…the Swedes and their Nordic friends seem to be taking over.
First of all, there are all those TV shows (that I haven’t actually seen) like The Bridge and Wallander, then there are all those crime novels (that I haven’t actually read) by Steig Larsson and Jo Nesbø and the filmmakers like Lars Von Trier (whose films I have actually seen).
I mention this because I have just finished another Swedish novel, the second in a month. This time is is The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson. This is very much in the mould of his first book (The HundredYear-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared) in that it spans quite a long time, features a central character who encounters various political figures, and some severely understated satire.
Yes it does also rely on coincidence quite a lot, and the main character is too good to be true, but it is an engaging read. Many of the events and characters could just as easily have been in a Tom Sharpe or Carl Hiaasen book and the whole thing is basically a farce, but written in such a straight-faced way that you keep forgetting just how ridiculous it all is.
For me personally there was also the little thrill of seeing places like Solna and Upplands Väsby mentioned in passing, bringing back pleasant memories of time spent there in the 1990s during working visits.
All I can say is that if you enjoyed the 100-year-old man book but are worried that a book about a Soweto girl will be too different, don’t be. I can guarantee that you will enjoy this one too.