The Andalucian Friend
by Alexander Soderberg

Overview - A Monumental International Crime Thriller That Brad Thor Calls ""The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" meets "The Sopranos.""
Enemies Are Everywhere
When Sophie Brinkmann--nurse, widow, single mother--meets Hector Guzman, her life is uneventful.

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More About The Andalucian Friend by Alexander Soderberg
A Monumental International Crime Thriller That Brad Thor Calls ""The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" meets "The Sopranos.""
Enemies Are Everywhere
When Sophie Brinkmann--nurse, widow, single mother--meets Hector Guzman, her life is uneventful. She likes his quiet charm and easy smile; she likes the way he welcomes her into his family. She quickly learns, though, that his smooth facade masks something much more sinister.
Guzman is the head of a powerful international crime ring with a reach into drugs and weapons that extends from Europe to South America. His interests are under siege by a ruthless German syndicate who will stop at nothing to stake their claim. But the Guzmans are fighters and will go to war to protect what's rightfully theirs. The conflict quickly escalates to become a deadly turf war between the rival organizations that includes an itinerant arms dealer, a deeply disturbed detective, a vicious hit man, and a wily police chief. Sophie, too, is unwittingly caught in the middle. She must summon everything within her to navigate this intricate web of moral ambiguity, deadly obsession, and craven gamesmanship.
"The Andalucian Friend" is a powerhouse of a novel--turbo-charged, action-packed, highly sophisticated, and epic in scope--and announces Alexander Soderberg as the most exciting new voice in thrillers in a generation.

  • ISBN-13: 9780770436056
  • ISBN-10: 0770436056
  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Publish Date: March 2013
  • Page Count: 446

Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Thrillers

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-01-07
  • Reviewer: Staff

Söderberg’s excellent debut, the first in a projected trilogy, chronicles a global turf war among Spanish drug runners, German gangsters, Russian hit men, and Swedish cops. Caught up in this chaos is nurse Sophie Brinkmann, whose life since the death of her husband has revolved around her 15-year-old son and her work at a Stockholm hospital. A patient of hers, Hector Guzman, unleashes long-dormant emotions by taking her to restaurants and a poetry reading, as well as by introducing her to his family. Hector, a Spanish publisher, also leads a crime syndicate, which has ties to a transatlantic drug trade and is at war with rival gangs. Sophie becomes the target of Gunilla Strandberg and her unscrupulous squad of police detectives, who will do anything to get at Hector. The jam-packed plot’s big-picture view of politics, business, and an international crime ring illustrates how being surrounded by violence affects individuals. While Sophie is an innocent, she is no pushover. Her inner resolve helps her maneuver in precarious situations. Fans of Nordic thrillers will find much to like. Agent: Leyla Belle Drake, the Salmonsson Agency. (Mar.)

BookPage Reviews

A new voice in Swedish suspense

Fans of international mysteries, queue up! Two new Swedish suspense thrillers lead off this month’s selections, followed by an eerie English tale of revenge and a taut police procedural set in Brazil.

First up, a debut novel—Alexander Söderberg’s The Andalucian Friend, a tale of cutthroat mob bosses and the extraordinary lengths to which they will go to one-up one another. Unwittingly (and unwillingly) at the center of the action is Sophie, a nurse and single mom whose charitable instincts toward her patient—the leader of a crime ring—could wind up costing her the thing she values most in life: her teenage son. Told largely in flashback, the story takes place to a great degree in Sweden, but the electrifying final chapters are set in Spain’s Costa del Sol, culminating in a car/motorcycle gunfight that just begs for a film adaptation. Söderberg writes exceptionally well-drawn and sympathetic characters, demonstrates an easy familiarity with diverse European locales, and has the chops to move a story along with the best of them. All in all, The Andalucian Friend is yet one more compelling reason to read Scandinavian suspense novels, some of the finest in the genre today.

If you need additional persuasion to read mysteries from the Land of the Midnight Sun, look no further than suspense veteran Åke Edwardson, whose Room No. 10 is his seventh  critically acclaimed police procedural featuring Chief Inspector Erik Winter. This time out, Winter investigates the suspicious death of a young woman found hanged in a tatty hotel room. The whole scene is more than a bit weird: The girl’s hand and forearm are covered in white enamel paint; the note she left behind is somewhat cryptic; and the chair from which she supposedly jumped to her death bears no indication of having been stood upon. A troubling set of circumstances, to be sure. The case resonates for Winter for another reason, however. Early in his career, he investigated a missing-persons case in the same hotel—a case that was never solved. On a whim he decides to see what room was involved. Naturally, it was Room No. 10. Coincidence, or a bizarre connection that spans decades? As always, Edwardson spins a wonderfully convoluted tale populated with a cast that has grown together over the years into a well-oiled investigative unit. Note: There is a case to be made for reading the Erik Winter novels in order, as once you read one, you’ll be back for the others, guaranteed. But don’t let that stop you from starting with this one!

Fifty pages into Erin Kelly’s superlative tale of revenge upon revenge, I found myself thinking: “Wow, folks who devour Sophie Hannah’s books are going to be over the moon about this one!” It’s not that the writing styles are derivative of one another, but rather both authors draw from a long tradition of English parlo(u)r mysteries that date back at least to Daphne du Maurier. Spanning three generations, The Burning Air tells the story of an obsessive mother who wants only the best for her child, and the retribution she is willing to exact when her efforts are stymied. I read enough mysteries that I quite often see the twist coming, sometimes many pages before the setup for the Big Reveal. This time, I was totally blindsided, to my dismay and—it must be said—to my delight. Even the good guys (and gals) in this story hide hampers full of dirty laundry, and in the end, some of those secrets will accompany their bearers to the grave. Taut, suspenseful and wickedly engaging, The Burning Air is one of the best mysteries to come out of England in recent memory.

Leighton Gage’s series featuring Brazilian Federal Police Inspector Mario Silva is a perennial personal favorite. Well-written police procedurals set in an exotic location . . . what’s not to like? Think of Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct transplanted to Brasília, and you wouldn’t be far off, although Gage’s stories exhibit a somewhat more serious bent. His latest, Perfect Hatred, finds Silva looking into a particularly nasty suicide bombing, in which a live infant was used to hide the shrapnel bomb in a baby carriage. He won’t be looking into it for long, though, because on the heels of one disaster inevitably comes another: this time, the assassination of a wildly popular, albeit polarizing, politician in front of an audience of several hundred thousand admirers. There is no question regarding the identity of the shooter, who is killed immediately after firing the fatal shot. Video of the scene adds a troubling detail, however. Another gun was drawn, seemingly in anticipation of the event, begging the question of whether a conspiracy was in play. When the second gunman turns up murdered in a nearby hospital, it becomes painfully evident that the “straightforward” assassination investigation is about to become considerably less straightforward. Perfect Hatred is hands down the first “do not miss” mystery of 2013!

BAM Customer Reviews