"A gritty and worrying yarn... What sets Roslund and Hellstrom apart is their background of working cons, which comes through almost as a subtle sympathy."Jon Wise, The Daily Sport
"Filled with drama and tough action, it is as authentic as it is disturbing, taking a peek below the shadows that form what we term a civilized society."Ali Karim, Shots
"[A] riveting crime thriller... [a] psychologically driven plot, which reveals how criminal behavior is perpetuated from generation to generation through dysfunctional family conditions. Complex characterizations boost the action."Publishers Weekly
"This powerful sixth series entry upholds the high literary standards of the previous award-winning Grens & Sundkvist novels; jarring dialogue and alternating first-person narratives offer an unsettling portrait of the gangland cycle of violence, desperation, and hope. It's an ugly yet beautiful story that readers will find themselves immediately buried in. Highly recommended for fans of the violently realistic social commentary in Richard Price's Clockers."Christine Tran, Booklist (starred)
"You will find yourself utterly engaged from the very first chapter."Barry Forshaw, The Independent
"Suspenseful and at times unexpected, frightening and engaging... a skillfully constructed story."Monika Silen, Tidningen Kulturen (Sweden)
A Stockholm suburb is being terrorized by a teenage gang's calculated reign of firebombings and burglaries. After a beaten female cop is left to die in the trunk of an abandoned car, DCI Ewert Grens will break all the rules in his effort to nab the perpetrators.The crime wave, which has residents locking themselves in at night, is being directed from inside a maximum security prison by 18-year-old Leon. He's having his "blood brother" Gabriel's girlfriend, Wanda, regularly smuggle in pills as a mule. The gang, dubbed the Ghetto Soldiers, has no reservations about recruiting 12-year-olds to do its grunt work. Their intense hatred for authority is fueled by the violent mistreatment of their mothers by their fathers, but the moms don't catch much of a break either. Down-in-his-cups Grens, who's not unlike Henning Mankell's Wallander, is haunted by an incident from 20 years ago involving someone connected to one of the teen felons. When Wanda becomes pregnant, the story takes a different turn and Grens' past begins catching up to him. This book is no short haul, containing more than 600 pages of terse narrativeand circular digressions. But while the seasoned team of Roslund & Hellstrom (Cell 8, 2011, etc.) is a bit facile in its blueprinting of plot, which involves a perfectly timed string of prison breaks, the authors are great at getting inside the heads of the young criminals. The austerity of their style also gains in existential power as you get into the heart of the story.A bleak but gripping tale of a teen gang running amok.
Veteran José Pereira now heads the Stockholm police department's Organized Crime and Gang Section in the dreary suburb of Råby where juvenile gang violence continues to escalate. On his radar are the Råby Warriors, a growing criminal syndicate led by Leon Jensen and Gabriel Milton—best friends and drug addicts since childhood—who recruit children as foot soldiers. While incarcerated, Leon breaks out of a maximum security prison with a hostage. DCI Grens Ewert partners with Pereira to pursue Leon and take down the gang. As they interrogate suspects and question witnesses, details of Ewert's past surface, which entwine to transform all of their lives. The best-selling Swedish authors (The Beast; Cell 8; Three Seconds) team up again to deliver a gritty, well-researched Nordic thriller. However, the duo's writing style is awkward and the language is oftentimes overly crass; the story is not for the faint of heart. Moreover, the transitions are jumpy and the plot develops slowly. VERDICT Fans of Jo Nesbø's most recent novels as well as readers of Henning Mankell's and Stieg Larsson's works will enjoy the creative blend of social commentary and suspense. Dickson's translation is adequate.—Russell Michalak, Goldey-Beacom Coll. Lib., Wilmington, DE