The Swimmer

Joakim Zander

Large print - 2015

"A deep-cover CIA agent races across Europe to save the daughter he never knew.... In the end, you cannot hide who you are. Klara Walldéen was raised by her grandparents on a remote archipelago in the Baltic Sea, learning to fish and hunt and sail a boat through a storm. Now, as an EU Parliament aide in Brussels, she is learning how to navigate the treacherous currents of international politics: the lines between friend and enemy, truth and lies. But Klara has accidentally seen something s...he shouldn't have: a laptop containing information so sensitive that someone will kill to keep hidden. Suddenly, she is thrown into a terrifying chase across Europe, with no idea who is hunting her or why. Meanwhile, in Virginia, an old spy hides from his past. Once, he was a man of action, an operative so dedicated that he abandoned his infant daughter to keep his cover. Now, he is the only man who can save Klara...and she is the only woman who can allow him to lay old ghosts to rest" --

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Subjects
Published
New York : Harperluxe 2015.
Language
English
Item Description
Originally published as Simmaren in Sweden in 2013 by Wahlstrom & Widstrand -- Title page verso.
Physical Description
558 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
ISBN
9780062370532
0062370537
Main Author
Joakim Zander (author)
Other Authors
Elizabeth Clark Wessel (translator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* A CIA agent, burned out by three decades of lies, betrayals, and disastrous Agency cross-purposes. A Swedish Muslim with a shadowy past writing a PhD dissertation on private security companies in the Middle East. An ethically challenged lobbyist working in the EU capital of Brussels. And a beautiful Swedish aide to an EU parliamentarian. Their lives will variously intersect, reconnect, or collide—and some lives will end. First-novelist Zander has written a truly polished and compelling thriller that nods at all the standard thriller tropes. It begins in Damascus in 1980 when a car bomb kills the CIA agent's wife, and it moves through three decades and locales in Syria, Brussels, D.C., Paris, Stockholm, and a remote Swedish archipelago during a fierce winter storm. The plot will resonate with readers appalled by the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the George W. Bush administration's embrace of private firms like Blackwater. Tension and action abound. But it is the depth of Zander's characters and the quality of the writing, which at times touches elegance, that make The Swimmer a winner. (It's already a best-seller in Europe, with rights sold in 28 countries.) Zander looks to be a very talented new branch on the flourishing tree of Scandinavian crime fiction. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Abandoned by her CIA agent father and raised by her grandparents on an archipelago in the Baltic Sea, EU Parliament aide Klara Walldéen has seen something on a laptop she shouldn't, and she's on the run for her life—with her father trying finally to do right by protecting her. A best seller in the author's Sweden, with rights sold to 28 territories to date; that explains the 150,000-copy first printing. [Page 72]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Billed as Homeland meets Stieg Larsson and already an international best seller, this Swedish thriller from debut author Zander lives up to the hype. Klara Walldeen was raised by her grandparents on a remote archipelago in the Baltic Sea and is now an EU Parliament aide in Brussels. Ex-boyfriend Mahmoud, a graduate student writing his dissertation on the privatization of war, arrives in Brussels to give a presentation and then reaches out to Klara when he ends up in a dangerous situation. They're soon tracking down a laptop full of classified information and being chased across Europe by someone intent on killing them. Meanwhile, an American spy finds his past catching up with him and tries to make it right by helping Klara. Back in Sweden, truths finally begin to emerge after a brutal convergence of the hunters and the hunted. VERDICT The chapters alternate between different and not always named characters and jumps from one decade and locale to another, which makes the novel's beginning both intriguing and disorienting. Despite the potential for some initial confusion, the book rewards with a suspenseful story of international espionage and political misdeeds. [See Prepub Alert, 8/11/14; library marketing.]—Melissa DeWild, Kent District Lib., Comstock Park, MI [Page 95]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Swedish author Zander's entertaining first novel owes more to Forsythe and Ludlum than to Larsson and Mankell. An unnamed narrator, who is a retired spy living in Virginia, addresses his late wife in his mind, telling her a convoluted tale that begins with her death and continues across the world over the next 33 years. Meanwhile, Mahmoud Shammosh, who's in a Ph.D. program at Uppsala University, is working on a book about the privatization of war when he hears from an old friend who has information proving that the CIA and private contractors used torture on captured terrorists. Shammosh ends up with the info and goes on the run with his former lover, Klara Walldéen, an E.U. parliament aide. Given Zander's literate, descriptive style, it's easy to see why this thriller has been a bestseller in Europe, though American readers may find it overlong in arriving at the inevitable conclusion. Agents: Astri von Arbin Ahlander and Christine Edhäll, Ahlander Agency (Sweden). (Feb.) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A former spy whose career forced him to give up his infant daughter must come to her rescue years later when she is targeted by powerful international adversaries who would kill her for discovering volatile intelligence. 150,000 first printing. A first novel. An international best-seller. (espionage). Simultaneous.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A deep-cover CIA agent races across Europe to save the daughter he never knew in this electrifying debut thriller—an international sensation billed as “Homeland meets Stieg Larsson” that heralds the arrival of a new master sure to follow in the footsteps of Stieg Larsson, John Le Carré, and Graham Greene.In the end, you cannot hide who you are.Klara Walldéen was raised by her grandparents on a remote archipelago in the Baltic Sea, learning to fish and hunt and sail a boat through a storm. Now, as an EU Parliament aide in Brussels, she is learning how to navigate the treacherous currents of international politics: the lines between friend and enemy, truth and lies.But Klara has accidentally seen something she shouldn’t have: a laptop containing information so sensitive that someone will kill to keep hidden. Suddenly, she is thrown into a terrifying chase across Europe, with no idea who is hunting her or why.Meanwhile, in Virginia, an old spy hides from his past. Once, he was a man of action, an operative so dedicated that he abandoned his infant daughter to keep his cover. Now, he is the only man who can save Klara . . . and she is the only woman who can allow him to lay old ghosts to rest.