In July, the paperback of The Swede was released in the U.S.  Meanwhile, Ernst Grip returns in the sequel, After the Monsoon (Efter monsunen) — published in September in Sweden. This one is a story of piracy. The book is based on my time hunting Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, when I commanded a helicopter unit with the Swedish Air Force. The new thriller will be translated into English for HarperCollins, for publication in 2018.

I’m very pleased that The Swede made Booklist’s Best Crime Novels of 2016. The book was also shortlisted for a Lambda Literary Award, and it received a coveted starred review in Publishers Weekly.


Robert Karjel, author of The Swede

“Ever since, I’ve brought notebook and pen on deployments so I can keep writing on ships, in barracks and in tents. I write by hand, given that sea water, sand and jittery power supplies can be tough on computers. My last novel, I edited while hunting pirates off the coast of Somalia. On that navy ship, my call sign naturally came to be…Storyteller.”

Robert Karjel 

When people ask me to boil down The Swede into a few lines, I have a hard time—because the book is complex and contains many different themes.

But one idea that’s important to me dates back to the time I first started writing the novel. When the Thailand tsunami struck in 2004, more than 500 Swedes on holiday were killed, and thousands more were reported missing.

I suspected that some of the missing would decide to disappear. Start new lives.

Later, when I spoke to Swedish authorities, they told me that my hunch was right. They believe that some of those listed as missing did survive, but have never officially resurfaced.

—  Robert Karjel