Title: Any Means Necessary
Series: A Leona Lindberg Thriller #2
Author: Jenny Rogneby
Publisher: Other Press
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Genres: Mystery, Noir, Police Procedural
In the highly anticipated sequel to Leona: The Die Is Cast, a
corrupt detective deals with the emotional fallout of her actions
while investigating a terrorist attack in the heart of Stockholm.
After a man blows himself up outside the Parliament House in
Stockholm and miraculously survives, investigations begin to determine
if he was a lone wolf, or were there more heinous acts to follow. Leona
Lindberg, who has barely escaped her trials from the last case, is
focused on her shattered family, lethal personal threats, and desperately
trying to gain liquid assets. It’s lucky then, that she can think outside
the box like no other detective when she’s put on the case. With
one foot on each side of the law, she mounts a special operation
of grand proportions, and the higher the risk, the higher the reward.
An Excerpt from Any Means Necessary
In my car on the way from Aimi’s office, I turned the call from Alexandra over in my mind. From her tone on the phone, it was clear she had something important to tell me.
Alexandra Risberg was the new superintendent at the Violent Crimes Division. That was still her official title. Next year, the Police Authority was set to undergo its biggest reorganization in fifty years. After that, the divisions would no longer be called divisions and Alexandra’s title would change. Even though she was new in her job, there could be no doubt that she wanted to climb the ladder.
Alexandra had explained to me that the division had been allocated additional funds earmarked for counseling, which she had offered me several times after Benjamin’s death. I had declined every time. When I told her I had decided to see a private therapist, she had been very encouraging and given me permission to go during work hours. Now she had called to ask me to come back as soon as possible, knowing full well where I was.
I turned the police radio off and skipped through the regular channels in an attempt to find something upbeat to help me shake the heavy mood from my therapy session. After browsing through a number of uninspiring talk radio stations, I gave up and listened to the monotone drone of a newscaster:
Today’s headlines. The bomb that exploded outside Parliament last week triggered extensive police action, involving the National Task Force, the National Bomb Protection Unit, and officers from several police forces. Snipers and specially trained negotiators were also called to the scene. A total of two hundred officers were active during the acute phase, which lasted approximately ten hours. The national police commissioner predicts that from now on, Sweden, like other countries, will need to dedicate more significant resources to fighting terrorism . . .
I turned it off. Couldn’t bear to listen. Over the past week, the media had been utterly dominated by the suicide bomber outside Parliament. You couldn’t turn on the TV or radio, browse the Internet, or flip through a newspaper without being bombarded with information about and debates on the subject. Every expert felt compelled to have a theory about it. Even at work, the event was the topic of fervent discussion. People speculated about whether the Security Service really did keep an eye on all potential terrorists in the country, and whether it had been right to heed the recommendation of the National Center for Terrorist Threat Assessment to raise the threat level. I stayed well out of it. The whole thing just made my longing for a different kind of life more urgent.
I didn’t notice the faint smell of smoke in the car until I stopped at a red light on Sveavägen. It didn’t take me long to locate the cigarette butt on the floor next to my feet. I rolled down the window and was about to throw it out when I heard a child crying.
A woman was holding a little boy by the hand, walking so fast down the sidewalk that the boy, shuffling behind, was unable to keep his balance. His legs wouldn’t carry him. His mother pulled and tugged at him. Shouted that they were in a hurry. I rolled the window back up. Felt sick. From the smell of the cigarette. From seeing myself in that woman. My previous life.
The boy was no more than a year or so older than Benjamin. I recognized the stress. If only I hadn’t rushed around like that woman. If only I had had more time with my son.
That life was like a hellish hamster wheel.
People always complained about the everyday niggles, but never spotted the bigger patterns. Maybe they didn’t want to see them. They preferred doubling down and staying in their pointless, regimented, stressful lives to doing something about it. Change was too difficult.
I had had my reasons for living like that. I had done it because I knew society doesn’t accept nonconformity. If you deviate from the cookie-cutter norm, you are left out in the cold. Worthless. From there on out, you’re on your own.
I wondered how long it would take the woman on the sidewalk to realize that fighting so hard to fit in is pointless. That she was part of a competition that has no winners.
She had come to a stop on the sidewalk, bending down and yanking at her son, who was now putting up more determined resistance. He refused to stand up and was crying so loudly I could hear it clearly through my rolled-up window. Maybe the woman would wake up one day. Realize that a single minute with her son was infinitely more precious than whatever she was in a rush to get to.
Excerpted from Any Means Necessary by Jenny Rogneby, published by Other Press on 12 February 2019. Copyright © Jenny Rogneby. Reprinted by permission of Other Press.
About the Author
Jenny Rogneby was born in Ethiopia, but was given away for adoption when she was one year old. She grew up in northern Sweden, studied criminology at Stockholm University, and became an investigator in the Stockholm City Police Department. Her work inspired her to create the character of Leona. a criminal investigator with a dark past who by her actions challenges the norms of society in many ways, and write the best-selling crime novel, Leona: The Die is Cast. Before her career in law enforcement, Rogneby was a singer and member of the pop group Cosmo4.
“Leona Lindberg returns to wreak her peculiar havoc. In the second
installment of her adventures, Leona, a detective in the Violent
Crimes Division of the Stockholm Police, continues her pursuit
of a life outside all social conventions…. As a character, Leona
asks a lot of the reader. She is savvy, decisive, and resourceful,
in many ways admirable, but she is also relentlessly selfish,
willing to inflict pain and misery to get what she wants… She
differs from typical noir antiheroes—she’s not a disappointed
idealist but rather an amoral pragmatist. But never mind. This
installment is more completely plotted and more involving…
Leona’s back! Lock the henhouse!” –Kirkus Reviews