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Books on Tape. (Rekke & Vargas, Bk. 1). Aug. 2022. 11:08 hrs. ISBN 9780593633212. $95. M
Lagercrantz, best-selling author of the continuation of the late Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” trilogy (The Girl Who Lived Twice), offers a new series featuring two interesting protagonists. Lagercrantz’s well-developed central characters are working-class detective Micaela Vargas, the smart, poor, ambitious daughter of Chilean immigrants, and Dr. Hans Rekke, a cultured and brilliant, yet psychologically fragile upper-class professor. A combination of classic homicide police procedural and political thriller, the book’s melancholy main themes are a mixture of the post-9/11 anti-terrorism panic (the similarities between the Afghan torture/repression of the Taliban and CIA “black sites”) and a murder mystery. The similarities to a Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson tale are evident, but the story is fresh. Celebrated narrator Simon Vance provides outstanding accents, varying his tone to capture regional and socioeconomic differences. Vance’s narration adds a classic element to the story that makes it familiar, yet interesting.
VERDICT While the ending is a bit anti-climactic, fans of the “Millennium” series will be anxious for more of this promising series.
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