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With the same raw energy and verve he displayed in Easy Money, Jens Lapidus delivers an electrifying tale of Stockholm's vicious underworld.
Mahmud is fresh out of jail, but he's forced to work for a brutal mob boss to pay off his debts to a drug lord. Niklas, a mercenary and weapons expert with an appetite for vigilante justice, is back in Sweden and plans to keep a low profile. But the discovery of a murdered man in his mother's building severely threatens those plans. Thomas, the volatile detective on the case, finding his efforts suspiciously stymied and the evidence tampered with, goes off the grid in search of the truth. But as the paths of these three men intertwine and the identity of the murdered man is revealed, crimes and secrets bigger, deeper, and darker than a mere murder will come to light.
"Svens" (native Swedes) collide with immigrant groups, from Middle Easterners to ruthlessly organized gangs of "Yugos" and "Turks," in the gritty second novel in Lapidus's Stockholm Noir trilogy (after 2011's Easy Money). Mahmud al-Askori is a pawn in these tribal structures seduced by promises of easy money, sex, and drugs while trying to shield his family from the collateral damage of his pursuits. Meanwhile, Niklas Brogren, fresh from military service in Iraq, channels his aggression into a garbled feminism devoted to revenge for abused women. And a corpse found in Niklas's building attracts the attention of xenophobic cop Thomas Andr n, who's unsettled by an inaccurate autopsy report. Thomas unearths corruption far deeper than the everyday petty dishonesty of Stockholm's law enforcement; Niklas's crusade takes an increasingly violent turn; and Mahmud thrashes helplessly against increasing gang pressures. Despite the book's sprawling length, its morally ambiguous characters and rough street argot will compel reader attention to the last page.