The Bomber

The Bomber - Liza Marklund I've read another Liza Marklund book (Paradise), but it was so instantly forgettable I've not added it to my shelves here. I wish I hadn't read this one either.

Scandinavian Crime is hot right now and there are some excellent authors being translated into English. Liza Marklund is not one of them. In Anika Bengzton she has successfully created one of the most irritating, cold and unlikeable characters I've ever had the misfortune to follow across a few hundred pages.

Anika is, like, a totally independent woman, yeah? But she's also totally vulnerable, like a blind baby monkey or something. She hates her mother and blames her for her failings as a person (the mother seemed perfectly pleasant if you ask me!), but she's ok actually because she loves her Gran. If my daughter spoke the way Anika does to her mother when it's decided to put her Gran into care - she'd be going out the window face first.
If she worked in most offices she'd be sacked - she's rude and unpleasant and is quite happy stiffing an anonymous source, potentially ruining their life to get what she wants. And yet whenever she finds herself in serious danger, we are supposed to feel attached to her and concerned for her safety. I wish one of these terrible criminals she regularly becomes involved with would just kill her and make us all happy.

The Millenium Trilogy had journalists. So does this. Except it describes the minutiae of working for a newspaper to intensely tedious levels. No job is so exciting that we care about how it works at board level. I'm being serious. It's self indulgent crap. I'd read a business book for that kind of thing.

I can't comment on whether all this is just poor translation and I'm doing Ms Marklund a disservice, but if an author is desperate to talk about their work, there are ways to make it tolerable, perhaps through dialogue and a decent editor you can, you know, imply certain things and leave in the important bits without boring us to tears? I really don't want to spent nearly 100 pages (in total) having my hand held while a really boring narrator takes me around their office and introduces me to some of their colleagues as they pick the crumbs out of their beards and fill in an excel spreadsheet. I read for fun, not to go to sleep!