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The Swimmer
Joakim Zander

February 10, 2015 / ISBN 978-0062337245
Political Intrigue (1980-present)

Reviewed by Linda Morelli


The debut spy thriller novel The Swimmer by Swedish author Joakim Zander is a deftly written action story about a nameless CIA agent’s life as a spy and his attempts to right distant past deeds. The story covers the period from 1980 until the present. Zander has constructed the narrative using the CIA agent in the first person describing the agent’s perspective through the years starting in 1980. Zander interweaves that CIA narrative with a third person narration of the other central characters caught up with the present day parallel main story. As the novel progresses, the CIA agent’s world eventually intersects with the main story.

Tensions build as the novel progresses and the unrelenting convergence of the twin narratives lead to the climax. There is a lot going on in short, snappy chapters as we follow the various characters and sub-plots and the various intersecting parts of the unfolding plot. The story fits in with the current world of stolen secrets and their repercussions on security and governmental relations, the 2003 Iraqi invasion, WikiLeaks and Ed Snowden. But in this world of stolen secrets and betrayals who are the villains and heroes? It is not over the top as some of his contemporaries portray in similar novels. The plot is not only believable but deals with some “inconvenient truths.”

The pace is quick and Sweden is at the center of the most of the story. Zander continues the fine tradition of top-notch fictional writers from Sweden in this exciting page-turner.

Reviewer Linda Morelli is the award winning author of three published romance novels.
Reviewed 2015