Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Into a Raging Blaze-Andreas Norman

Into a Raging Blaze-Andreas Norman
the facts
satisfaction: side
pages: 592
gender: M
nationality: Sweden
year: 2013
novel in translation
After being given a document, Carina Dymek, part of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accidentally leaks a classified document-something that would have long term consequences. Bente Jenson is tasked to find out how the document was leaked and how it is linked to extremist Islamic groups.
I don't know why but I just expected more intrigue. Maybe I'm just too inured by years of American and British espionage and bureaucratic corruption novels that the Scandinavian version was too subtle and civilized. There was just too much backstory. I'm not usually the sort who dislikes developed backstory but there was too much detail and I retained so little of it by the time the action picked up that I no longer remembered what had been explained to me. To write this summary, I had to relook up what the bureau involved was. I mean, yes, it added to the whole trusting the author that this could happen but still there was a lot that could have cut out and the novel would have benefited. And the actions of the characters really didn't improve things because there was such naivety at play within Carina's actions. She seems to not really think anything through.

Beyond my bellyaching, it is Bente who saves the day. The investigator is on top of her game and intelligent. She acts rationally and calmly as she shows a strength of character unmuddled by the blind governmental workermanship of Carina. It is definitely a brief of fresh air to read a novel in which the American and British agencies are the bad guys but the overall pace was far too slow.

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