The Swimmer by Joakim Zander - I am still scratching my head as to how a debut novelist like Joakim Zander, has produced such genius. I am a big fan of Nordic novels, seldom does a day go by in my house where I am not "reading" a Nordic subtitled TV series like Borgen, The Bridge, Arne Dahl or The Killing. Joakim has created here, a novel to compare with, and I mean compare, as equal to The Bourne Identity. Whilst reading it, it was like I was seeing a movie played out in my hands. The characters, I got to know them all really well. There are twists aplenty in the book, a few shocks here and there, a good few, "I did not see that coming" moments. And the ending. What an ending, I really didn't know how it was going to end until the last few pages. Not that I wanted it to end either. I don't know how Joakim Zander created such a masterpiece this first time around, perhaps he is a natural. I would say so. His UK publisher really has struck gold with this title and author.
I could talk about the individual characters in the book, there are quite a few, and they each have their own story to tell, however, that would be spoiling the novel for you. I will not talk about them here, you will just have to read it and prepare yourself for a rollercoaster of a ride.
What I loved at one point of the book towards the end, is the different viewpoints. You experience the same situation (no spoilers) but from the perspective and eyes/thoughts of 3 different people. It was madness, yet it all flowed effortlessly I have not experienced any written work like this before. Joakim Zander really is a talent.
The publishers (Head of Zeus) deserve a big pat on the back for securing this title!
It's daft to say that this is one of the best thrillers that I have read in a while, The Swimmer is beautifully written, vivid in its imagery that drives the tension of this thriller. This really is a good verses evil book, and it's something in the present world situation, which makes quite a believable thriller. There is such a fantastic ruthlessness in this thriller, that we are told is to protect democracy. For a debut novel, this is a fast paced, believable and compelling thriller.
The Swimmer has everything the reader wants from a thriller, and it has everything in it to be a best seller.
10 out of 10
Review by Carl Marsh
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