HOW FAR WILL A MADMAN GO TO ATTAIN THE ULTIMATE PRIZE?
In the midst of a brutal Scandinavian winter, a member of the Nobel Prize committee is gunned down in the city of Stockholm.
Reporter Annika Bengtzon, who made eye contact with the killer just seconds before the shots were fired, is the key witness. Because of the sensitivity of the crime, police issue a gag order on her immediately—and she is forced to figure out on her own why an American assassin known only as “the Kitten” ordered the hit. With her marriage falling to pieces and her job on the line, Annika quickly finds herself in the middle of a violent story of terror and death, the roots of which date back centuries. The research all leads her to the same man: a rich and famous industrialist responsible for one of the world’s most coveted gifts, who died a tragic and mysterious death. If Annika wants to learn the truth, she risks uncovering secrets that some will do anything to protect.
Publisher Penguin/Atria/Emily Bestler Books, April 2012 Hardcover, 416 pages
ISBN-10: 1451606923 ISBN-13: 9781451606928
In the sixth book following newspaper reporter Annika Bengtzon, Last Will is a focus on the famous Alfred Nobel and his contributions to the development of the Nobel Prize awards. In the opening chapter Annika is witness to the shooting of one of the Nobel prize committee members Caroline Von Behring. The elusive killer-for-hire named The Kitten has made her way into the party after the Noble Prize awards have been given and shoots 2 people on the dance floor, only to make some of her worst mistakes ever. 1. She looks right into Annika’s eyes after stepping on her foot, and 2. She misplaces her shoe upon fleeing the scene. This puts Annika right in the middle of the police investigation as she is the key eyewitness to the shooting. She is immediately placed with a gag-order to not reveal any of the details of what she saw or the case, which puts her in a bind with the newspaper agency she works for.
Annika is already reeling with the pressure of finding her husband has cheated on her, and they will be moving houses soon, but now her job is in jeopardy because she cannot report on the events that she witnessed.
There are several aspects to this story that come together. We get a very flawed main character with her hands full of money, marriage and work problems. She is so close to losing her sanity that at times I really thought she was going to break. The author puts her through so much you can only help but wonder if she is going to make it out ok. The detail and information that is given to the reader about Alfred Noble was very well researched and interesting, the parts about him and his life were some of my favorite chapters. Annika does a lot of investigating of her own, digging into the Nobel committee’s lives and their jobs as scientists. Which is were I want to add a warning label here that this book does contain some animal research and at least one very disturbing cat surgery scene. And last but not least the reader gets some very interesting inside knowledge of the inside workings of a newspaper agency and procedures that a reporter may experience. As the author herself ran a newspaper and knows the ins and outs of that business, it shows through.
The shootings at the Nobel Peace Prize event is just the beginning of numerous others, and as the body count raises, the deeper involved Annika gets, but are the police going to be able to arrest the murderer before Annika gets too deeply involved?
Annika is smart, but she’s stubborn and having a bad time of life, and this time she’s having to go it alone.