Her spirits dimmed but not quenched by her last round of collisions with violent death (Lifetime, 2013), Stockholm reporter Annika Bengtzon ventures abroad in search of more dragons to slay.
That’s not how it seems to her higher-ups. Anders Schyman, editor in chief at the Evening Post, wants to promote her to lead editor; Patrik, the subordinate who’s promoted over her when she refuses the job, wants her to color within the lines and fill out all the right forms. The rumor that the victim of a robbery killed along with his family was retired Swedish hockey player Sebastian Söderström sends Annika off to his home on the Costa del Sol—or, as she soon learns to call it, the Costa del Crime. Drugs, contraband, illicit cash: Everything dirty seems to pass through this paradise, and Annika’s soon filing story after story on criminal matters related to the robbery and the murders. She is not, however, pleasing her bosses. They’re unhappy that an enterprising photographer has caught Annika kissing Jimmy Halenius, her ex-husband Thomas’ highly placed boss at the Ministry of Justice, and that Lotta Bartholomeus, the photographer temporarily assigned to Annika, has complained of her high-handed treatment. And they seem utterly indifferent when Annika discovers that Söderström’s daughter Suzette seems to have missed the slaughter that orphaned her, leaving Annika on her own to chase down leads to the teen’s whereabouts. It doesn’t help her credibility that Annika is susceptible to Jimmy Halenius, to the Norrland narcotics cop who shows her the ropes on the Costa del Crime, and even to Thomas, who phones from the corridor outside the home he shares with the mistress he dumped Annika for to tell her that their divorce was a terrible mistake.
Against all odds, Annika eventually ties together all the felonies she’s poked her nose into, but it’s a thankless slog that will make you grateful you aren’t a newspaper reporter yourself.