“Lifetime” by Liza Marklund / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Lifetime by Liza Marklund

Author Liza Marklund has been called the “Queen of Scandinavian crime fiction” and once you read “Lifetime,” her latest book, you’ll see why.  Marklund has over 9 million copies of her books in print in over 30 languages along with a major movie deal.  Liza Marklund’s writing pops like a Super Aegis 2 machine gun.

Following the theme that people are not always what they appear to be, former tabloid journalist Marklund starts the story with a police officer finding one of their own naked in his bed riddled with bullets with his spaced-out wife rocking on the floor near him.  There is also the main character, newspaper reporter Annika Bengtzon, running with her children away from a house that is burning down.  Both of these set-ups are certainly strong enough to get your attention.  As the novel progresses, the wife of the police detective appears to be guilty of his murder and the disappearance of their only child, but reporter Bengtzon doesn’t believe it to be true and sets off on a one-woman, tenancious mission to prove the wife’s innocence.

Newspaper woman Bengtzon’s life is falling apart.  The new case seems to give her life meaning when all other meaning seems to be leaving it.  She is a strong-willed woman – not always likeable – and, because she is strong, much is piled upon her.  And she can take it.  All this creates an intriguing depth of character as author Marklund juggles personal and professional crisis.  The mystery plot closes nicely, but the personal tribulations will make you long for the release of the next novel. And plot-twist endings are always nice.

Unsung hero Neil Smith does a great job translating.

Clay Stafford
– Clay Stafford is an author / filmmaker (www.ClayStafford.com) and founder of Killer Nashville (www.killernashville.com). He reviews books daily for Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day. Publishers Weekly has named Stafford and Killer Nashville as one of the top 10 Nashville literary leaders playing “an essential role in defining which books become bestsellers” not only in middle-Tennessee, but also extending “beyond the city limits and into the nation’s book culture.”  (PW 6/10/13)  Having over 1.5 million copies of his own books in print, Stafford’s latest projects are the feature documentary “One of the Miracles” (www.oneofthemiracles.com) and the music CD “XO” (www.jefferdeaverxomusic.com).

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