Deliver Me

Malin Persson Giolito (Quicksand) presents another heart-wrenching suspense novel in Deliver Me, translated from the Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles. It deftly blends social commentary with exacting psychological insight, pathos, and a good deal of empathy for her characters. Dogge and Billy have been best friends since their early childhood, though they're from vastly different ethnic and economic backgrounds. Each faces challenges in their home or neighborhood: parental substance abuse, poverty, or general societal indifference. Together, they are initiated early into the gang world of suburban Stockholm run by a slightly older, much-admired young man named Mehdi. Their crimes escalate as they hit puberty, and they find themselves ever-more entrenched in a dead-end journey that they don't have the skills to win or quit.

Billy, the more charismatic and smarter of the two, decides to disengage from the gang and start his life over by moving in with a great uncle who lives abroad. But before he can leave the country, he is killed on the playground where he'd met and befriended Dogge years earlier. Detective Inspector Farid Ayad has known the boys since childhood and watched them slip into greater acts of violence and antisocial behavior. Now it's his task to unravel what happened to Billy and why--before more children are put in harm's way.

Giolito, as in her earlier novels, does not offer easy solutions or a pat resolution but, instead, a well-crafted emotional landscape that poses difficult questions about the nature of guilt, responsibility, redemption, and justice. Deliver Me is a beautifully written and gutting work of suspense. --Elizabeth DeNoma, executive editor, DeNoma Literary Services, Seattle, Wash.

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