Review: Liza Marklund – Without a Trace

512YKfQrIgL._SX317_BO1,204,203,200_Swedish journalist Annika Bengtzon is one of my favourite investigators in modern crime fiction. She’s the principal reason that I read Liza Marklund’s books because, as a character, Annika is so believable. As readers we’ve been taken through a series of failed romances, childbirth, house disasters and work traumas. Annika has remained the same person throughout: tenacious and brave. It’s always a pleasure to revisit her and I’m sorry that we’re nearing the end of the series.

In Without a Trace, Annika is assigned to the story of former politician Ingemar Lerberg who has been found tortured and half-alive in his home. His wife, Nora, is missing and is being hunted by a team led by Nina Hoffman from the National Police Force. But at Kvällspressen, Annika’s paper, her editor-in-chief is being hounded over a documentary he made years earlier about a missing billionaire’s wife, Viola Söderland.

Marklund’s plots often mix politics, work troubles and family life and Without a Trace follows in this vein. She cleverly links the disorder of the victim’s family with that of Annika’s as the journalist attempts to create a home with her new boyfriend, Jimmy, and his children. Her estranged husband, Thomas, is festering after the trauma of captivity in Somalia and his bitterness toward Annika seems extreme but in keeping with his character.

There’s a fair amount of violence at the beginning of the book. The opening chapter isn’t for the faint hearted (like me) but it was great to revisit Marklund’s world. It’s a series that always manages to combine good writing with interesting plots.

Thanks to Transworld for my review copy. The translation was by Neil Smith.

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6 thoughts on “Review: Liza Marklund – Without a Trace

  1. I like Annika Bengtzon very much too, Sarah. I think she is a very human character. In my opinion, another strength of this series is the way Marklund weaves together the various plot strands As you know, not as easy as it seems! Thanks for the fine review, as ever.

  2. I just finished Borderline, the book before this one. What a shocker! The whole book leaves one shaken up; so many awful events, and then the ending is surprising. Annika Bengtzon’s life is not a usual one, we know that. But this book soars to new heights.
    There is a lot of brutality, some of which I wish I hadn’t read. But Annika continues her life, despite the events.
    I can’t wait to read this one.

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