Suzette seems to have missed the slaughter that orphaned her, leaving Annika on her own to chase down leads to the teen's whereabouts. It doesn't help her credibility that Annika is susceptible to Jimmy Halenius, to the Norrland narcotics cop who shows her the ropes on the Costa del Crime, and even to Thomas, who phones from the corridor outside the home he shares with the mistress he dumped Annika for to tell her that their divorce was a terrible mistake. Against all odds, Annika eventually ties together all the felonies she's poked her nose into, but it's a thankless slog that will make you grateful you aren't a newspaper reporter yourself.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451607031
  • Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
  • Publication date: 4/15/2014
  • Series: Annika Bengtzon Series , #8
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 326,203
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Liza Marklund is an author, journalist, and goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Her crime novels, featuring the relentless reporter Annika Bengtzon, instantly became international hits and have sold millions of copies in thirty languages worldwide. She lives in Stockholm, Sweden, and Marbella, Spain, where she is at work on the next installment of the series. Visit her website at LizaMarklund.com.

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Read an Excerpt

The Long Shadow


  • The night was pitch-black. She could just make out the orange trees lining the road as black shadows on the edge of her vision. Three cats’ heads stuck up out of a rubbish bin, the headlights catching their eyes.

The rain had stopped, but the tarmac was still wet and shiny, reflecting the light from the streetlamps. She had the car window wound down and was listening to the wet hiss of the tires on the road surface, the crickets chirping, the wind rustling the trees. The air coming through the window was chill with damp.

It was as peaceful as could be.

She braked and stopped uncertainly at a crossroad. Was this where she was supposed to turn left, or was that the next one? She was clutching the steering wheel in a cramped ten-and-two grip. All this random building work; they didn’t have any planning regulations, no town planning, and therefore no maps. Not even Google Earth had been able to help with these new districts.

Well, this must be it. She recognized the golden knobs at the top of the gate to her right. Everything looked so different in the dark.

She put the indicator on so that the truck behind her could see which way she was heading.

The two vehicles were driving with dipped headlights; anything else would have been impossible on such terrible roads. And a car with no lights would arouse more suspicion than one with headlights on. She swerved to avoid a large pothole in the middle of the road, then checked in the rearview mirror that the driver following her did the same.

Then the car’s headlights swept across the gateway at the edge of the neighborhood, an overblown affair in black wrought iron with a pair of concrete lions on either side of the gates. She felt her shoulders relax in relief. She quickly tapped the code on the pillar below one of the lions, and the gates shuddered and then slid open. She peered up at the night sky.

The clouds had rolled in from Africa during the afternoon and settled like a thick blanket over the whole coast. Somewhere behind them was a full moon. She noted that the wind was picking up and hoped they’d be finished before the cloud cover started to break.

The roads inside the gates were, in marked contrast to those outside, smooth, with perfectly edged pavements and hedges that were absolutely straight. She passed three turnings before she swung off to the right and carried on down a slight hill.

The villa was off to the left, with its terraces and pool facing south.

She drove some ten meters past the house, parked by the pavement in front of a vacant plot, and waited patiently as the truck driver pulled up behind her.

Then she took her briefcase, locked the car, went over to the truck, and clambered up into the cab.

The men looked focused, slightly sweaty.

She pulled on a pair of latex gloves, then took out the syringes for the injections and attached the first needle.

“Lean forward,” she said to one of them.

The man groaned quietly and obeyed; there was hardly room for his fat stomach under the dashboard.

She didn’t bother cleaning the area on his buttock, just stabbed the needle quickly almost the whole way into the muscle and injected the liquid.

“There you go,” she said as she pulled it out. “Start getting the stuff out.”

She moved so the fat man could get out. Then she sat next to the driver.

“And this is better than gas masks?” the driver asked, staring in some trepidation at the needle in her hand.

He spoke relatively good Spanish, but of course Romanian was also a Romance language.

“I’m going to be having one as well,” she said.

He unbuckled his belt, put his hands on the wheel, and leaned forward so that she could get at his backside.

“It stings,” he said.

“Don’t be such a baby,” she replied.

Then she pulled up her skirt and stuck the last syringe into her own thigh.

“And you only want the safe?” the man asked as he opened the door and got out of the cab.

She smiled, leaned down over the briefcase, and put two one-liter bottles of San Miguel into the little cubbyhole between the driver’s and the passenger’s seats.

“Only the safe,” she said. “The rest is yours. Help yourselves.”

The driver looked at the bottles of beer and laughed.

The fat man had already got his tools and the tubes out, and had put them all down beside the entrance.

“And you can guarantee that this is going to knock them out?” he wondered, looking at the canisters with a degree of suspicion. They didn’t look like they usually did.

He looked up at the house as the full moon peeped out between a gap in the clouds. They needed to get going.

She concentrated and tapped in the code. The panel on the alarm turned green, and the lock on the gate opened with a click.

“Oh yes,” she said. “It’s guaranteed to knock them out.”

TT News Agency, 09:13.

URGENT

ATTORNEY GENERAL DEMANDS JUDICIAL REVIEW OF TRIPLE MURDER CASE

STOCKHOLM (TT) On Monday, Attorney General Lilian Bergqvist will submit a request for the judicial review of the case against the so-called Ax-Murderer, financier Filip Andersson, TT has learned.

Filip Andersson was sentenced to life imprisonment for three brutal murders on Södermalm in Stockholm. He has always maintained his innocence.

“In December last year, once the real murderer was killed, Filip Andersson was finally able to tell the truth,” says his lawyer, Sven-Göran Olin. “Filip’s sister, Yvonne Nordin, carried out the murders.”

Almost four years ago Filip Andersson was found guilty in both the City Court and Court of Appeal, and received the maximum sentence available for three counts of murder, blackmail, extortion, and desecration of a grave. All three victims, two men and a woman, were mutilated during the attack.

The evidence against Filip Andersson was regarded as weak even during the previous trials. He was convicted on the strength of a DNA trace from one of the victims found on his trouser leg, a fingerprint on a door handle, and an unpaid debt.

The attorney general’s submission to the Court of Appeal will summarize the evidence the prosecutors are planning to present.

(cont.)

© TT News Agency and the author of the article.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2014

    disappointed

    not great and not nearly as good as her other books in this series

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  • Posted April 30, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    The author picks up from previous novels in the series with Anni

    The author picks up from previous novels in the series with Annika Bengtzon plying her trade doggedly as a reporter for Sweden’s Evening Post. The plot takes her to the Costa del Sol and Morocco following the robbery and murder of a well-known retired hockey star and his family, except for a 16-year-old daughter by a former marriage who miraculously escaped the slaughter but goes missing. Annika follows the story, despite being assigned several silly assignments by her news editor, in an effort to not only find the girl but also to discover why the family was gassed to death.

    Meanwhile Annika’s personal and professional lives continue in turmoil, as she is divorced, and now suspected of burning down her house (so the insurance money is frozen), and her attitude is less than appreciated at the newspaper where her superiors wrestle with a decision on what to do with her despite her superior production. Notwithstanding it all, she plods on to fulfill her mission.

    The cast of characters remains constant throughout the series, reappearing in this entry and providing continuity. At times, the 544-page book is difficult to read. Whether it is the author’s constant repetition of thoughts and phrases or a reflection of the translation is difficult to determine, but the novel is well worth the effort to read. Obviously, the seeds of the next installment have been sown so we have something to look forward to.

    Highly recommended.

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  • Posted April 16, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    The Long Shadow is the eighth North American release in Liza Mar

    The Long Shadow is the eighth North American release in Liza Marklund's Annika Bengtzon series.

    The Long Shadow picks right up from the last book, Lifetime. Annika's personal life is in shambles - her husband has left her for another woman, he has custody of their children and her home has burned down. She's just learned that she'll now be reporting to a man who used to be her subordinate at the Swedish newspaper she works at.

    She's sent to Spain to report on the death of a former Swedish national. It looks like they were originally just targets of the latest European crime wave - pumping gas into the victim's home until they pass out, then robbing them. (This is frighteningly true!) But something went wrong this time - he and his family have been killed. Or was it deliberate?

    Annika is a tireless reporter. Or perhaps obsessive is a more apt description. She's headstrong, impulsive and plunges headlong into her stories, often to her own detriment. But, she trusts her own instincts and follows them regardless. It often pays off - she saved the life a young boy in the last book. And this time is no exception. Annika knows this current story is much deeper than her editor thinks. When he wants her to move on to other pieces, she lets him believe she has - then pursues her own leads.

    Marklund's plots are quite detailed and intricate. I do enjoy her style as it really keeps the reader engaged and on their toes. Having followed the series, I was easily able to keep up with the players and past references. But new readers might find the number of characters, established relationships and connections a mite confusing. Much of this book's plot is tied to previous cases. An interesting twist is slowly revealed through flashbacks to someone's childhood.

    Woven throughout is the secondary storyline of Annika's personal life. I think Marklund has handled and written this very well throughout the series. . Although I've heard some other readers remark that this secondary storyline muddies the waters of the main plot, I disagree. I quite like seeing the two sides of Annika's life - personal and professional. For me, it makes the character more realistic and believable when we see vulnerability in such strong personality.

    The setting was brought to life with detailed descriptions of ex-pats and luxury. And corruption and crime.

    This is an excellent series with a character I quite like, even though she's not always likable. Definitely recommended. I'll be watching for the next in the series. And on a side note, I was thrilled to discover that the Annika books have been made into films. And my library carries them!

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