Book Review: Marked for Life (Emilie Schepp)

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Jana Berzelius is a young and brilliant prosecutor; she may aloof and emotionally cold, to some, but she is good at her job…until everything changes. A high-ranking member of the migration board is found murdered and now to protect her own past, a past she struggles to remember, she must find the murderer before the police. In this game of cat and mouse, nothing is as it seems. 

Written by Swedish novelist, Emelie Schepp, Marked for Life is the first of a series of novels featuring public prosecutor, Jana Berzelius.

This is the first piece of Nordic crime that I have ever read and I have to say, I was quite pleased with how the story came together! The novel opens with the murder of Hans Juhlen,a high-ranking representative of the migration board. With no leads and no suspects, other than his widow, the investigation into the murder begins. Soon, as they search his apartment, they find handprints that belong to a child. The catch? No children lived in the apartment and the Juhlen’s had no children.

I do have to admit that the story had a slow start but once the story began to unfold I was hooked! The novel mimics a police procedural novel but it’s unique in the sense that it switches gears during the second half of the novel.   We move from seeing the inner workings of the case into a thriller with many twists and turns.  The plot focuses on some sort of human trafficking ring.   Our narrative perspective is through Jana, a strong, female character that came into her own throughout the plot as she fought to discover her past.   We also get bits of narrative told through the eyes of an “unknown” child who has been trafficked.  It’s a really interesting perspective and as it all comes together it is shocking; there were some moments while I was reading that I actually gasped.

I am really looking forward to reading other books in this installment and seeing how the Jana character will be developed!

WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS READ? Yes-Absolutely!  It’s a very different type of read.

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