Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Swimmer (Book Review)

Title: The Swimmer
Author: Joakim Zander,
Publication Information: Harper Collins, 2015 (originally published in 2013 in Sweden)
Genre: Suspense
Setting:  Sweden, Syria, Brussels, United States 
Plot: Klara Walld√©en, raised in a remote part of Sweden by loving grandparents, studied law at the university in Uppsala, where she fell in love with Mammoud Shammosh, a student with a dark past unknown to her.   He ends their romance when Klara is offered the chance to study at the London School of Economics, and when the story begins Klara is working as a legislative aide in Brussels for the EU Parliament.  When Mammoud comes to Brussels as a successful Ph.D. student to give a lecture, an old acquaintance reveals long-held secret that puts Mammoud in immediate danger.  Once he contacts Klara for help, she is also in risk of her life.   The only person who can help Klara is the American father she never knew.  He gave up all claim to her as a baby but has never stopped checking on her safety from afar.  When the past catches up to the present and he realizes she is in danger, he leaves his long-cherished anonymity to race across the word to her side but will he be in time to save her?

Audience: Fans of suspense; Swedish crime fiction

What I liked: I have not read any Swedish fiction since my childhood devotion to Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren and The Mysterious Schoolmaster books by Karin Anckarsv√§rd (both of which I recommend), and may be one of the few who never got around to reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  I think that was one of the reasons I was interested in reading this book.   After a very slow start and initial difficulty in keeping the characters’ back stories straight, I found the plot unusual and compelling, although I still had some questions after it ended and thought there were a few too many coincidences.  

Klara is an interesting heroine, raised to hunt and fish (not that such skills better equip someone to flee from masked killers but I suppose it makes one more intrepid) but able to excel in the classroom and appreciative of vintage fashion and obscure music.   I especially liked her loyal friend from law school, Gabriella, about to make partner at a Swedish law firm who has a lot to lose by getting involved in an international scandal, yet doesn’t hesitate to come to Klara’s aid.  Although Klara gets drawn into the intrigue by accident, it is her involvement that makes the book compelling.  The reader might not care about the other figures in this drama.
Source: I received The Swimmer from the TLC Book Tours in return for an honest review, and invite you to visit other stops on the tour to read what others thought of this entertaining book.

Here's the tour schedule:

Tuesday, February 10th: Bibiotica
Wednesday, February 11th: Man of La Book
Friday, February 13th: Dreams, Etc.
Monday, February 16th: My Bookish Ways
Wednesday, February 18th: Jorie Loves a Story
Thursday, February 19th: Annabel & Alice
Friday, February 20th: Kritters Ramblings
Monday, February 23rd: Stephany Writes
Tuesday, February 24th: A Dream Within a Dream
Wednesday, February 25th: Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Thursday, February 26th: Ace and Hoser Blook
Monday, March 2nd: The Discerning Reader
Tuesday, March 3rd: Novel Escapes
Thursday, March 5th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, March 6th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Wednesday, March 11th: Many Hats

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour!