I’m not a big reader of Scandi crime, but this is terrific, and very different from the usual. A courtroom drama that’s also a sharp critique of modern society. 

Eighteen-year-old Maja Norberg was always popular and smart, a star student at her high school.

The icing on the cake comes when she starts going out with Sebastian, the charismatic, golden son of the richest man in Sweden.

Everything seems perfect, until it all starts going off the rails. Now she is on trial for murder, after a mass shooting at her school.

When police arrive at the massacre site, Maja is sitting on the floor of a classroom completely unharmed, with Sebastian lying dead in her lap. The four other people in the classroom have been shot.

Maja, near catatonic, is arrested, charged and jailed pending her trial on a whole range of charges. But what brought them all to that point, and how guilty is Maja really?

As she sits through the traumatic trial, supported by Sweden’s best criminal lawyer, we learn the back story – from the joy of her first weeks together with Sebastian to her growing unhappiness, particularly with Sebastian’s vicious father, Claes.

Her closest friendships, with Amanda and Samir, came under strain as drugs and violence increasingly surround her.

Quicksand, which won Best Crime Novel of the Year in 2016 in Sweden, is a belting read, gripping from the first page to the last. Giolito knows her stuff, having worked as a lawyer in a major law firm.

This book is published in April 2017. 

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