Friday, February 1, 2013

Lifetime: A Novel (Annika Bengtzon #7) by Liza Marklund

Book: Lifetime: A Novel (Annika Bengtzon #7)
Author: Liza Marklund
Release date (if applicable): April 9, 2013

Synopsis: What do you do when you find out a fellow officer isn't who you think he is? When Officer Nina Hoffman comes onto the crime scene to find a fellow officer, David Lindholm, dead and his wife shot herself and rambling on about a woman who did the crime. Secrets regarding the private life of the officer leave members of the force shaking their heads and asking questions as to who David was privately. As it is released that the couple's son has been kidnapped, reporter Annika Bengtzon knows that she must research the truth about the case instead of letting the police blindly charge her friend, Julia, who happens to be David's wife and the police's main suspect. 
My rating: 3.5 Stars
My opinion: I must admit that I love this series by Liza Marklund. I must also admit that I have only read the first two books in the series before reading this one. I know that I must go in and fill the blanks though. Ms. Marklund does a wonderful job at laying out her storylines a piece at a time to keep the readers intrigued and asking questions. 

One of my pet peeves of this series continues to be too heavy of a focus on Annika's private life and the "emotions" that come along with it. One of my loves about the greater majority of Nordic Noir authors is that the genre tends to focus on "just the facts, ma'am" in regards to the mystery/crime. As I continue to read contemporaries of Ms. Marklund in  Nordic Noir, the better chunk have gotten away from doing the "emotions game". Ms. Marklund continues to do this though and it serves as a distraction from the true storyline.  I think that there is fine line in drawing a very nice balance in the "private" lives of the characters and the main storyline. In my humble opinion, it comes across as the primary storyline is unable to stand on its' own and needs the prop of "drama central" to give it a lift up.

Seeing that I have only read the first two of the series and now this one, I researched other reviews of this book. My first impression was that this book could be read as a stand alone; however, another reviewer who seemed to know the series very well stated this novel refers back significantly to other books in the series. As a result, I would say read the other books in the series first. It might help to have a better understanding of the characters and the storyline.

Source:  Edelweiss for Atria
Would I recommend? : Yes, but not as heavily as some other Nordic Noir authors. 
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Part of Series

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