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The Other Son
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The Other Son
Brinkmann Trilogy, Book 2
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The exciting follow-up to The Andalucian Friend, a breakneck thriller that follows Sophie Brinkmann as she faces the consequences of joining Hector Guzman's crime empireFrom the moment Hector Guzman...
The exciting follow-up to The Andalucian Friend, a breakneck thriller that follows Sophie Brinkmann as she faces the consequences of joining Hector Guzman's crime empireFrom the moment Hector Guzman...
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  • The exciting follow-up to The Andalucian Friend, a breakneck thriller that follows Sophie Brinkmann as she faces the consequences of joining Hector Guzman's crime empire

    From the moment Hector Guzman entered a coma, Sophie Brinkmann has regretted joining his crime family. Hector's right hand, Aron Geisler, is doing all he can to keep the sinking ship afloat and keep Sophie in their steely grip. But when Hector's brother is murdered in Biarritz, Sophie gains the upper hand, and intends to use it.

    Sophie becomes a player in a game where the rules are constantly changing, where loyalty and friendship are rendered meaningless. In order to survive, she must look inward and find her inner darkness. If not, she will be swallowed whole by the forces closing in on her: vengeful mobsters, cunning detectives, charismatic arms dealers, and possibly her own son.

Excerpts-

  • From the book **This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof**

    Copyright © 2015 Alexander Soderberg

    1

    (ISTANBUL)




    The coffee was sweet, black, and treacly.

    Sophie left it untouched, as did Aron, who was sitting beside her in the lavish room listening to Basir, the fat Turk opposite them on the other side of the desk, as he tried to haggle and gain the upper hand.

    Behind Basir's bulky frame sat his silent bodyguard. Wiry, swarthy, and alert, he sat there observing everything. The bodyguard had searched them brusquely and thoroughly before the meeting began. Everything was fine now. Basir smiled at them as if they were old friends. But they had never met before. Basir was a front, the weapons were destined to end up somewhere else. Where didn't matter. But he was important because he was the one they were negotiating with. Basir was very talkative. He babbled and chattered as if the sheer quantity of words he uttered would improve his position, rather than what he was actually saying.

    Sophie interrupted him.

    "We'll send the goods through, and you'll have to get them out," she said. "Everything has to go smoothly, otherwise it could all grind to a halt. And if it grinds to a halt, there's a greater risk of mistakes happening."

    Basir dismissed her concern with a wave of his hand.

    "I know this city. I know everyone, the police, customs officers, transport officials. This is my city; everything will be fine, trust me."

    The room was ostentatious, overblown. Everything was dark red—thick carpets, long curtains, big, heavy furniture, brass ornaments all over the place.

    "So what do you need us for, then? " Sophie asked.

    His smile wavered slightly.

    "You've got the weapons," he said.

    "And we'll supply them in small consignments over a period of four months. That's how we're going to do this."

    "And we'll pay after each consignment," Basir said. "That's the best way, believe me," he repeated.

    "I believe you, but that isn't what's going to happen." She smiled.

    Basir looked offended. "Isn't it? "

    A phone rang twice in a neighboring room.

    She said calmly, "You pay in one installment, for everything. Pay- able now."

    He glanced quickly at his watch.

    "What if it does grind to a halt, if something happens? If we lose a consignment? " he asked.

    Sophie smiled.

    "Are you in a hurry? " she asked.

    He pretended not to understand.

    "You looked at the time," Sophie explained.

    "I do that occasionally. Don't you? " His laugh sounded false and put-on. Almost like a cough.

    He wasn't what she had been expecting, Basir. According to the people who had helped set up the deal, Basir was supposed to be a reasonable man. Calm, straightforward, and uncomplicated, with a degree of honor in his approach to business, the nature of his business notwithstanding. But this man was quite different from that.

    "Yes, when I'm in a hurry," she said.

    "Well, I'm not in a hurry." He laughed again.

    Everything felt very peculiar. Sophie glanced at Aron to see if he was feeling the same as she was. He was busy studying Basir.

    "What was your question? " she asked the Turk.

    "Yes, what was my question . . . ? " he muttered, slightly bewildered, as he cast a glance at his bodyguard, who replied quietly in Turkish without taking his eyes off Aron.

    "If we lose a consignment . . ." Basir said.

    "You won't," Sophie said. "You just said so, because you know everyone. You know what goes on in this city. It's yours."

    "True." He laughed again. He was getting more nervous.

    Sophie considered the...

About the Author-

  • ALEXANDER SÖDERBERG has worked as a television screenwriter and lives in the countryside in the south of Sweden. The Other Son is his second novel.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 25, 2015
    Stockholm nurse and single mother Sophie Brinkmann paid dearly for her romance with Hector Guzman—the seductive criminal she met when he landed in her hospital after being run down by a competing gang—in Söderberg’s acclaimed debut, The Andalucian Friend (2013). In this propulsive, Tarantino-esque sequel, Hector lies comatose after a second botched hit, and his associates have strong-armed Sophie into functioning as the Guzman syndicate’s mouthpiece to help maintain the illusion that Hector continues to run things. Sophie has to make some hard choices amid kidnappings, assassinations, and collateral damage to innocents, all of which mushroom as the remnants of the Guzman cartel come under fire from Colombian drug baron Don Ignacio Ramirez and the German Hanke brothers’ gang. Meanwhile, Tommy Jansson, a former associate of corrupt cop Gunilla Strandberg, embarks on a crime spree that threatens one of his few honest colleagues, dedicated Det. Insp. Antonia Miller. As the blood-splattered action accelerates across Europe and beyond, a shell-shocked Sophie tries to outmaneuver her adversaries with the help of a ragtag band of allies, including her first love, Jens, a smuggler. Readers won’t want this fast and furious—and fitfully funny—roller-coaster ride to end. Agent: Leyla Belle Drake, Salmonsson Agency (Sweden).

  • Kirkus

    May 15, 2015
    A clearer picture of a fuzzy moral universe emerges in the middle of this thriller trilogy shot through with bad cops, good gangsters, and Scandinavian chill. Following the conclusion of this series' opening salvo, The Andalucian Friend (2012), gangster Hector Guzman is in a coma in Spain after being attacked by rivals while his lover, Sophie Brinkmann, tries to carry on with her son, Albert, in Stockholm. German, Russian, and South American gangsters are once again angling for control of Hector's syndicate, and Sophie's talks with them to buy time has her under suspicion as a traitor-a status that gets more complicated when Hector's eyes flicker open again. Approximately two dozen characters of substance flow through this story, which largely turns on the kidnappings of Albert and of Lothar, a son of Hector's. But despite all the globe-trotting and moving parts, which often bogged down his debut, Soderberg here works in tighter and cleaner prose. And this time he has a subplot that in some ways trumps the main story, following Tommy, a corrupt cop who tries to shut down an investigation of Hector by replacing go-getter detective Antonia with Miles, a stripper-addicted piece of deadwood. Tommy's scheme backfires, which is no surprise. But Soderberg's treatment of the backfiring, particularly Miles' redemption, is marked by thoughtful characterization and the kind of black-hearted inside-out morality that's defined the recent Scandinavian crime boom; Soderberg can make you cheer for a man urinating on a beaten corpse. Sophie remains a frustratingly passive character in this milieu-Soderberg has deliberately made her untouched by such machinations, and here, she's mostly wringing her hands over Albert. But the pieces seem to be in place for her to fully claim the stage in Book 3. A thriller with plenty of vectors but a better sense of direction than its predecessor.

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    July 1, 2015
    At the end of Soderberg's masterful The Andalucian Friend (2014), we left Stockholm nurse Sophie Brinkman, whose involvement with a patient, Hector Guzman, drew her into the world of international crime, reeling from an attack that left Guzman in a coma and her on the run. As we pick up the story, she is in hiding with Guzman's inner circle. Matters accelerate to crisis proportions when Sophie's son, Albert, is kidnapped, as is Guzman's other son, whose existence was unknown to Sophie and who unwittingly forces Sophie to make her own Sophie's choice. Meanwhile, the Stockholm police are closing in, despite the presence of corrupt officials trying to impede the investigation. Soderberg juggles multiple stories and characters, new and old, in a novel that is perhaps a bit overstuffed with plotand with backstory, as the author struggles to bring new readers up to speed. Still, as the complex plot unspools and the many characters, all vividly drawn, vie for stage time, there are spectacularly choreographed and shocking bursts of action. In many ways, this is a transitional episode, skillfully setting up a finale that will find Sophie and her small cadre of friends hoping to forge a separate peace.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

  • Library Journal

    February 1, 2015

    Swedish TV screenwriter Soderberg, who got some stand-out praise for his debut thriller, The Andalucian Friend, follows up with a sequel. Sophie Brinkmann, now tangled up in Hector Guzman's crime family, grabs hold of her fate when Hector's brother is murdered.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • USA Today "Epic... The Andalucian Friend is a crime novel that mixes familial drama -- the Guzman crime family is drawing comparisons to Mario Puzo's Corleones -- gang wars, the illegal gun trade, break-the-rules cops and unspeakable violence...The scope of this novel is sometimes astounding and always fascinating."
  • Los Angeles Times "Scandinavian crime fiction finds a new voice in Alexander Söderberg. . . .[a] dark, intricate debut novel."
  • The New York Times Book Review "An enjoyably offbeat thriller about rival gangs fighting over an international drug-smuggling route. . . . [Söderberg] writes with feeling about the crushing psychological stress felt by both cops and criminals."
  • Chris Pavone, author of The Expats "The international cast is packed with compelling bad guys, the plot is intricate and urgent, and the dialogue is tense and true and sometimes even funny. A joy-ride of a read."
  • BookPage "A tale of cutthroat mob bosses. . . . Söderberg writes exceptionally well-drawn and sympathetic characters . . . and has the chops to move a story along with the best of them."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Excellent. . . . [A] jam-packed plot."

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