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Box 21: A Novel

1 rating: -5.0
A book by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom

Starred Review. The Swedish writing team of Roslund and Hellström make their U.S. debut with a remarkable tale of loss, addiction and revenge set in Stockholm's seedy underworld. Ewert Grens, a veteran detective, is haunted by a tragic incident … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Thriller
Author: Borge Hellstrom, Anders Roslund
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
1 review about Box 21: A Novel

Box 21: A Novel I Wish I Left in the Box

  • Dec 20, 2009

The best way to describe Box 21 is a little banal, a little trite, and ultimately not all that entertaining. 

The novel brings four people together towards its denouement.  Lydia Grajauskas and Alena Slijusareva are held against their will as prostitutes, lured from their homelands by the hopes of good jobs and fortune, finding instead pain, torture, and misery.  Lydia gets in trouble with the boss and is beaten badly and beings to plot her revenge with the help of Alena.

Ewert Grens is the long time, somewhat jaded, but ever diligent cop with an axe to grid against a lifetime criminal, Jochum Lang, who was involved in putting his lover in, essentially, a lifelong coma after head injuries. 

And then we have a heroin addict who Lang is after, Hilding Oldeus, probably the most tedious character and one that is mostly a caricature.  Really, all the characters seem more caricature that real people.

The whole novel centers on the extreme violence of the sex trade in Sweden and is mainly just repetitive and boring.  By the end, I didn’t care much what happened to the characters, I just wanted to the book to end.

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