Emily Bestler Books/Atria, October 2012
Don’t worry that this is set in Sweden. Don’t worry about not being able to pronounce the names of the cities and streets. Just settle into a murder mystery with intriguing subplots, a vicious killer and a woman who just wants her life back on track. Liza Marklund delivers up another mystery set in the cold climes of Stockholm.
During the Nobel Prize festivities a prominent VIP is murdered. The victim was the chair of the Nobel prize committee and may have been murdered because of a controversial awarding of the prize for medicine. The assassin named Kitten escapes but newspaper reporter Annika Bengtzon is a prime witness. However, she is barred from reporting the details of the investigation. Quickly a Muslim is arrested and deported but evidence is lacking that he was involved. Annika goes on a leave of absence. Six months later, Annika is trying to get her life in order but obstacles are numerous. Her family has moved and her neighbor has become an enemy; her marriage is suffering as her husband is involved with writing controversial legislation; she’s still haunted by the murder. The assassin, with the nickname of Kitten, is tying up loose ends but has one more problem…a certain reporter who may be able to identify her.
Part of what I enjoyed about this book is the history of Alfred Nobel and his tragic life told through essay letters. The man who discovered the means to make explosives was apparently used and exploited by not only his family, but the women in his life, and the politicians who took over his wishes for the awards after his death. I wanted more of Kitten because her continued presence or looming presence, kept the tension simmering. I rooted for Annika and found myself wanting to reach the end because when I get into a mystery, sometimes, I am so eager for the climactic scene that I can hardly wait. Last Will was one of those books.
Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, May 2013.
Author of Night Shadows, Beta and Alpha.