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The Andalucian Friend by Alexander…
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The Andalucian Friend

by Alexander Söderberg

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
The Andalucian Friend
Alexander Soderberg
4 Stars

I'm always on the lookout for new Scandinavian authors but why must every book written by a Scandinavian author be compared to “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”? There are really no similarities other than both the authors are from the same area and the rumor this is the first volume of an anticipated trilogy.

Andalucian Friend introduces us to a young widow, Sophie Brinkmann, who lives a quiet life at home with her son, Albert, and works as a nurse in the local hospital. There she meets a new patient, Hector Guzman, who has been hospitalized for a broken leg he got in a hit and run accident. During his stay he becomes more and more attracted to Sophie and she begins to see him socially once he's released from the hospital. Unbeknownst to Sophie, Hector and his family are members of a Spanish (Andalusian) crime family who are engaged in a siege with a rival crime family who want to take his drug routes in South America.

This novel is loaded with colorful characters, primarily all evil. There are at least three different crime groups (Russian, Spanish and German) as well as a rogue division of the Swedish police headed up by Gunilla Strandberg and her group of psychotic policeman, including one who is sliding into paranoid drug addiction. Most of the characters have no redeeming qualities and are avaricious sociopaths.

This book is not for people who dislike violent books and there is such a huge cast of characters you may have a hard time getting into it. It seemed a little slow in the beginning with all the introductions, different story lines and plot twists. I thought it was very action packed and suspenseful once I was about 15-20 percent in.

I did end up enjoying it and am anxious to read the next volume when it's available.


( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's a complex thriller but not complicated. I do think it'd make a great movie or TV series. Any Swedish thriller to add to the list!

Caveats: there's a number of characters and with Swedish names that are not too easy for the non-Vikings so make a list. Also, there's a fair bit of driving around Stockholm and it might make sense to have a map or something online handy to refer to. ( )
  martinhughharvey | Nov 22, 2015 |
I listened to this book and found it very cinematic. It seems that most of the characters were deeply flawed, with the exception of Sophie, who was probably the least believable because of her simple good nature. How could such a person get so involved with so many crazies? I liked the psychodrama of following Lars, who clearly was the best developed and most interesting character. Initially I dismissed him as stupid and self-destructive, but his ultimate cleverness seemed more worthy than that. The setting in Sweden was convincing and the detailed descriptions added a wonderful dark mood. The plot was complex but not any more so than other novels in this genre. As such, it was entertaining, but not very deep. I’d like to have seen fewer characters but better developed as to backstory and motivation. Characters just seemed to come and go with little thought to why they were doing what they did. ( )
  ozzer | Mar 28, 2014 |
I had high hopes for this book, but for me, the story was somewhat disappointing. It was rather slow to take off and filled with many different seemingly random characters. This was especially difficult for me since the book takes place in Sweden, so I was unfamiliar with the names and places. It's hard to tell the bad guys from the good, if there are any good, which I'm not convinced that there are. At the beginning of the book, Sophie seems to be a lovely younger widowed nurse. I found her to be smart and capable, but as the story progressed, I was really surprised by some of her choices and eventually completely taken back by the ending. I found this to be a decent story that really took a lot of concentration to understand and keep straight. I would rather not have to work so hard when reading fiction. ( )
1 vote c.archer | May 7, 2013 |
This book has it all: gangsters, good cops, bad cops, good cops that are really bad cops, killers, international intrigue, drugs, Swedish introspection, extreme violence, and in the middle of all of it, a beautiful widowed nurse and her adolescent son just trying to get by. There's a lot here and you do need to pay close attention to keep all the names and plot lines straight, but if you do you'll be rewarded with a fast-paced crime novel that reads like a script for a Swedish Tarantino flick.

The story was pretty believable, but the plot was fairly complicated and, even though the individual chapters sped along, made the book seem a bit longer than necessary. It's a promising start, though, for Alexander Soderberg and I look forward to the continuation of his trilogy. ( )
  gmmartz | Apr 27, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Soderberg has messily overpopulated his narrative with characters who are difficult to tell apart, and some of his dialogue strains for tough-guy cadence. But he puts his cinematic background to good use, creating one tense scene after another and jump-cutting all the way to a climax that’s as bloody as something out of Njals Saga.
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Söderberg, Alexanderprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sybesma, EdithTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0770436056, Hardcover)

A Monumental Crime Thriller—The First of a Trilogy—That Will Set the World On Fire

When Sophie Brinkmann meets Hector Guzman, her life is perfectly uneventful.  She’s a nurse and a single mother, living with her son in a sleepy Stockholm suburb.  She likes Guzman’s quiet charm and easy smile; she likes the way he welcomes her into his family.  She quickly learns, though, that his smooth façade masks something much more sinister—he’s the head of an international crime ring that is at war with a rival organization.  Before she can fully grasp the extent of his dangerous world, her life starts to come undone: her family is at risk, a long-lost friend mysteriously resurfaces, and she realizes that she can trust no one.  Whether she likes it or not, she’s now at the center of a global turf war between Spanish drug traffickers, German gangsters, Russian hit men, and Swedish cops.  To get out alive, and with her integrity intact, she will have to summon everything within her to navigate this intricate web of moral ambiguity, deadly obsession, and craven gamesmanship.             
     The Andalucian Friend is a breathtaking thriller of the first order—turbo-charged, action-packed, highly sophisticated, and unputdownable.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:18 -0400)

Breaking her personal code to date a charming patient, Sophie Brinkmann discovers that he is the head of a powerful international crime organization warring against a ruthless German syndicate.

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