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.
The opening two sequences to this novel are brief, succinct, and they draw you immediately into the core of what you are going to experience. The story is set in Sweden, a terrorist moves toward his target, uncovering the coat, hiding the belt full of explosives he detonates. Leona Lindberg, the book’s heroine, is a detective with the Violent Crimes Division of the Stockholm Police. From the outset, you very quickly know you are dealing with a very clever and mentally damaged woman. She is being treated by a therapist who has been brought on board to help her regain her life. She has lost a son and this is part of the problem, the rest of her problems will leave you at times, breathless.
What unfolds is a woman who does not mind crossing the line between good and bad, her need to accumulate money overranks everything in her life. She gathers a bevy of criminals together and tells them that she will make them very wealthy with little chance of going to prison because she is going to teach them how not to get caught. A sizable portion of the book shows you how she intends to use them in a major heist and not get caught. All the while she is teaching these criminals, the would-be bomber who blew himself up at the beginning of the story, survived the blast, minus his legs, and he tells security he will only speak to her. And the plot thickens! It turns out that she owes a nasty underworld kingpin a lot of money and he puts a great deal of pressure on her to pay up. The plot thickens further!
Author Jenny Rogneby has written a very in-depth thriller, she is a very competent writer and the many twists and turns are well done, but, and it is a very big but, the character of Leona Lindberg, is unlikable, so much so that toward the end of the story, I didn’t care whether she pulled off her heist or got the bad guy, because, in the end, she was the bad guy herself. The premise was sound, complicated yes, the teaching of the criminals and how to evade capture or how to wriggle out of a police inquiry, was a headache to me, it went on and on and when all the strands came together at the end, there was no real conclusion and to be perfectly honest, I was not surprised and I won’t be reading her follow-up. I didn’t like or care for Leona in the beginning, the middle or the end. A pity because I know the effort that writers put into their characters but I simply could not warm up to any of them herein as none of them had any redeeming qualities whatsoever and for us to be able to relate, they have to have some.
Available in bookstores February 12th
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