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by Liza Marklund , read by India Fisher
Brilliance, April 2014
Unabridged pages
ISBN: 1469209357

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Annika Bengtzon is a newspaper reporter extraordinaire. She is an old fashioned, hard-nosed investigator who often finds herself butting heads with her editor and the new streamlined newsroom. THE LONG SHADOW is the eighth Annika Bengtzon novel released in the United States. It picks up Annika's life where the thriller LIFETIME ended with Annika struggling to adjust to being single while sharing custody of her children and crossing paths with her ex professionally.

Annika hasn't even unpacked in her new flat arranged for her by a friend in the government when she is sent by her editor to Spain to cover the murder of a family living in the Swedish colony. Annika quickly learns that this is just the latest in a string of break-ins where the residents were gassed before the robbery. However, this is the first time someone has been murdered and further, it is unclear what, if anything, was taken in the break-in. She also discovers that the husband is a former NHL hockey star and that there is an older daughter in the family who either escaped from the attack or was not at home that night. While Annika is anxious to follow the story of the missing girl, her editor wants her to drop the story and look into the drug trade connection between Spain and Scandinavia. Readers of previous Annika books will not be surprised that Annika chooses to do both, racing headlong into danger to get her story.

The narrator of this book, India Fisher, did an excellent job of giving life to Annika. The changing voice for the various characters helps bring the story alive for the listener. I honestly believe that because of the fine job of narrating, the audio of this book does a better job of building the suspense than the book in print might. Brilliance Audio closes each CD with music alerting readers it is time to switch CDs. The next disc starts with repeating the last sentence or two from the previous disc to help readers, who may not be listening straight through, to pick up on where the story left off on the previous disc.

One thing that does not work well with this audio, and audio books in general is the prologue. The very first disc drops readers into the prologue with no way to look ahead or at book flaps or whatever to see what this might have to do with the plot itself. How the prologue figures into the plot of THE LONG SHADOW is not clear until quite a bit later and without being able to turn the pages back and read through parts of the prologue again, is frustrating. This is not unique to this book but rather to any book with a prologue in the audio format.

Annika Bengtzon is a fascinating character who tends to be a little brash in her efforts to get her story. THE LONG SHADOW's plot is a bit more involved than some of the previous books and there are a few plotlines that have their roots in the earlier books. However overall, any reader who enjoys books with a reporter for a protagonist or multi-continent thrillers should be able to pick up THE LONG SHADOW and sit back for a pleasant few hours of listening enjoyment.

Caryn St.Clair resides in University City, Missouri and is a former elementary school media specialist, President of the Parks Commission and a docent at the St.Louis Zoo.

Reviewed by Caryn St Clair, June 2014

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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