Monday, July 24, 2017

Review: Leona - The Die is Cast

Summary: This best-selling Scandinavian thriller follows its troubled heroine as she investigates a high-profile robbery for Stockholm’s Violent Crimes Division.

Naked and bloody, a seven-year-old girl walks into a bank in central Stockholm in broad daylight and gets away with millions. Leona Lindberg of Stockholm’s Violent Crimes Division agrees to work on the case. With a long, distinguished history on the police force, she seems the perfect choice. But Leona is grappling with difficult issues of her own—a gambling addiction, a strained marriage—that could jeopardize the investigation. As she struggles to keep the volatile pieces of her life under control, the line between right and wrong becomes increasingly unclear, and even irrelevant.

This is a hardboiled crime novel, filled with unexpected twists and turns, featuring an unusual heroine. Leona makes for gripping reading while challenging feminine norms and questioning what is behind the choices we make. -- Other Press

I accepted a pitch for LEONA: THE DIE IS CAST by Jenny Rogneby prior to attending this year's BEA; however, when after actually meeting the stunning Ms. Rogneby,  I knew this was one book that I had to read. It actually was the only mystery/thriller I packed for my beach vacation, and I'm so glad I included it. This book is something special!

LEONA: THE DIE IS CAST is already a best-selling novel in Scandinavia and the beginning of a new series stars Leona Lindberg, a complicated police officer in Stockholm's Violent Crimes Division. This book tells the unbelievable story of a seven year old girl who walks into banks, demands money, and ends up walking out of the bank with millions... and she just happens to be naked and covered in blood. Do I even need to tell you that LEONA: THE DIE IS CAST is a bit dark and creepy?

Leona Lindberg agrees to take on this high profile and difficult case. At 34 years old, she's a police veteran and has a pretty good solve rate so it makes sense for her to be in charge. However, it becomes apparent to the reader fairly early on that Leona is a bit of a mess. Her marriage is in trouble, her job is very demanding, her son is very ill, and she appears to have a gambling problem. Just trying to juggle these things makes Leona's life very difficult, and her actions make it difficult to discern whether she is on the right or wrong side of the law.

I thoroughly enjoyed LEONA, but I'm not exactly sure what that says about me. This novel is definitely twisted... and truth be told, I'm a bit surprised that someone as delightful as the author wrote something so dark. Having said that, she did work as a criminal investigator in the Stockholm City Police Department so she probably saw some pretty bad things there.

One of my favorite things about LEONA: THE DIE IS CAST was Leona herself. Leona is a fantastic character and so darn complicated that I'm still not quite sure what to make of her. She definitely had some baggage from her past that made her present life pretty difficult, and it seemed like she couldn't make the right choices despite knowing that they were detrimental to her personal life and her career. In fact, she was extremely hard to even like or root for, but I was interested in her all the same.

As far as mysteries go, I think it's safe to say that  LEONA: THE DIE IS CAST has more twists and turns than I could almost process. I mean that in the best of ways though. I loved that I was constantly surprised because it made for one highly entertaining story (if at times a little unbelievable), and I am so glad that this novel is the first in the series because I'm dying to see what's in store for Leona in the next book!

All in all, I think LEONA: THE DIE IS CAST is a great start to a new series. I definitely recommend this novel to fans of psychological suspense and thrillers.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

Rogneby was gorgeous, wasn't she? I'm glad to see this is so good. I need to try to get to it soon.