Knowing the truth can be deadly.
A frosty December night in Stockholm.
A thousand guests attend the prestigious Nobel Prizewinners’ dinner.
The evening is one of prestige and glamour.
Until two shots are fired on the dance floor.
Crime reporter Annika Bengtzon is there, covering the event for the Evening Post. As the police realize she caught a glimpse of the suspect, she is far more interested in getting back to the newsroom.
But as more brutal murders follow, Annika finds herself in the middle of something far larger than she had anticipated. No longer just a reporter but also a vulnerable key witness, she begins to close up the gaps linking these crimes, just as the suspect starts closing the net on Annika herself…
Near the start of Marklund's uneven second Annika Bengtzon thriller made available to U.S. readers (after 2011's Red Wolf), crime journalist Bengtzon, far from her usual beat, witnesses a crime while covering the annual Nobel Prize dinner in Stockholm's city hall: a female assassin known as "the Kitten" fires a silenced handgun at two guests on the dance floor, killing Caroline von Behring, the chair of the Karolinska Institute's Nobel committee. As a witness to the shooting, Bengtzon is saddled with a disclosure ban by the enigmatic Detective Inspector Q, effectively muzzling her reporting efforts. When her newspaper puts her on paid leave, Bengtzon begins her own investigation at the Karolinska Institute, a leading biomedical university. Von Behring isn't the only prominent scientist to die, and Bengtzon follows a trail leading to Alfred Nobel, the founder of the storied prize. Despite an intriguing premise, Marklund overstuffs her plot and buries any suspense under scientific minutiae.