Logo
HOME ABOUT ANNIKA BENGTZON BIBLIOGRAPHY F.A.Q. MEDIA CONTACT
THE SERIES | THE CHARACTER

THE SERIES


From the chaotic editorial offices of Swedish tabloid Kvällspressen and the vast wastelands of the Arctic Circle, to the glitzy beaches and nightclubs of southern Spain, crime reporter Annika Bengtzon's investigations take her beyond the news story, and often into harm's way. The series follows Annika's struggles in her private life — as a hardworking professional, wife and mother — as well as her transformation from a gawky intern to a cynical editor of the crime section. The series was not published chronologically in regard to Annika's life. Starting with The Bomber, the narrative then moves back in time several years. By the fifth installment, Red Wolf, we are back in the present. Liza Marklund has written eight Annika Bengtzon novels to date.
RED WOLF
RED WOLF

Reporter Annika Bengtzon is working on the story of a devastating crime when she hears that a journalist investigating the same incident has been killed. It appears to be a hit-and-run accident. Several brutal killings follow — all linked by handwritten letters sent to the victims' relatives. When Annika unravels a connection with the story she's writing, she is thrown on to the trail of a deadly psychopath. Caught in a frenzied spiral of secrets and violence, Annika finds herself and her marriage at breaking point. Will her refusal to stop pursuing the truth eventually destroy her?

"I got the idea for Red Wolf when I was the editor in chief at a newly launched newspaper. In a matter of weeks we had more than 60,000 readers. It was a great success, both in terms of marketing and print runs. Then came the deathblow. The Ministry of Culture pushed through an amendment that prohibited the distribution of the new newspaper along with other morning papers. It was shocking that something like this could occur in a highly regarded democracy. The whole episode taught me how power operates in Sweden, although the lesson came at a high cost."
Liza Marklund

"You can trust Liza Marklund's description of her hard-nosed heroine, Annika Bengtzon, an investigative reporter on a Stockholm daily with the enviable freedom to write just about anything she well pleases. /.../ Despite her messy personal life, Bengtzon hangs on to the uncompromising ethics and sense of justice that make her a welcome figure in the ranks of Scandinavian sleuths."
The New York Times (US)

"In the fifth book of her internationally best-selling series, Marklund blends the sociology and politics of contemporary Sweden with a taut mystery, capturing the Scandinavian chill as she builds suspense to an eminently satisfying conclusion. This excellent addition to the Nordic crime scene will also appeal to readers who enjoyed her outing this summer with James Patterson in The Postcard Killers."
Library Journal (US) *Starred Review*

"Marklund's superb fifth novel featuring Stockholm journalist Annika Bengtzon... /.../ Marklund imbues Annika with a fierce intensity without sacrificing her vulnerability."
Publisher's Weekly (US) *Starred Review*

"The well-worked plot, the vivid evocations of midwinter on the Arctic Circle and middle-class life in Stockholm and, above all, the credible characters make this an outstandingly good thriller."
The Literary Review (UK)

Publication details
Original title Röda vargen
US Release February 2011
UK Release October 2010
Canada Release October 2010
Publisher Atria (US), Corgi (UK), Vintage (CA)
exposed
EXPOSED

Rookie reporter Annika Bengtzon has a coveted, yet temporary, position at a major Stockholm tabloid. Before she has had the slightest chance to adapt to the bullish and fast-paced world of news journalism, a dead body is found at a city cemetery. The victim is an exotic dancer who has been raped and strangled, and the prime suspect is a government minister. Annika realizes that this could become her breakthrough story. But as she exposes the dark underworld of sex clubs, chauvinism, and corruption, she is drawn deep into a dangerous world of sex and violence.

"On July 19, 1994, the Swedish Trade Secretary resigned due to a scandal exposed by myself and a fellow journalist. Immediately after his resignation, a big campaign was launched to discredit the media story. I managed to handle the pressure since I had worked as a journalist for ten years and knew exactly what I was dealing with. But what would have happened if I had written those articles during my first summer as an intern? How would I have handled all the attacks and complaints? These are the events and thoughts that form the basis of Exposed.."
Liza Marklund

"An excellent crime novel, elegantly crowned with a cynical ending of good old mark."
Dagbladet (Norway)

"Annika Bengtzon is a walking vitamin injection for the Swedish crime novel."
Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden)

"Sweden's new cult character!"
Der Spiegel (Germany)

Publication details
Original title Studio sex
US Release NA
UK Release May 2011
Canada Release May 2011
Publisher Corgi (UK), Vintage (CA)
THE BOMBER
THE BOMBER

Stockholm is bustling with preparations for the upcoming summer Olympics when a bomb explodes in the city's new Olympic arena. The arena, as well as one of the most powerful businesswomen in Sweden, is blown to bits. The police begin a wild and desperate chase for the killer, while crime reporter and mother of two, Annika Bengtzon, discovers connections no one else sees. Thus begins the first crime novel by Liza Marklund, which follows the impulsive, persistent, and passionate reporter Annika on her thrilling assignments.

" In 1995 I became operations manager of news broadcasts at TV4. That didn’t last long. I resigned after barely a year in order to devote myself to my writing full time. People thought I was crazy. How could anyone quit the greatest journalism job in Sweden to write crime novels? When I finally did sit down and was about to start writing, another problem arose: could I even complete a novel? To make things easier on myself, I started with what was preoccupying me at the time: the book that dealt with how Annika Bengtzon became manager, and the trouble it sparked."
Liza Marklund

"The Bomber is the best Swedish crime novel in a long time, and an authentic portrayal of the hectic life of a mother of two with a stressful career in the big city."
Dagens Nyheter (Sweden)

"Breathtakingly suspenseful...The Bomber has a lot of substance, yet it is fast-paced."
Helsingin Sanomat (Finland)

"Liza Marklund writes powerfully, using chiseled, at times photograph-like images."
Frankfurter Allgemeine (Germany)

Publication details
Original title Sprängaren
US Release NA
UK Release November 2011
Canada Release November 2011
Publisher Corgi (UK), Vintage (CA)
paradise
VANISHED

A powerful hurricane sweeps over Sweden leaving the country in turmoil. Two men are found dead, shot at point-blank range, at one of Stockholm's major ports. A truckload of smuggled goods worth millions of dollars has vanished, and a young woman, Aida, runs for her life from the docks. Crime reporter Annika Bengtzon helps Aida get in touch with Paradise, a foundation dedicated to sheltering people whose lives are in danger. But several brutal murders follow and as Annika gets closer to the truth, neither Aida nor Paradise are quite what they appear to be.

" During the early 1990s, large parts of Sweden’s social welfare sector were deregulated. The care and treatment of our most vulnerable citizens was transformed into a business venture. Where did the ultimate responsibility for the ill and the weak lay at this point – with society, the free market, or with the family? These are not easy questions to answer. I spent several years thinking hard about these issues, and Paradise is the result. It may be the saddest of my books."
Liza Marklund

"One hundred percent entertainment — a constant drive and no dead stretches." Göteborgs Tidning (Sweden)

"The peculiar love story, and the strong bond to the grandmother are evoked so realistically and with so much warmth, that they come across as the main reasons for reading the book. In addition, this is a very suspenseful read, so everybody will be satisfied."
Trouw (Netherlands)

"Liza Marklund seems to have an unerring sense of the invisible boundaries that limit women's space for action. It is above all that sensitivity which makes her stories interesting and telling contemporary novels."
Dagens Nyheter (Sweden)

Publication details
Original title Paradiset
US Release NA
UK Release Spring 2012
Canada Release Spring 2012
Publisher Corgi (UK), Vintage (CA)
NOBEL'S LAST WILL
LAST WILL

For the first time in her career, reporter Annika Bengtzon is covering the glamorous Nobel Prize Dinner, traditionally held in Stockholm's City Hall. The world's notabilities are enjoying themselves on the dance floor when suddenly gunshots break through the din of conversation and music. In the ensuing panic, the presumed assassin wrestles Annika to the ground. Soon, she is caught in the middle of an intricate drama with links to Alfred Nobel — not only as a reporter but also as a key witness.

"I've always been tremendously fascinated by Sweden's most well-known citizen. His achievements are legendary, but we actually know very little about Alfred Nobel himself — the man, his life, and his dreams. His descendants, and the foundation that have administered his estate, have made a deliberate effort to perpetuate this situation. They want Nobel to be remembered as the revolutionary industrial magnate that he was, and not as the lonely hypochondriac longing for love that he became. I find the division between the official image of the glamorous man of the world and the forlorn, rootless human being extremely interesting. This is the essence of my novel Nobel's Last Will. I wanted to explore the conflict between the external and the internal, to glimpse what lies behind the facades, and investigate how important recognition by the outside world really is."
Liza Marklund

"Utterly convincing and genuinely entertaining. The reader is certainly given her money's worth, when Marklund serves up hard-hitting effects and sensational rarities, from bloody murder methods to the heroine's lethal threatening of little slimy boys."
Politiken (Denmark)

"Nobel's Last Will is the sixth installment with crime reporter Annika Bengtzon in the leading role. And she certainly stands her ground; the hunt for the murderer is terribly suspenseful."
Aftenposten (Norway)

"Fast-paced, suspenseful chapters are alternated with more light-hearted fragments in this well-paced narrative. With this novel, Marklund confirms her position as a writer who knows her craft. She gracefully hits the mark, and comes out fine of every storm."
Boek (Netherlands)

Publication details
Original title Nobels testamente
US Release 2011
UK Release Spring 2012
Canada Release Spring 2012
Publisher Atria (US), Corgi (UK), Vintage (CA)
LIFETIME
LIFETIME

A police officer is callously shot and killed in his bedroom in front of his traumatized wife, Julia. When police arrives on the scene, Julia rambles on about a woman entering the house, killing David and kidnapping their son, but all the evidence suggests Julia is guilty of the crime. Reporter Annika Bengtzon covers the case and is drawn in headfirst when she realizes that Julia is about to be falsely charged. Working against the clock, Annika is determined to clear Julia's name and locate her missing son.

"My novels always have an underlying theme, an issue that serves as a foundation for the narrative. In Lifetime I ask: what lasts an entire lifetime? I gave this a lot of thought. Not marriage (I'm on my second one), and jobs are no longer for life. In Sweden, a life sentence has never meant spending an entire lifetime in prison, even though the time served has gotten progressively longer. But there is one thing that lasts your whole life, and that is the role of the parent. Children are for a lifetime. That's the issue, the idea behind this novel. What are we prepared to do for our children?"
Liza Marklund

"Probably her best yet. It is densely written, it captivates as the different layers of the plot intertwine, and is testimony to the current literary ambitions of crime fiction."
Der Spiegel (Germany)

"None of the so-called 'Queens of Crime' reach up even to the rim of her boot when she is at the top of her game, as she is here."
Ekstra Bladet (Denmark)

"The plot is so excellent that I cannot think of any other writer than Liza Marklund to have cooked it up. As we approach the dramatic denouement, the author displays her full register, and greatness, as a crime writer. Few, if any, have her capacity to change the pace of the story instantly, and her portrayals of fatigue, fear and despair are first-rate."
Aftenposten (Norway)

Publication details
Original title Livstid
US Release 2012
UK Release Autumn 2012
Canada Release Autumn 2012
Publisher Atria (US), Corgi (UK), Vintage (CA)
THE LONG SHADOW
THE LONG SHADOW

A seemingly random burglary ends with the death of an entire Swedish family on Spain's Sunshine Coast: grandmother, husband and wife, and two children have been suffocated by poisonous gas. Reporter Annika Bengtzon is assigned the story and travels to the area, known to attract celebrities, sports stars and big-shot brokers, to report on the case. In her complex and shocking investigation, Annika discovers connections to events in rural Sweden half a century earlier as well as to a drug lord's Moroccan farm in the present.

"My family and I have a house in Marbella, Spain. All burglaries in this area include gas. The intruders render the homeowners unconscious with some kind of gas before swiping the entire house. When the victims wake up, even the rings on their fingers are gone. At every dinner party I attend I hear about someone who has been subjected to a burglary involving gas. In every case the victims suffer terribly after the episode. The fact that their belongings have been stolen is the least of their problems. So far no one has died from one of these burglaries, and that should be regarded as a miracle."
Liza Marklund

"Liza Marklund hits the mark with this terrific crime novel... Annika knows her game! She's known her game for a long time; she is, after all, Scandinavia's most popular fictional heroine. She's at the top of her game in the new novel, The Long Shadow, which is elegantly imagined and elegantly told."
Berlingske Tidende (Denmark)

"Liza Marklund's eighth Annika Bengtzon novel really swings... Marklund knows her art."
Politiken (Denmark)

"Sweden's thriller queen has once again put together such a delicious feast that it must be devoured at once."
Helsingin Sanomat (Finland)

Publication details
Original title En plats i solen
US Release 2013
UK Release September 2013
Canada Release 2013
Publisher Atria (US), Corgi (UK), Vintage (CA)
borderline
BORDERLINE

A mother found. A father lost.
In the midst of a Swedish winter, a young mother is found murdered behind her son’s nursery. Halfway across the world, in the sweltering Kenyan heat, a government official is kidnapped. As a journalist, Annika Bengtzon is often on the frontline, witness to the darkness humans are capable of. But this time it’s different. It’s personal. The official held to ransom is her husband and she must meet the extreme demands of his kidnappers if she is to bring him home. And what of the Swedish mother slain in the snow? Until her killer is found, no one is safe…

"When doing research for this novel I flew with a private plane to Liboi, a small town in Kenya, on the border to Somalia. When we landed, 200 persons gathered around the plane and the police arrested me. Vi found out that two persons had been shot in the village on the very same morning. The Police investigated me on why I was there, and it became clear that a private plane never had landed in Liboi before. … After that I was allowed to walk around in the town for two hours with two guarded soldiers by my side. When leaving with the plane the pilot, who had been flying in Africa for 35 years, told me that he had never before experienced anything like it."
Liza Marklund

"Liza Marklund…has sold more than 13 million thrillers in 30 countries, of which 300.000 in the Netherlands alone. She writes in the same socially conscious tradition as her colleagues Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson. With Larsson, she shares the interest for the dark side of Sweden, and like Mankell she writes about the relationship between the 'heavenly' Sweden and the rest of the world. There is, however, a big difference between Marklund and the two other Swedish crime writers. Marklund's main character is called Bengtzon instead of Wallander or Blomkvist: and she is a woman."
De Volkskrant (Netherlands)

"[Borderline is] well executed and provides a very well-researched picture /…/ As always, the pages are flowing – Marklund still writes better than most of her female crime writer-colleagues"
Politiken (Denmark)

"A strong comeback by Liza Marklund… With the ninth novel in the series, Marklund proves that she is still far ahead of most of her imitators, both when it comes to guaranteed suspense, crime fiction with a feminine element, and the ability to make personal matters political and political matters personal - unpretentiously raw and sweetened with a touch of self-irony"
Ekstra Bladet (Denmark)

Publication details
Original title Du gamla du fria
US Release April 2015
UK Release October 2014
Publisher Emily Bestler Books (US), Transworld (UK)
"It’s obvious why Liza Marklund is such a popular writer, and so beloved by her loyal fans. Her voice is crisp and clean, and she has a knack for building beautifully elaborate and suspenseful plots."

Karin Slaughter
Amazon
Sign up for newsletter
Privacy, Terms and Conditions
Banner