Related to: 'Mats Strandberg'

riverrun

Home Grown

Joan Smith
Authors:
Joan Smith

What do the attacks in London Bridge, Manchester and Westminster have in common with those at the Charlie Hebdo offices, the Finsbury Park Mosque attack and multiple US shootings? They were all carried out by men with histories of domestic violence.TERRORISM BEGINS AT HOME. Terrorism is seen as a special category of crime that has blinded us to the obvious - that it is, almost always, male violence. The extraordinary link between so many tragic recent attacks is that the perpetrators have practised in private before their public outbursts. In these searing case studies, Joan Smith, feminist and human rights campaigner, makes a compelling and persuasive argument for a radical shift in perspective. Incomprehensible ideology is transformed through her clear-eyed research into a disturbing but familiar pattern.From the Manchester bomber to the Charlie Hebdo attackers, from angry white men to the Bethnal Green girls, from US school shootings to the London gang members who joined ISIS, Joan Smith shows that, time and time again, misogyny, trauma and abuse lurk beneath the rationalizations of religion or politics. Until Smith pointed it out in 2017, criminal authorities missed this connection because violence against women is dangerously normalised. Yet, since domestic abuse often comes before a public attack, it's here a solution to the scourge of our age might be found. Thought-provoking and essential, Home-Grown will lift the veil on a revelatory truth.

riverrun

I'll Keep You Safe

Peter May
Authors:
Peter May

THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER FROM THE MILLION-SELLING AUTHOR OF CAST IRON, COFFIN ROAD AND THE BLACKHOUSEWHATEVER HAPPENSNiamh and Ruairidh Macfarlane co-own the Hebridean company Ranish Tweed. On a business trip to Paris to promote their luxury brand, Niamh learns of Ruairidh's affair, and then looks on as he and his lover are killed by a car bomb. She returns home to Lewis, bereft.I'LL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR YOUNiamh begins to look back on her life with Ruairidh, desperate to identify anyone who may have held a grudge against him. The French police, meanwhile, have ruled out terrorism, and ruled in murder - and sent Detective Sylvie Braque to shadow their prime suspect: Niamh.I'LL KEEP YOU SAFE, NO MATTER WHATAs one woman works back through her memories, and the other moves forward with her investigation, the two draw ever closer to a deadly enemy with their own, murderous, designs.'Peter May is a writer I would follow to the ends of the earth' New York Times

Jo Fletcher Books

Blood Cruise

Mats Strandberg
Authors:
Mats Strandberg

'Blood Cruise is terrifying and terrifyingly real, a must-read for fans of Stephen King and John Ajvide Lindqvist' - Elizabeth Hand, author of Generation Loss and Hard LightOn the Baltic Sea, no one can hear you scream. Tonight, twelve hundred expectant passengers have joined the booze-cruise between Sweden and Finland. The creaking old ship travels this same route, back and forth, every day of the year.But this trip is going to be different.In the middle of the night the ferry is suddenly cut off from the outside world. There is nowhere to escape. There is no way to contact the mainland. And no one knows who they can trust.Welcome aboard the Baltic Charisma.'I will never set foot on a cruise ship again!' - Åsa Larsson, bestselling author of The Second Deadly Sin and Until thy Wrath Be Past

riverrun

Testament

Kim Sherwood
Authors:
Kim Sherwood

'What a writer. I was totally captivated. Moving and ultimately uplifting' HEATHER MORRIS, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz'I am absorbed by the delicacy, even the beauty, with which she writes of the trauma of history' AMIT CHAUDHURIWINNER OF THE BATH NOVEL AWARDOf everyone in her complicated family, Eva was closest to her grandfather: a charismatic painter - and a keeper of secrets. So when he dies, she's hit by a greater loss - of the questions he never answered, and the past he never shared.It's then she finds the letter from the Jewish Museum in Berlin. They have uncovered the testimony he gave after his forced labour service in Hungary, which took him to the death camps and then to England as a refugee. This is how he survived.But there is a deeper story that Eva will unravel - of how her grandfather learnt to live afterwards. As she confronts the lies that have haunted her family, their identity shifts and her own takes shape. The testament is in her hands.Kim Sherwood's extraordinary first novel is a powerful statement of intent. Beautifully written, moving and hopeful, it crosses the tidemark where the third generation meets the first, finding a new language to express love, legacy and our place within history.

MacLehose Press

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye

David Lagercrantz
Authors:
David Lagercrantz
riverrun

Almost Love

Louise O'Neill
Authors:
Louise O'Neill
Jo Fletcher Books

City of Miracles

Robert Jackson Bennett
Authors:
Robert Jackson Bennett

Sigrud je Harkvaldsson is back, and this time he's out for vengeance. Shara Komayd, once Prime Minister of Saypur, has been assassinated. News travels fast and far, even to a remote logging town somewhere northwest of Bulikov, where the silent Dreyling worker 'Bjorn' picks up the newspaper and walks out. He is shocked and grieved and furious; he's been waiting thirteen years for Shara, his closest friend, to tell him to come home. Now he has no one else in his life, and nothing to live for - except to find the people who did this. Sigrud wasn't there for the death of his daughter, and he wasn't there when Shara was murdered. Now 'Bjorn' is dead and Sigrud is back. And he will find answers, for Shara, and for himself. He's made a promise . . .The awesome climax to the fantasy thrillers City of Stairs and City of Blades.

Quercus

Killing Goldfinger

Wensley Clarkson
Authors:
Wensley Clarkson

KILLING GOLDFINGER charts the extraordinary rise and spectacular bullet-riddled fall of John Palmer, the richest, most powerful criminal ever to have emerged from the modern British underworld. During the late 1990s, Palmer was rated as rich as The Queen by the Sunday Times Rich List.Palmer earned his nickname Goldfinger after smelting (in his back garden) tens of millions of pounds worth of stolen gold bullion from the 20th century's most lucrative heist; the Brink's-Mat robbery. Palmer then used his share of the millions to become the vicious overlord of a vast illegal timeshare property empire in Tenerife. At the same time, Goldfinger financed huge international drugs shipments as well as some of the most notorious UK robberies of the past 30 years, including the £50m Securitas heist in Kent in 2006 and, many believe, the Hatton Garden heist in 2015.Palmer vowed to hunt down all his underworld enemies. But in the end it was those same criminals who decided to bring his life to an end. Murdered in June 2015, with charges of fraud, money laundering and worse pending, this book tells his murky story for the first time.As outrageous and bullet-riddled as the hit Netflix series Narcos, Killing Goldfinger tells the true story of Britain's underworld kingpin, who turned the sunshine holiday island of Tenerife into his very own Crime Incorporated and then paid the ultimate price.

Quercus

Heat

Kay Plunkett Hogge
Authors:
Kay Plunkett Hogge
Jo Fletcher Books

K.I.D.S.

Trevor Hoyle
Authors:
Trevor Hoyle
Jo Fletcher Books

Blood Will Follow

Snorri Kristjansson
Authors:
Snorri Kristjansson

In this epic new entry to The Valhalla Saga, blood will be spilled, bonds will be tested and long-buried secrets will be revealed . . .Ulfar Thormodsson and Audun Arngrimsson survived the battle for Stenvik, although at huge cost. They have suffered much worse than heartbreak: they have lost the very thing that made them human. Their mortality. While Ulfar heads home, looking for the place where he thinks he will be safe, Audun runs south. But both men are about to discover that they cannot run away from themselves. King Olav has left the conquered town of Stenvik in the hands of his lieutenant so he can journey north, following Valgard in the search for the source of the Vikings' power. And all the while older beings watch and wait, biding their time. There are secrets yet to be discovered . . .'Fans of David Gemmell's work should feel right at home with this one' Starburst Magazine

Jo Fletcher Books

Swords of Good Men

Snorri Kristjansson
Authors:
Snorri Kristjansson

A deadly war is coming to Stenvik - and in the clash between old and new, only the strongest will survive. As punishment for disgracing his father, Ulfar Thormodsson has spent two bitterly uncomfortable years on the road, tasked with taking his highborn cousin Geiri on a tour of the kingdom. Now his journey is almost at an end - the walled town of Stenvik will be their final stop.But Stenvik will soon become the battleground in a deadly war between the old gods and the new: King Olav is bringing the White Christ to the masses at point of sword and edge of blade, while a Viking horde led by a mysterious woman is sailing from the north.And Ulfar is about to learn that not all enemies are outside the walls . . .'For Vikings done right, come to Snorri Kristjansson' - Mark Lawrence, bestselling author of Red Sister

Jo Fletcher Books

A Book of Horrors

Stephen Jones
Authors:
Stephen Jones

Don't turn out the lights . . . but open the cover, if you dare, and reveal the chilling delights that await you within the pages of A Book of Horrors. 'Stephen King, John Ajvide Linqvist, Lisa Tuttle and many more masters of the macabre issue a call to arms for the horror story in this collection of the very best in chiller fiction edited by Stephen Jones, one of the world's premier anthologists' - Crime TimeStephen Jones, Britain's most acclaimed horror editor, has gathered together masters of the macabre from across the world in this cornucopia of classic chills and modern menaces. Within these pages you will discover the most successful and exciting writers of horror and dark fantasy today, with a spine-chilling selection of stories displaying the full diversity of the genre, from classic pulp style to more contemporary psychological tales, to cutting-edge terror fiction that will leave you uneasily looking over your shoulder, or in the wardrobe, or under the bed . . . An original anthology of all-new horror and dark fantasy fiction, in all of its many and magnificent guises, by those devoted to the dark side. Including stories by Ramsey Campbell, Peter Crowther, Dennis Etchison, Elizabeth Hand, Brian Hodge, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Stephen King, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Richard Christian Matheson, Reggie Oliver, Robert Shearman, Angela Slatter, Michael Marshall Smith and Lisa Tuttle.

riverrun

Cell 8

Anders Roslund, Börge Hellström
Authors:
Anders Roslund, Börge Hellström
Quercus

Relish

Prue Leith
Authors:
Prue Leith
MacLehose Press

The Girl Who Played With Fire

Stieg Larsson
Authors:
Stieg Larsson

Trevor Hoyle

Trevor Hoyle was born in Lancashire, and started out as an actor before moving to the other side of the screen as a full-time writer. His award-winning short fiction and novels range from hard-edged thrillers to comedy to science fiction, including his most recent blockbuster, the eco-thriller The Last Gasp. He has also written for the radio (his first radio play, GIGO, won the Radio Times Drama Award) and TV, including the cult TV series Blake's 7; his bestselling novelisations include Blake's 7, which he co-wrote with Terry Nation, the show's creator, followed by Blake's 7: Project Avalon and Blake's 7: Scorpio Attack. His novel Rule of Night was a Time Out Book of the Week. He's also won the Transatlantic Review Erotic Fiction Award and the Ray Mort Northern Novel Award. After travelling the world, he returned to his roots, and once again lives in Lancashire.

Stephen Jones

Stephen Jones is the multiple-award-winning editor and author of more than 100 books in the film, horror and fantasy genres. A former television director/producer and movie publicist and consultant (including the first three Hellraiser movies with Clive Barker), he has edited the critically acclaimed anthology series Best New Horror for more than 20 years. He lives in Wembley, Middlesex, and travels widely. His website can be found at www.stephenjoneseditor.com.

Q&A with Andreas Norman

If there was a film of Into A Raging Blaze, who do you think would play the main characters of Bente Jensen, the Secret Service Head, and Carina Dymek, the civil servant on the run? Well, the Swedish original of Into A Raging Blaze (En rasande eld), is actually being adapted for bigscreen right now by a major Swedish film company. They are right now starting to cast it! But then of course, Bente and Carina will be played by Swedish actors. In a British remake I would love to see a character actress like Jodie Foster or Imelda Staunton play Bente, who could take on that utterly unsentimental, tough-minded, no-nonsense type of woman. Carina – I think Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emily Blunt or Sarah Solemani would be perfect for the role. Brainy actresses with a lot of energy. You worked in the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for ten years in Counter-terrorism and Security. Can you tell us anything about the kinds of projects you worked on, and what it was like? They were mainly projects launched to prevent further terrorism – in other words, the recruitment and radicalisation of individuals and groups in countries around the world. I can't tell you much more, it is all very classified information; other than that we worked in partnership with other countries on this, and their police forces, intelligence agencies as well as various local non-governmental organisations. Our main slogan was: counter-terrorism without the respect for human rights is counter-productive. That was a one-liner I came up with, actually, in order to easily convey the Swedish view on these matters. And I still believe that it is absolutely valid. If you violate people's basic rights, you will end up with more politically motivated violence, and that is unfortunately what is happening today in, for example, Pakistan and many other places around the world today. How much is the diplomatic service as portrayed in the novel based on your experience of that world? The descriptions of the Ministry’s interior and other places are absolutely authentic; you could use the book for a guided tour around the Swedish MFA and the Government offices! If you ever visit the pub Pickwick’s on the corner of Fredsgatan and Drottninggatan in Stockholm, where all the civil servants hang out after work, look out for the elk head hanging on the inner wall. You'll find that place, and all other locations in the book exactly as I describe them. It was great fun to portray my workplace and the people in it. There are such a wealth of stories and characters in the diplomatic and intelligence community, that for most of the time remain untold, unseen, due to the secrecy that surrounds the trade. At the same time, there’s a lot that is universal which every person who spends their days in an office can easily relate to: the struggle for having an office with a nice view, the byzantine procedure for requisitioning an ergonomic chair, the career angst, all that. You left the Ministry to become a full time writer. What do your former colleagues think of the novel? Were you worried about revealing any government secrets? They think it’s great! I was surprised and happy to get so many positive reactions from colleagues in the MFA. Dozens of ambassadors and desk officers from all over the world have emailed me to congratulate me on what they felt was both a very entertaining and wholly accurate panorama of the rather absurd everyday life in the foreign service. I think many felt that, for once, their profession and work life had been portrayed in an authentic way. I wasn't worried for a second that I would reveal any secrets. I'm so used to handling classified information, you know, and the people in the ministry knows that. But just to be sure, I actually read my first draft as if I were looking for intelligence, classified procedures, etc. In some cases I obscured one or two details to make sure that Into A Raging Blaze would be useless – as intelligence, I mean. Your novel has a plot point whereby British agencies and GCHQ use cyber-spying to access private communications in European countries, even from governments. Was this based on fact when you wrote it, and if so, how did you come across the information? Sure, this is common practice. Just look at what Snowden revealed: NSA tapping the mobile phones of Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. My book basically outlines GCHQ’s mass surveillance programme code-named Tempora. I was not aware of the code name at the time I wrote the book, but knew something like this existed. That was in 2009. It was also in this period that NSA got enormously enhanced capacities to collect and store data, and later, to mine them. They were building big new facilities in Utah for data storage. As part of my job in the Foreign Ministry, I had the opportunity to learn how the signals intelligence agencies were organised, their methods, their technology. It was top secret back then; now you can find all about it on Google in an instant. Since you wrote the novel and it was published in Sweden, the world woke up to the same reality when Julian Assange published Edward Snowden’s leaked documents. What was the reaction to your book when this happened? A lot of readers were surprised by how close to reality my book actually was. Everyone who read it reacted with, ‘Wow, did you know about all this?’ Especially since the depth of the partnerships between NSA, GCHQ and the Swedish signals intelligence agency FRA was revealed later that year. Then even political op ed's in the main Swedish papers started using my book as a starting point for discussing the surveillance scandal, which thrilled me. The Swedish agency took a lot of criticism for being mixed up in the mass surveillance revealed by Snowden, and my story pointed towards precisely this partnership. It´s called Five Eyes, by the way. Al Gore has now come out in support of Snowden. What do you think of Snowden’s and Assange’s actions, and the reaction to them? I completely agree with Al Gore's statement. Snowden has done everyone a great service. Leaking classified information is always damaging someone, and sure, if it’s being revealed to the public, there is a risk of jeopardizing national security or hampering operations that can save lives. But when state agencies like the NSA or GCHQ operate massive systems that violate the basic civil rights of millions of innocent people, and do so without any democratic control, you end up with a state within the state; an omnipotent machine working outside the boundaries of democratic society, and that is very dangerous. That cannot be tolerated in an open, democratic, rule of law-based society. Assange created the platform for leaks, and Snowden provided the content. How uncomfortable it ever may be for state agencies and corporate executives, I think society will always need whistle-blowers like them. That the intelligence community reacts with horror is no surprise. Disappointing, but not a surprise at all, is the way the Obama administration is pursuing whistle-blowers like Snowden and Manning, in spite of their rethoric about openness. What is most worrying is the complacency of the public. But I think this is due to the fact that we, the ordinary internet users, have no alternative to the internet. Even though our digital lives are being monitored we have no real way to protest, since you can't really say, ‘Hey, I'll stop using the internet and go buy some other product!’ In a way, it shows the limits of consumer power. What is needed are sound state policies that put citizen rights first. The leaked documents in your novel are plans for a Europe-wide intelligence service that would not only cross borders, but skirt national and international law in the name of counter-terrorism. Are there any signs that this is a real possibility, and what would you consider are the major risks of such an operation? The idea came to me when I learned about the US drone warfare in Pakistan. There you have exactly this situation. The US Air Force fly thousands of drone missions for the CIA over Pakistan every year. They fly wherever they want, target whomever they want, regardless of Pakistani law, and probably also in violation of international law. What if drone missions were carried out over UK soil, with the silent approval of the British government and the EU? That is the question I hope my book raises. Even more chilling is that the US administration also targets its own citizens, putting not only foreigners but Americans on so-called 'kill lists'. This practice not only violates basic rights of individuals, but weakens the judicial system, and corrodes the trust we put in our governments. It's a disturbing development. Your fictional ‘European Intelligence Service’ had a clause allowing American services to launch attacks within European borders if they could justify a potential threat. Your novel shows convincing ‘threats’ can easily be created from little evidence. Do you think that US intelligence services pushes the boundaries of acceptable strategy, and how much are European services in thrall to them? Yes, well, you know, intelligence services are masters of fabrication and betrayal. To fabricate ‘threats’ to support wars and other foreign policy adventures are textbook tactics. Just think of the introduction to the Iraqi war, and the massive fabrication of ‘threats’ back then. Or the last and current US administration's circumvention of international law, in order to justify huge counter-terrorism operations. Today, the Obama administration have moved more towards extrajudicial assinations, drones and special forces operations, and the CIA, together with parts of the US military, like the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) have turned into smooth war machines. What if it would lie in the interests of the US to launch the same counter-terrorism operations they carry out in Afghanistan or northern Pakistan in the heart of Europe, and the EU would condone it? That question lies at the core of my book. It's fiction, but at the same close to reality. Because all intelligence services depend more or less on each other. You trade intel, you build alliances. The US service is the most powerful player, simply on the strength of their vast capacities. They can push boundaries to fit their objectives and cooperate with European services when it serves their interests. The Brits have a privileged position in this business, being very close to the US system, whereas the Swedes are just a minor, but useful partner. As I put it in Into A Raging Blaze: the Brits and Americans create the weather of tomorrow, while the Swedes are forced to guess the forecast. In the novel, a young Egyptian-born civil servant in the Swedish Ministry of Justice is suspected of being linked to a terrorist cell. How much do you think immigrated Arabs, North Africans and people of Islamic origin are at risk of being unjustly persecuted? Or is paranoia justified in the face of a terrorist threat? Intelligence services nurture professional paranoia, and rightly so; it’s part of their job description to be suspicious. But in the today’s era of counter-terrorism, with its strong focus on Islamic fundamentalism, whole Muslim minorities run the risk of being regarded as a ‘problem’, or an environment conducive to political violence and terrorism. When a security service try to pin down someone who might pose a terrorist threat, a large number of people are screened, which is standard procedure for all investigations. The problem is, with the mass surveillance currently in use, it is possible to screen literally millions, which means that whole populations of Muslims or immigrants – for example, everyone in the UK with the surename ‘Mohammad’ – could be routinely monitored. This is a depressing reality, and adds to the strong islamophobic tendencies we witness in Europe today. In the UK, John Le Carré’s novels were instrumental in forming the spy compromised group in opposition to the realpolitik practices of ‘big brother’ CIA. In your novel there’s a similar relationship, but between the Swedish and British, relatively. Is this a realistic portrayal? Yes, absolutely! The only difference is, Swedes are nicer because they are weaker and further down the food chain in global politics. If Swedish services had the same spying capacity as the colleagues in Vauxhall, not to mention Langley, they would be meaner, I'm sure. But there are historic reasons as well to why Swedish services are less ruthless than their AngloSaxon counterparts: we have not been forced to fight for our survival in World War II or fight terrorism at home; we have no recent colonial history, no real ambition to dominate the world – other than perhaps through exports of pop music, cars and crime novels. Swedish intelligence services are just small, efficient sub-suppliers in the global security business. It’s funny you mention LeCarré, since his latest novel A Delicate Truth is quite a turnaround where he portrays the British government and the MI6 as the corrupt and morally rotten ones, don't you agree? I hope Mr LeCarré nods in approval of my portrayal of the Swedish-British relationship. The recent European elections saw a surge in extreme right-wing groups gaining votes. Why do you think this is, and how might it affect counter-terrorism and relationships between diplomatic services? Oh, I just get depressed when I think about the recent EU-parliament election . . .The reasons for this can probably be found in the recent economic recession that plagued many European countries since the Lehman Brothers crash in 2008. Europe is being strongly affected by globalization, and financial crises with immediate repercussions in national economies, resulting in redunduncies and harsher everyday lives for a lot of people. This generates fear and hatred. When citizens don't feel that there is a social contract anymore, that there is no state to provide them with basic services, there is always a temptation to join the populist chant. It’s easy to blame immigrants, or a weak minority with no voice, like the Roma. Fascism offers a tempting dream of unity and strength. It’s an enthusiastic ideology, selling easy solutions. Unfortunately, a lot of people are lost in this dream nowadays. To diplomats, the appearance of right-wing extremists in leading positions around Europe complicates bilateral relations. Some relations will become frosty, new alliances will be made. For example, a social liberal democracy like Sweden cannot rely on support from Hungary or Denmark in the EU-council for its view on migration. And so on. For professionals in the intelligence services, an increase of militant right-wing extremists of course means more work, and in the long-term perhaps also a shift towards monitoring right-wing terrorist networks more closely. After the Utöya massacre and the bombing of the Norwegian government offices in 2012, this has certainly been the case with Norwegian and Swedish security services. What are you writing next? I have a book out in autumn, 9,3 på Richterskalan (9,3 on the Richter scale). It's an eyewitness account of my days in Thailand after the tsunami on Boxing Day 2004. I was sent to Thailand as a member of some one the first response teams, being a young diplomat who just entered the service. My publisher calls it a harrowing read, I suppose it is. Right now, I'm writing the sequel to Into A Raging Blaze. You'll see more of Bente Jensen, this time in a family crisis with lethal consequences. Surveillance, counter-espionage, deadly lies and deception, all against the backdrop of the recent Crimea crisis. That’s about all I can tell you, the rest is classified!

First stop: Sweden

Discover Lisbeth Salander

The first stop on our summer reading round the world tour is Sweden, to visit the one and only Lisbeth Salander. Lisbeth stormed back into the bestseller charts last summer in the gripping fourth installment in the Millennium series, The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz. Here we talk to Team MacLehose about what they think makes Lisbeth so special... The typescripts of the first two and a half volumes of the Millennium trilogy that came from the Swedish publisher Norstedts came in English. The first book was then called MEN WHO HATE WOMEN, bizarrely translated by the French as MEN WHO DO NOT LOVE WOMEN. I have often wondered about the reactions of the many editors who read it before it came to the embryo MacLehose Press. I know of the response of one very distinguished American editor, who said that he had spent three weeks working on the first 70 pages, trying to edit them into shape, but it wasn’t worth the candle or he had no more time, I don’t remember which. The beginning of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, as it came to be known, is, it is true, unlike the rest of the novel. It covers ground that readers of modern crime stories will have found familiar. The first fifty pages of the novel betray almost no hint of the furnace of excitement to come. And then the reader meets Lisbeth Salander, a character who has no match in contemporary fiction, and from that moment Stieg Larsson and his Ariel-like spirit held the world in their hands, and still do. This wild, vengeful and exceedingly clever anarchist is a spirit for our times, a beautiful and brilliant creation. Impossible not to think of her own Prospero with terrible sadness even as we are reminded of Salander’s birthday. Of all the homages to the birthday girl, is there an apter one than Mario Vargas Llosa’s? The Nobel Laureate wrote: "I have just spent a few weeks with all of my experienced reader’s critical defences swept away by the cyclonic force of a story… Welcome to the immortality of fiction, Lisbeth Salander!" CHRISTOPHER MACLEHOSE, Publisher I was completely riveted by the sheer audacity of Larsson’s creation in Lisbeth Salander when I first read a proof copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It must have been in the Autumn of 2007, a few months before she was revealed to English readers. A rare and memorable night of no sleep - I was in awe and in tatters. The attraction of a complex character who is so persistently underestimated, her projected appearance so deceptive – she’s tiny and a girl, she’s a punk, she’s damaged and in the care system. But this complexity transfers to strengths: she’s learned to rely on no-one, her tremendous skills are self-taught and she knows she has nothing to lose. She goes into Terminator Mode. There is something about the pace and poise of Larsson’s delivery that kept this reader entirely hooked. A line is played out and rapidly pulled in; Lisbeth disappears for long stretches of the narrative (for much of The Girl Who Played with Fire), from the investigative eye, from the reader’s page, but it is Lisbeth that we most want to read about. And Larsson delivers her to us at exactly the right moment – absence and reappearance. Silent cheers and goosebumps. A character of contrasts who reveals herself in a series of acts, the violence of which can appall. And yet she doesn’t lose us for a moment. In many crime novels the main protagonist/hero is sketched out at the beginning; a paragraph of past trauma, current addictions, complicated personal relationships. With Lisbeth, her persona shifts, her preferences are entirely unpredictable. I have never read a crime novel in which unpredictability becomes a strength. And yet, simultaneously, she possesses such extraordinary righteous integrity. Stieg Larsson makes all but the very finest of his competitors seem plodding and derivative, and with the creative brilliance of David Lagercrantz this most exceptional of heroines is brought back to life. More cheering and goosebumps. KATHARINA BIELENBERG, Associate Publisher, MacLehose Press