Väster om friheten – West of freedom

By Thomas Engström

Marrakech, July 11th: Three Americans are found brutally executed at a barbershop. The murders are quieted down. A week later a woman calls the American Embassy in Berlin and claims to have information about the attack. The chief of CIA in Berlin realizes that he is on to something big. He contacts his ex-agent Ludwig Licht, who is tasked with interrogating the woman. It soon showed that the case stod on a cliffs edge and the hunt for the USA:s most sworn enemies can start.

West of freedom is the first part in Thomas Engström’s series about Ludwig Licht, an old Stasi-agent who been an informer to the CIA.  Nowadays he is a free-lancing problem solver and restaurant owner. The plot is set in Berlin, where the old world order meets a new time. Who is your friend, who is your enemy and who watches over our freedom?

First published by Albert Bonniers in 2013-09-20

Czech, Jota Nakladatelstvi s.r.o
Germany, Random House
Greece, Metaixmio
Netherlands, Ambos Anthos
Poland, Sonia Draga
Russia, AST

It’s clear that Sweden with Engström has a new leading thriller author. Personally I will wait eagerly for the second volume. That the story has filmic qualities is a fact.
Svenska Dagbladet

I was extremely captivated by the plot, the characters and the portrayal of Berlin… A thriller of high international class.

A spy thriller to fall in love with. Impressive /…/ I read at a stretch and enjoying it until the very last page. Engström is brilliant in his initiated and beautifully written portrayals of Berlin /…/ Among my best reads in the thriller/spy genre in a very long time and it feels safe to know that it will be more.
Skånska Dagbladet

West of Freedom is good, baffling good. A solid, driven and intelligent political thriller with roots in the cold war. The surprises are numerous, the plot turns wonderfully sharp. And the author has a nice sense of humor, especially when he attributes the different bad guys of the book distinct and pathetic ways of expressing themselves. Very funny! /…/ a stylish narrator who convinces me that the spy novel, a genre declared dead since long, has a bright future.
Östgöta Correspondenten

Engström has succeeded with his homework and the portrayal of Berlin is very believable. The main character’s observations have a chirurgical precision that never is dwelling /…/ I’m hooked.
Borås Tidning

West of Freedom is a compact and well balanced thriller. A story with its absolute strengths in the expression. In the language, in the descriptions of the environment, the dialogues; often humoristic, always sharp. And above all, the main character Licht, a charming and egocentric character, hopeless and beyond saving.
Döda Zonen

Engström has the alert eye of a journalist when it comes to setting, meeting spots and monuments. He must have wandered up and down the streets of Berlin to find the authenticity in his portrayal.