The conclusion to Lapidus’ monstrously ambitious Stockholm Noir trilogy (Never Fück Up, 2013, etc.) is every bit as dark, sprawling, rambunctious and volcanic as you’d expect.
At the fade-in, Radovan Kranjic is still controlling Sweden’s Yugo Mafia, serenely unaware that an assassin has him in his sights and surprisingly unruffled after a hit on him falls through. Long-escaped criminal Jorge Salinas Barrio is still looking for the big score, this time a heist on which he’s collaborating with a silent partner named the Finn. Drug dealer Johan "JW" Westlund is still biding his time in the Salberg Penitentiary, waiting for his parole. A complication to their schemes comes when hotshot DI Lennart Torsfjäl recruits Deputy Inspector Martin Hägerström to go undercover as a corrections officer in Salberg in order to worm his way into JW’s confidence. A second comes when another assassination attempt against Kranjic leaves his daughter Natalie, 22, holding the reins of her father’s criminal empire, battling former Kranjic lieutenant Stefan Stefanovic for control. A third comes when Jorge decides to double-cross the Finn and hold on to his share of the loot. Since Lapidus is as inventive as he is unblinkered, other complications soon follow. A trip to Thailand away from all but one member of the Stockholm County Police throws Jorge together with JW and Hägerström, who seriously compromises his mission when he falls into bed with Jorge’s friend “megagangster” Javier Fernández. Natalie, who has little appetite for her father’s legacy, finds herself growing into it anyway. Jorge discovers unexpected reserves of nobility under pressure.
Through it all, Lapidus wastes no opportunity to explore the labyrinthine affinities between his heroes and villains. Better put aside the whole weekend for this guided tour of his Swedish hell.