A Swedish prosecutor discovers that the recent influx of illegally trafficked Thai girls leads back to a deadly man in her past whom she’s hell-bent on killing.
Jana Berzelius, who demonstrated in Marked for Life (2016) that she’s equally adept with her fists or a sharp knife as she is with legal concepts in the courtroom, is still on the hunt for Danilo Peña, one of the only men who can provide a link back to her upbringing as a child soldier. Now a respectable prosecutor in Norrköping, Sweden, Berzelius takes a special interest when a teenage girl is found on a train from Denmark, suffering from a heroin overdose after swallowing multiple capsules of the drug in her native Thailand. It seems she’s come to Sweden with a friend but refuses to disclose any details. The Norrköping police, led by DCI Henrik Levin, whose mind is preoccupied by his pregnant wife, try to track down any leads to this girl, known only as Pim. Soon another body crops up, a 20-year-old Swedish drug user named Robin Stenberg, who has a connection to Berzelius she’d like to keep hidden. All the while, Levin and his team are being overseen by the National Crime Squad from Stockholm while they search for a ringleader known only as “The Old Man” and Berzelius relentlessly pursues Danilo, both within and outside the law. The storylines coalesce a bit too easily, and, since this is the second in a trilogy, Schepp allows herself to simply leave plot points unresolved, much to readers’ consternation.
Though the protagonist, for whom the term “prickly” could have been invented, rarely rises above the level of the stereotypical action heroine, she’s starting to thaw and show just the hint of a personality.