John Adderley, FBI agent and all around suave dude, helps take down a major Nigerian drug trafficking group, and then heads into witness protection after being shot. His mother, who lives in Sweden, sends him a packet containing information related to the arrest of his brother, also in Sweden, for the murder of a young girl. It’s a cold case, now, and his mother insists that his brother is innocent. Instead of sitting around, waiting for the case against the Nigerians to wind its way through the legal system – and petty much blackmailing his boss – Adderley heads to Sweden to look into the case of Emile, the subject of the cold case.
Generally speaking, I really do enjoy Nordic noir. This was….ok. The idea of it was good: guy born in Sweden is taken by his father to the US, joins the FBI, goes undercover to bust up a drug ring, then goes to Sweden, undercover again under another name, to help with a cold case. It’s rather unusual, but I can go with it.
The book switches between 2009 and 2019, telling the backstory of Emile’s murder, and Adderley’s progression from undercover FBI agent to undercover cold case investigator in Sweden. The first half is chocked with quite a lot of first date information: who Adderley is, who the people around him are, and the situations both in the US and Sweden. I expect this from the first book in a new series, so I won’t ding it for that.
I will, however, ding it for taking up the entire first half of the book. We don’t need to know every single little detail – the descriptions of everything take forever to get through, and the book doesn’t really pick up the pace until about the 60% mark (on a Fire tablet).
In addition, Adderley is supposedly scare of a Nigerian hi team coming after him and the other FBI agent who was embedded in the same cell. But he dresses in (impeccable) suits and drives an American muscle car all over the place while at the same time ensuring that people remember him due to the way he acts an how perilously close he comes to revealing that he has been in contact with his family,which is a no-no, per his new Swedish handlers.
More bodies pile up, and I will give give credit to the authors for having a number of suspects, all with motives that could cast suspicion on them to be the culprit. The real culprit, though, is eventually caught, and Adderley and his Swedish handler do an absurdly ridiculous thing with him and the dead girl’s father.
Overall, it’s a good enough read that I’ll put it down with three stars.
Thanks to Abrams and NetGalley for the reading copy.