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The Other Son
Cover of The Other Son
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 cover **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).

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 31, 2015
    Book two in Soderberg’s announced trilogy (after 2014’s The Andalucian Friend) throws us into the middle of protagonist Sophie Brinkmann’s continuing struggle for survival, caught in the middle of a violent turf war between two Scandinavian drug cartels. A working knowledge of the first book may not be a necessity but it will help in understanding how Sophie, a nurse and single mother, could have fallen in love with her patient, Hector Guzman, the leader of one of the cartels. It would also provide clues as to her relationship to Jens Vall, who seems to be a good-guy arms dealer. Without that and other info, the best way to enjoy this dense thriller is to ignore the past and let reader Jackson’s crisp, dramatic British delivery whisk you along at a breakneck pace that manages to speed up as Sophie’s situation grows ever darker. Jackson smoothly adds the appropriate accents as the action hops from Istanbul to Berlin; Biarritz, France; Sonora, Mexico; and Stockholm, simplifying this complex, overpopulated tale so that most listeners will be ready for book three. A Crown hardcover.

  • AudioFile Magazine Sophie Brinkmann is trying to remove herself from her lover's crime ring. He's in a coma--she's in the crosshairs of both the police and the other mob members. The palpable danger to Sophie, and her paralyzed son, is conveyed in Gildart Jackson's gritty narration. His steady pace and precise diction deliver the violent details of this second installment in a Swedish crime series. The fast-paced plot moves the listener from scene to scene without many pauses or downbeats. Overall, this is an enjoyable listen, though the details of the multiple crimes may be too much for some. The audiobook's start is dramatic and sharp--the story itself doesn't quite maintain its initial levels of suspense. M.R. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
  • 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 Wall Street Journal
    "[A] tense, accomplished debut. . . . Complex but swift, well-written and often grisly. . . . There are enough aspects left unresolved to look forward to at least two more books of deadly peril, with new danger at every turn."
  • Entertainment Weekly "Takes up Stieg Larsson's mantle in icy, brutal style. . . . This adrenalized debut leads you into a European drug ring and introduces an unlikely heroine who's caught in the crossfire."
  • 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."
  • Mystery Scene "A timely thriller [that] adds some gritty saturated color to the minimal black-and-white palette of Nordic noir. . . . Intriguing."
  • Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Black List "
    "Imagine The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets The Sopranos, then crank up the intrigue and rip off the knob. Alexander Söderberg has penned an awesome thriller you won't want to miss."
  • Scott Smith, author of The Ruins "One of the many wonderful things about Alexander Söderberg's novel, The Andalucian Friend, is how it upsets our expectations. His cops act like gangsters, while his gangsters (some of them) attain a startling sort of nobility. Söderberg has created an entertaining, engaging, and wonderfully bloody-minded world. He's agreat storyteller. It's that simple."
  • 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."
  • Booklist (starred review) "Get ready for another round of hype in which one more heavily promoted Scandinavian thriller will be touted as 'the next Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.' It's a shame, really, because this gripping crime novel, the first in a trilogy, deserves to stand completely on its own. Yes, it's set largely in Stockholm, and, yes, it stars a woman of remarkable strength and resiliency, but Soderberg, a veteran screenwriter, is a very different kind of writer than investigative journalist Larsson; this novel is much faster paced than Dragon Tattoo, and while the multiple characters are richly complex, the narrative rumbles ever forward without Larsson's emphasis on backstory and research techniques. When we first meet Sophie Brinkman, an unassuming nurse and single mother, she seems the polar opposite of Lisbeth Salander. That changes slowly but inexorably after Sophie gets to know one of her patients, the suave Hector Guzman, a charming family man but also--as Sophie eventually discovers--the head of an international crime ring. (Comparisons to the Corleone family are also inevitable and not entirely unjustified.) Soon enough, Sophie finds herself in the middle of a gang war as Guzman's family battles a rival Russian contingent. Throw in a gaggle of rogue cops and Sophie's old boyfriend, who turns up out of nowhere with a history of his own, and you have a multistranded plot that holds together as exquisitely as finely wound silk. But, as with the Larsson trilogy, it's the woman at the center who sparks the engine. By novel's end, Sophie has realized that 'she was bigger than she had dared to see.' We see it, too, and are ready to follow her anywhere."
  • 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."
  • Kirkus Reviews "Söderberg is masterful."

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