Author: Joakim Zander
Date of publication: February 10, 2015
A deep-cover CIA agent races across Europe to save the daughter he never knew in this electrifying debut thriller— an international sensation billed as “Homeland meets Stieg Larsson”—that heralds the arrival of a new master.
Early 1980s, Damascus. A nameless American spy abandons his newborn child to an uncertain fate. His inability to forgive himself for what he has done leads him on a lifelong quest to escape his past that will take him to Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq—anywhere where the danger and the stress allow him to forget.
Thirty years later, EU aide Klara Walldéen is learning to navigate the world of politics—the lines between friend and enemy, truth and lies. But Klara has just seen something she should not have: a laptop containing information so sensitive that people will kill to keep it hidden. Suddenly she is thrown into a terrifying chase through Europe, with no idea who is hunting her or why.
Their stories converge one stormy Christmas Eve in the Swedish archipelago, where blood is spilled, shocking discoveries are made, and the past inevitably catches up with the present.
The Swimmer is a debut novel and has been compared to books like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I loved that series, so I was looking forward to trying this book out. I'm not usually one to read political thrillers, but I'm always willing to expand my horizons. Sadly for me, I just couldn't get into the book. I did give it about 100 pages, but it just couldn't hold my interest.
It was a very slow start with many different points of view in the beginning. I'm not a fan of books that introduce many characters in the beginning. It can make it hard to keep everyone straight after a while. The back and forth between 1983 and the present made things a little confusing if I wasn't paying attention to the dates at the top of each chapter. I would liken it to was watching a really confusing spy movie that I would have ended up tuning out or turning off.
The book has received great reviews, so I think for lovers of this genre, it will work for them. So I urge you to give it a shot. I just wasn't my cup of tea.
About Joakim Zander
Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Joakim Zander has lived in Syria and Israel and graduated from high school in the United States. He earned a PhD in Law from Maastricht University in the Netherlands and has worked as a lawyer for the European Union in Brussels and Helsinki. The Swimmer is his first novel; rights have been sold in 28 territories. Zander currently lives in southern Sweden with his wife and two children.
Follow Zander on Twitter, @JoakimZander.
Joakim’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, February 10th: Bibiotica
Wednesday, February 11th: Man of La Book
Friday, February 13th: Dreams, Etc.
Monday, February 16th: My Bookish Ways
Tuesday, February 17th: Staircase Wit
Thursday, February 19th: Annabel & Alice
Friday, February 20th: Kritters Ramblings
Monday, February 23rd: Stephany WritesTuesday, February 24th: A Dream Within a Dream
Wednesday, February 25th: Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Thursday, February 26th: Ace and Hoser Blook
Monday, March 2nd: The Discerning Reader
Friday, March 6th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Wednesday, March 11th: Many Hats
Wednesday, March 11th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, March 13th: Jorie Loves a Story
TBD: Novel Escapes