On a warm Autumn afternoon, Tivoli Gardens - Denmark's largest amusement park - is devastated by a terrorist attack. 1,241 people are killed. The unknown bomber is blown to bits; the security forces have no leads.
One year later, the nation is still reeling, and those behind the attack are still at large. Amidst the increasingly frustrated police force, Superintendent Lene Jensen is suffering the effects of tragedy closer to home. Everyone is aware the terrorists may soon strike again.
Then Lene receives a strange call. A young desperate Muslim woman needs her help, but by the time Lene reaches her she's already dead - supposedly suicide. Already suspicious, Lene's initial investigations suggest that the woman was unknowingly part of a secret services research project.
Silenced by her superiors, Lene turns to her old ally Michael Sander to dig deeper. But with even her allies increasingly adamant her actions are a risk to national security, Lene begins to understand that finding the truth might be the most dangerous thing of all.
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About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Despite having never heard of Steffen Jacobsen I am a huge fan of the Scandinavian (Scandi) noir trend that's been ongoing for a few years now - some of the best and most prolific crime writers are part of the craze brought on by shows such as The Killing and this rise in popularity then extended into the publishing sector. Of course, there were authors writing in the Scandi noir sub-genre before these TV shows but there is no doubt that there are many more now. "Retribution" starts with a shocking set of events that take Denmark by surprise, shaking the local community to the core. Tivoli Gardens, Denmark's largest amusement park, has come under attack; a terrorist attack to be precise. The death toll stands at over 1,200 and unlike most terrorism nowadays noone comes forward to claim responsibility. Seven months later and the police are no further than they were shortly after the event unfolded, with no leads and no answers they can provide for what went wrong that day in terms of the security situation. Police Lieutenant Lene Jensen is one of the officers who has been on the case since the very beginning. When she receives a desperate phone call from a Muslim women who later turns up dead, she feels that there may be connection to the Tivoli bombing and thinks it is a lead worth chasing, with it being their only one! It may lead nowhere but without investigating how can she truly know? As Lieutenant Jensen delves deeper into investigating this possible connection she discovers evidence that the woman had unwittingly being part of a secret research project conducted by the government. As she digs deeper she is surprised to find that her superiors show increasing resistance and as a result she decided to team up with private detective Michael Sander. They continue to investigate the complex case but soon realise that someone knows a lot more about what happened than they are letting on. With the threat of another similar attack looming, can Sander and Jensen beat the clock while saving lives and peace of mind in the process? This is one of those thrillers that you think will be straightforward with a fairly obvious suspect that could probably be predicted by the majority of readers. But that's just Jacobsen lulling you into a false sense of security! Trust me, I know. Jacobsen knows how to create a tense plot and uses misdirection skilfully. For the most part, the book moves at an impeccable pace with writing that truly pulls you into the story from the very beginning. The character development is well done and Lene is an admirable and relentess investigator with a strong moral compass guiding her through the investigative minefield. There is action aplenty throughout and a sinister undertone that underpins everything that occurs from first page to last. I also thought that the conclusion was an excellent one, it is clear that Jacobsen is a masterful plotter, planner and executor. As this really appealed to me I will be seeking out his other books and keeping an eye open for any upcoming releases from him. If you are a thriller reader this is not one to skip, this guy knows what he is doing and it shows in his work. This for me is a rarity and a difficult skill to get right. I simply cannot believe that a guy who is this adept at constructing a complicated and complex case such as this hasn't managed to reach the heady heights that other (sometimes lesser authors) have. Many thanks to Arcade Publishing for an ARC.