Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Feb 2018

Member Reviews

As always with main characters that are in the force, Zack works in a team that readers get introduced to early in the novel. I’ve always been poor at names, much less when they’re not paired with faces. It makes these initial get-to-know your characters part slightly slow. However, due to the diversity of Zack’s teammates (i.e. 35-year-old refugee female from Iraq, a 63-year-old blind man, a female hacker with a bad knee), I got through this part much better than other books.

This is a fantastic start to a series with an impressive cliffhanger, and that’s saying something. This book being what it is (i.e. book #1), some important questions concerning Zack’s past and thus his personality, are left unanswered, undoubtedly meant to leave readers wanting. Well, it certainly is successful in that sense. However, for some reason, after a few days, I’d have to say I’ll go by alright without continuing this series. If I happen to have Leon (Zack Herry, #2) in my possession someday, I’ll probably read it.
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I cannot review because I couldn't finish it. Though the blurb caught me, it was poorly written.
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First published in Sweden in 2014; published in translation by Atria/Emily Bestler Books on January 23, 2018

Zack Herry is a humble Detective Inspector in Sweden with a wealthy girlfriend whose father he saved from a robbery. Zack has moved ahead of older officers to land a gig in the Special Crimes Unit. At night, he likes to party with his friend Abdula, who supplies the cocaine. Zack is a little worried that his colleagues might be tumbling to his nocturnal activities. But when he’s sleeping rather than partying, he has nightmares about his mother, a police detective whose murder was never solved.

Zack puts those worries aside as he investigates the killings and mutilations of some Thai prostitutes who worked in a massage parlor. That gives Mons Kallentoft a chance to spotlight Sweden’s hate-spewing white supremacists, who seem to have particular disdain for Thai women. One of the police detectives wonders whether there has always been so much hate, or whether the internet has amplified the voice of racists. It’s a good question.

But white supremacists aren’t the only suspects. A motorcycle gang may have committed the murders to send a message about who controls the supply of Thai prostitutes in Sweden. A profiler suspects that a loner with a grudge against women is responsible. Turkish gangsters may also be responsible.

Meanwhile, Sukayana Prikon, who owns the massage parlor where the murdered women worked, is kidnapped. The reader joins Zack in wondering why she is subjected to some brutal moments that are left to play out in the reader’s imagination.

The various plotlines come together in a central mystery: Who is killing the prostitutes, and why? But a closely-related mystery is just as engrossing: Will Zack solve the murders before he gets fired?

Zack engages in the requisite chases, shootouts, and fights, but he’s also an interesting, deeply conflicted character. People tell him that he’s a good person because he’s on the side of good people, but he feels no remorse when he kills bad people. That troubles him, so maybe he is a good person. Zack knows he has a drug problem, he knows it is impairing his judgment and jeopardizing a job, but like most people with a drug problem, he’s losing control of his ability to contain the consequences of his addiction. That can be a trite trait if an author uses addiction in an obvious effort to make a character seem realistic or interesting, but Zack’s addiction is integral to his being — and that, in turn, makes the character both interesting and realistic. The fact that his mother was murdered and that he became a cop to find her killer adds another dimension to his character.

Secondary characters, including a blind detective named Rudolph, the unfortunate massage parlor owner, and a lesbian detective who partners with Zack (and unlike most women, readily resists his charms) are developed to a satisfying degree of depth. The solution to the mystery isn’t particularly noteworthy, but the cinematic style of storytelling makes the action easy to visualize (perhaps too easy for sensitive readers who don’t want to picture wolves devouring the legs of dangling humans). The novel’s steady pace turns into a sprint as the novel nears its end. The theme of human trafficking is trendy and overdone in modern thrillers, but I’ll forgive Kallentoft since I’m happy to read any Scandinavian thriller that doesn’t dwell on snow and frigid weather and how depressing it is to be alive.

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Thank you to Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review, "Zack:" by by Mons Kallentoft; Markus Lutteman. This book is pretty intense. There are so many emotions and graphic scenes. I like the overall concept of the book but it was just a little too graphic for me. Zack is a detective who is part of the police department by day but he is a party animal and drug user by night. I did enjoy the depth of the characters. Some of the themes were just really heavy and downright sad. Even though this is a work of fiction, the themes and situations it addresses are vert realistic. By no means does that mean that this book isn't worth picking up for people who can look past that. A great work of fiction.
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Zack Herry lives a double life; Detective Inspector in the Special Crimes Unit by day, and club-hopping drug-taker by night. He is haunted by the memory of his dead mother and the chronically-ill father that he had to care for as a child instead of a normal childhood.

Zack and his colleagues are called in when four Asian prostitutes are brutally murdered in a quite gruesome way. Evidence seems to point towards either a racist extremist motive, or some kind of gang warfare that could be going on. Things get worse very quickly, and Zack, his partner Deniz and the rest of the Unit struggle to keep up with a killing spree, making almost no progress as the body count grows. A horrifically brutal attack on a witness sets the clock ticking quickly as the pressure mounts. It's a taut, pacy plot, but it does get violent.

Zack is a very unlikely character but one that you can get behind if you suspend disbelief a bit. Mons Kallentoft does a good job of fleshing out some other characters such as Deniz, Rudolf and Sirpa, but the other members of the Unit are fairly stock characters, mostly with little to do with the plot. A couple of them could probably have been cut without impact.

I have to confess that I couldn't figure out what Kallentoft intended with his beginning of the boy lying in the grass, and how that tied in with the main plot. Either I missed something basic, or perhaps that will be explored in a future book.

This is the first in a series called Hercules, based around the myth of the Twelve Labours. It seems that this entrant is inspired by the first labour, the killing of the Nemean lion. It will be interesting to see where Kallentoft takes this.
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Zack is the first in a series  by Scandinavian master crime fiction author Mons Kallentoft.

Zack is the kind of thriller I love.  Deeply dark and disturbing yet a plot so well written and expertly paced l I couldn’t  make myself stop reading.  I was fascinated by the main character Zack - a walking contradiction and a blend of opposite extremities.   While  there is a fair amount of violence in this book, Zack is an enthralling all consuming read.  

Thank you NetGalley and Atria/Emily Bestler Books for the advance digital galley!
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It took me so long to get around to reading this book, but once I finally did pick it up I was really into it! 4/5!
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Very interesting plot and characters! Slow at times but I enjoyed my time reading it!
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Wow I'm not often impressed but this story managed to impress me!It's not my usual type of books I would like to read but when I saw this one and I read the synopsis I was intrigued!  Zack was a compelling and  captivating story!If you love thrillers then you must read it!I was on the edge of my seat most of the time and I was anxious to see what will happen next!The plot was original, I haven't read anything like that before!
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Zack Herry, Stockholm police officer during the day, party animal at night. In his spare time, Zack goes to clubs and doing drugs; things that could end his career as an officer, but he must also keep his status clear from the people in the clubs. Two worlds, two different sides. When four women are murdered, and one attacked by an animal, Zack must leave his nightlife to catch the killer. If not, more women will die. This novel follows Zack and his partner, Deniz, along for a wild case. Originally published in Swedish, English readers can now read this wild goose chase thriller.

I really wish I had liked this more than I did. There's nothing wrong with it, I just don't think it was my cup of tea. It took a while for me to get through, and I was alright with that at first. But the slower I read, the more I realized I wasn't getting into the book as much. It could have been all of the distractions of the world a well. I hit a hard reading slump, and this book just did not seem all that interesting.

I believe the plot line was great and original, but I think the characters fell flat. They didn't seem to have a lot of personality, so when they got themselves into trouble, I didn't care for them. Part 1 was my favorite because it set up the story very nicely. After that, my attention span dropped.

However, I will read it again. I really think I would enjoy this if there were different circumstances. AS for right now, I'm giving it a 2.5/5.

A special thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this advanced reading copy.
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A fairly lengthy and entertaining story. The plot is highly enjoyable and the book was well written. Some parts of it are raw and hard to read. It's definitely worth the read.
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Mons Kallentoft and Markus Lutteman did an excellent job of putting together a real thriller that you can have questions about when you finish reading the book.  Is he still going to find his mothers killer?  Do you believe Robert?  Or is he implicated in her death?  Why does he look the other way when Zack has broken the boundaries of police work?  Drakan's attempt in the end of the book is within the bounds of getting even after his boss has been killed.  Zack's friend, Abdula, was injured saving his life and may not be able to breath on his own.  How will this effect Zack? This book is filled with many incidences that tend to excite me in my reading and will be sure to excite my readers.  Another book please, thank you.
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This was an interesting read. Glad that I read it. Would recommend.
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I've heard about this and was thrilled to see it had been translated. The MC is an easily unlikable  character but the writing is well done that I was able to look past his obvious flaws and enjoy the story for what it was worth.
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