The landline rings as Agneta is waving off her grandchildren. Just one word comes out of the receiver: ‘Geiger’.
For decades, Agneta has always known that this moment would come, but she is shaken. She knows what it means.
Retrieving her weapon from its hiding place, she attaches the silencer and creeps up behind her husband before pressing the barrel to his temple.
Then she squeezes the trigger and disappears – leaving behind her wallet and keys.
The extraordinary murder is not Sara Nowak’s case. But she was once close to those affected and, defying regulations, she joins the investigation. What Sara doesn’t know is that the mysterious codeword is just the first piece in the puzzle of an intricate and devastating plot fifty years in the making . . .
Geiger read like a contradiction, on the one hand an old fashioned spy novel as the spy networks of old East Germany resurfaced and on the other hand present day, a female detective grappling with the injustices of sexual exploitation, protecting her young family and coming to terms with her own origins and future.
Skordeman didn’t hang around, a quiet family day, a phone ringing, one word spoken, Geiger, and a famous ex TV star, Uncle Stellan dead in his chair, his wife Agneta on the run.
On the other side of the city, police officer Sara, on the hunt for pimps, impetuous and downright angry. When she hears of Uncle Stellan’s murder it awoke memories of her childhood of own her ties with Stellan and his family.
What followed was brilliantly compulsive reading, Skordeman swapped effortlessly between Sara, and Agneta, between past years as slowly the layers were peeled back. It was complex but fascinating, the old East Germany, the Stasi, it’s spies who infiltrated the upper echelons of Swedish society and politics. Sara was right in the centre, desperate to solve the murder, to find out who Geiger was, what it all meant.
We went with Sara as she encountered German intelligence, fought to get her own police force to accept her findings. Whilst this was exciting I was impressed with Skordeman’s skill in interweaving Sara’s own story, her dogged determination to rid Stockholm of its seedier side of women’s sexual exploitation, of her own turmoil. Did she still love her husband, her relationship with her children and indeed her own mother. And there lay another layer, her early years living in Stellan’s property, her relationship with his children, the sudden withdrawal, the move away.
As she dug deeper, Skordeman played a master stroke, one that appalled, that shocked not only us but Sara. Just as we got our heads around that this next twist, he threw in another one, and we crashed to a dramatic and revealing ending.
Geiger was exhilarating, utterly fascinating and everything a thriller should be but with a wonderful emotive, human element. It was hardly surprising to read it has been snapped up by a production company and will soon be winging its way onto our screens.
I would like to thank Zaffre for a copy of Geiger to read and review and to Compulsive Readers for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.