Little, Brown & Co/Hachette, $26.00, 432 pages, ISBN 978-0-3163-3500-3
A thrill is defined as: a trembling sensation caused by fear or emotional shock, and a thriller as: a person or something that thrills . . . buckle that together with the word phenomenon, anything that can be perceived as a fact by the senses, and you come up with thriller phenomenon . . . that which scares the bejeezus out of you because it appears to be so real. It’s the perfect description of Mysterious Book Report number 202, a first novel by a fresh, new and exciting Swedish writer that’s ideal for your summertime reading pleasure.
Chain of Events, by Fredrik T. Olsson starts out with a bang and never lets up until the last page.
William Sandberg wants to die. He’s a brilliant—maybe the best the world has ever seen—military cryptanalyst and cipher who designs and engineers unbreakable computer codes for the Swedish military, but his life is a wreck: his marriage and career have both ended badly. Deeply depressed, he locks himself in his Stockholm apartment, runs a hot bath and hops in with his shaving gear and a bottle of sleeping pills . . . expecting to awake in the hereafter. Instead he finds himself in a hospital psych ward with his wrists bandaged and his stomach being pumped. Soon after that he’s spirited away by a couple of tough men who don’t speak much, put on a corporate jet and flown off to an unknown destination. Forcibly drugged, he awakens in the confines of an ancient castle, his location unknown—but possibly in the Alps—where he learns that his talents as a code breaker are desperately needed to help unlock a DNA sequence that’s eluded the best scientists and engineers in the world for more than fifty years! It’s a stunning countdown to doomsday with the survival of the entire human race hanging in the balance. There’s chases and cliffhangers galore . . . as a dedicated team of amateurs led by Sandberg’s ex-wife Christina try to find out why he was kidnapped, by whom, and where he’s being held as the search for answers leads from Sweden to Berlin to the Alps in a race against time to save the world.