Crown Publishing (first published in 2013)
I am hosting a GIVEAWAY of an ARC copy of THE ANDALUCIAN FRIEND, it will end in less than twelve hours, so get your chance to win. AND there is also a GIVEAWAY of this book on GoodReads that will end on March 10th, 2013. Sandwich together 'a single mother widow with quiet charm and an uneventful life' between 'an international crime ring leader' and 'a war between rival global organization,' and you get The Andalucian Friend. A novel that will absolutely test your moral compass, entertain you with deadly obsessions, and take you on a road-map of gamesmanship.
It's at times long-winded, but as far as a Scandanavian Thriller goes, it's still pretty good. I wasn't as big a fan of this novel as I have been of the Stieg Larsson trilogy. This novel, though, offers a really wide cast of characters. It builds slowly at times, but that allows you to really dig at the characters thoroughly.
It has a lot of action. Tons of drug dealers. Plenty of crime. And enough violence to make you squirm. It's a badass novel, no doubt.
I enjoyed the fact that it had a global element, there were the 'Swedes,' 'The Spaniards,' 'The Germans,' and 'The Russians.' I'm not sure which criminals I liked more. Maybe, the Swedes or the Germans.
I had a reservation about the fact that the book started with the main female character. She's definitely no Lisbeth Salander. Salander held The Millenium Trilogy together all on her own, but this main female character - well I'm no so sure. The novel's main focus should have begun with the drug crime and then integrated the female character. I feel she had some of the glue that held together the novel, but I didn't read the novel for her - I read it because I was curious to see how the rival organization were going to interact with one another.
I am curious to see how the second book will evolve. This first one ended pretty well. I think he laid the foundation for the second book pretty well. The ending definitely helps in making you want to read the second in the trilogy. It shows you the disastrous consequences of all the actions and reactions in the first novel, and it leaves the ending shakey... open ended... so can't wait to see what happens in the second book of this trilogy.