SKRIFTEN I VATTNET – THE WRITING IN THE WATER

By John Ajvide Lindqvist

Midsummer’s eve 2019
The table at the landing pier has been set with the finest china, Business man Olof Helander has international guests and he wants them to get the full Midsummer experience. The table is filled with traditional delicacies. Lots of “snaps” have been drunk, spirits are high and the scene is picture perfect when an open boat pulls up to the pier. Two men, faces masked get on their feet and 30 seconds later the picturesque setting has been switched to a blood bath….

The successful author Julia Malmros has gotten an assignment that, if completed, would mean a true step up for her career. She would take her place among the true giants. The assignment is to write the next book in a world famous suspense series. To help her with research the publishing house has put her in touch with mysterious Kim Ribbing. He is a hacker with a dark past and a puzzling appearance to say the least. They make an ill-matched couple, but attraction arises and their first meeting is long and ends between Julia’s sheet. 

A couple of months later Julia finds out that her manuscript didn’t reach the expectations of the publisher. Her disappointment knows no limits and she cries out her misery in a morning TV show, against all logic and more importantly against all rules. Having burned too many bridges with her publisher and chased by journalists, she flees to her summer cottage in the Stockholm archipelago. 

Kim reads about her situation and asks himself what in the world Julia Malmros has gotten herself into. He surprises her at the cabin. It is Midsummer’s eve and their reunion is interrupted by gunshots heard from a couple of bays away, at Julia’s childhood friend’s: Olof Helander.

Julia and Kim start their own investigation, aside from the official one conducted by Julia’s ex husband Jonny. It turns out that Olof Helander had luxurious habits way out of proportion in relation to the revenue of his company, The trail of money leads to topical questions and out on journey from the archipelago of Stockholm, through haunted houses in Shanghai, over Cuban beaches and Norwegian oil rigs. It is a thrilling story in which John Ajvide Lindqvist tries on a new genre without ever compromising with his distinctive care and attention to his characters. The Writing in the Water is the first part in the planned series Bloodstorm and will be followed by The Room in the Ground and The Spirit in the Machine.

First published by Ordfront Förlag, 2022

Sweden, Ordfront

I don’t miss the horror nor the supernatural elements when Ajvide Lindqivst jumps aboard the thriller train. He has kept his linguistic skills, showcases his sense of humor and skillfully depicts people in a manner that makes his characters believable in a twisted reality.
– GP 

It is quite fantastic to see Ajvide Lindqivst crash into the crime literature’s gray everyday realism with his sparkly monster truck.
– Aftonbladet 

 Ajvide is incredibly good.
– Kapprakt 

The language is full of life. It is insane, smart and incredibly funny in the midst of despair. What we call a breath of fresh air in the dusty crime cabinet. Or perhaps more like a hurricane in a glass of water.
– Samuel Karlsson, Vi som älskar ljudböcker

When John Ajvide Lindqvist ventures into the suspense genre, he brings with him all of his knowledge from horror writing and the great, wonderful desire for storytelling that is significant for his entire authorship.
– Lars Kepler

[…]John Ajvide Lindqvist manages it with a twinkle in his eye and a fox behind his ear. […]John Ajvide Lindqvist has an unfailing ability to breathe life into his characters.”
– Dagens Nyheter

It’s a crime novel and it’s a pure joy to read […] Ajvide has written a thrilling story, he manages the transition from the horror genre to the crime genre gallantly,”

– Femina

[…]a complex, fast-paced story, with threads running from climate issues to espionage, money laundering and other international entanglements.
Nerikes Allehanda

Ajvide really has an ability to captivate the reader from start to finish in both a clever and refined way. I read this book in one sitting and I’m already longing for part two.
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