Cover Image: Geiger


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Member Reviews

Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC copy of this to read and review.

This book starts off with a bang as a 70-year-old woman receives a one-word phone call and shoots her husband dead in his chair. Then, we are off to the races. 

The premise of the book was amazing. The execution left something to be desired. A very interesting look into the double/triple agent life of spies during the Cold War - and into Sweden during that time which was something left out of my own education. However, the story just didn't hold my interest that well despite the many unexpected twists.

The book is a translation so many of the names of streets and towns were hard to understand, but didn't truly affect the story. Lots of descriptions of the rape of underage girls in a weird amount of detail. It was a slow slog for me.
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Compelling, Historically Relevant, but Hard to Follow

Geiger is a spy thriller debut by Gustaf Skördeman. The story hooked me immediately when Agneta Broman, a 69 year old grandmother, recieves a phone call, hears a single word "Geiger", and with no hesitation shoots her husband Stellan dead. Agneta disappears, and a wild goose chase ensues. Sara Nowak, a Stockholm police officer in the prostitution unit, becomes involved in the investigation due to her childhood growing up with the Bromans. This investigation reveals connections between East Germany and Russian espionage, Agenta and her husband, and the truth about Sara's childhood. 

What I found the most interesting about this story was Sara's passion for helping those stuck in the prostitution ring. At times she becomes unhinged at their fruitless efforts. This added so much substance to her personality and merged well with other themes of the book. I wish I could see more of Agneta's personality. It was like I was expected to believe she was some sort of sleeper agent her whole life and only cared about the mission. This lack of insight made the ending inexplicable. The rest of the cast is filled with unique personalities from varying backgrounds such as political figures, scientists, double agents, etc. There are some associations that took awhile for me to comprehend because I know next to nothing about German, Russian, or Swedish history and cultural references. A considerable amount about East Germany and Russian history was explained throughout. The initial captivation dissolved and the rest of the story bore on reluctantly. The plot was well designed and fascinating, but the complexity of the Cold War espionage was lost on me. There's alot about this book I still don't understand. In general, this was an interesting spy thriller but too complicated for me to completely appreciate. This was not a home run for me, but those that love spy thrillers and know alot about European history might enjoy this. 

Thank you Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into this one. I’m more of a psychological thriller person as opposed to a spy thriller person. I wasn’t interested in the Russian politics aspect either. Thanks for letting me give it a try!
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I wanted to love this one, but it just wasn't for me. While the premise was intriguing it was the execution. A slow burn, information dense read and it was slow going for me at times. I thank you for the chance to read and review.
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Unfortunately, I could not finish this book. For me, it was too formulaic to the point I was distracted. I could not get into this book. If you could see past writing and enjoy history and spies, you'd probably really enjoy this book.
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Thank you to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Geiger by Gustaf Skördeman is a thriller that blends the domestic thriller, spy thriller, and political thriller subgenres. The story revolves around Agneta, who is a happily married grandmother. One day, after a strange call, Agneta hangs up and kills her husband, who she has been married to for 50 years. Then, she goes on the run. What just happened? It's up to police officer Sara, who grew up with the family, to solve the case.

Here is a gripping excerpt from Chapter 1:

"Agneta went into the study and picked up the big receiver attached to a spiral cable that led to an old Ericsson Dialog phone with a dial. She answered with her surname, just as she always had done.
On the other end of the line, a man’s voice spoke in heavily accented German.
It was as she’d feared.
Good God.
The grandchildren.
But she heard the cars start outside, and realized she didn’t have much choice.
She quickly calculated, then she answered curtly “Yes” and hung up.
Then she went upstairs and into the bedroom, opened the drawer."

Overall, Geiger is a gripping spy thriller that will appeal to fans of Syfy's Dollhouse and The Americans. One highlight of this book is the action, which really picked up in the middle of the book. It felt like a blend of Jack Reacher and Karin Slaughter. I should warn you though that you must read the trigger warnings. In particular, there are graphic depictions of some non-consensual encounters. I took off 1 star, because the ending felt unsatisfying to me.  If you're intrigued by the excerpt above, or if you're a fan of thrillers in general, I recommend that you check out this book, which is available now!
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Full review to come on Goodreads and Amazon.  Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for a review copy.
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Such an original story.  Couldn't put this one down.  Great characters and the plot moves right along.
Can't wait for the next one from Skordeman.
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Overall I really enjoyed Geiger! The first chapter was incredible and set up a page-turning mystery that carried all the way thru to the end. Not being overly knowledgeable on east German or Russian history, I did find myself a little lost when trying to grasp the political landscape but I didn't find that impacted my reading experience too negatively. I would recommend Geiger to anyone who loves spy thrillers!
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Geiger is a Swedish political/spy thriller, taking place thirty years after the fall of the Berlin wall.  It heavily involves a look back at the Cold War era and in particular Sweden's relationship with East Germany.  Sara Novak's mother Jane was a Polish refugee who became the housemaid for "Uncle Stellan", in the 1960s or so. At the time, he was a huge television personality beloved and known throughout Sweden. Sara grew up playing with his two daughters  -- at least in the summertime when their friends were out of town.  Together with his wife Agneta , the family lived an extravagant, privileged life.  Jane inexplicably took Sara from this life she loved when she was thirteen.  They moved to a flat in an undesirable area and ultimately, Sara became a police officer.  Her work is in the department enforcing prostitution crimes.  

Sara's friend Anna calls her in for a consultation when  Stellan and Agneta become crime victims in a way that is baffling, given their popularity even thirty years after his career is over. Anna knows Sara lived on their property for years and Anna's seeking her perspective on why they might have been targeted.  Skodeman then weaves an intricate tale of how a celebrity during the years before the wall fell might have played footsie with some of the wrong people and its impact thirty years after the wall fell.  Anyone who likes a good spy novel would enjoy this book.  I did.  I thought it was well written, apparently well translated and very engaging.
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I gave up on this one after the characters were merging together. I loved the idea behind it. Maybe the translation just didn't convey the story well.  A DNF for me.
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A really fun spy drama full of twists and turns! I'm normally not a fan of spy thrillers but this was, well, thrilling! Well written and kept me on the edge of my seat! Thank you so much!
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Genre: Thriller
Format: Kindle eBook
Date Published: 5/10/22
Author: Gustaf Skordeman
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing 
Pages: 433
Goodreads Rating: 3.31

Thank you to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for providing a copy of the book for me to read in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Synopsis: The Bromans are happily married for 50 years with grown children and grandchildren. They just said goodbye to their daughters and grandchildren. The landline rings. Caller says one word, “Geiger.” Agneta then suddenly kills her husband and disappears. Sara Nowak, police officer, grew up next to the Bromans and was called by a colleague investigating the murder. Against procedure, Sara gets involved investigating the murder.

My Thoughts: I typically do not read political view books, they are just not my cup of tea. This is a slow burn book. While I am grateful to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for the opportunity to read this book, it was hard for me to get through. I would say this is more of a spy/political thriller. There were twists at the end. This book would be great for those who love political/spy/espionage books. It was not bad and was written well.
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Recently translated and being published in the US, this one starts off with a bang, literally. A seemingly normal family bids adieu to their grandchildren when the phone rings and one word changes everything, Geiger. Agneta executes her husband, former TV star, Stellan Broman and is on the run. Told from multiple POV, Agneta, the detectives etc. it is almost infuriating to see the detectives not even consider Agneta as a suspect while they uncover Stellan’s past. I am about halfway through this novel and am not sure I will finish because it is turning more into a spy novel full of Russian politics which is just not for me.
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This book has one of the most shocking opening scenes I’ve read in a long time. It’s begins with simpke domesticity, Agneta, the matriarch of the family is hanging out with her husband, their children and grandchildren. Their daughter reflects that her dad who is now eighty-five spent his life as a workaholic, while her mom loves to relax and read or socialize with friends. Once the kids and grandkids all say their goodbyes and leave the phone rings. Agneta picks up the phone and the person whose calls says one word: Geiger. This prompts her to hang up the phone and shoot her husband dead. Something that has been brewing for years has been set in motion. Another main character, Sara, becomes involved in the case because she was the family’s housekeeper’s daughter and grew up almost a part of the family. She’s now a police officer working in the sex crimes division and she gets wind of Agneta’s husband’s murder and wants to be involved so she can help the family. This book is one wild ride – a fast-paced espionage thriller.  Skordeman also weaves in lots of interesting tidbits about Swedish culture and history, particularly the country’s involvement in the Cold War. Thank you to Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for the advanced review copy.
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This story starts with a bang. The elderly Bromans, Agneta, and Stellan have just said goodbye to their children and grandchildren when the phone rings. Agneta answers and one word will change the course of so many lives. Agneta shoots her husband and vanishes for parts unknown. When the police arrive, they cannot believe Sweden's beloved TV personality, Uncle Stellan is dead, and where is Agneta. And away we go on a long and tangled ride!
Sara is a police officer not assigned to the murder investigation, but with reasons to want to solve this perplexing crime. She spent her early childhood in the Broman household, the daughter of their housekeeper. As she uncovers secret after secret about Stellan, she questions everything and I mean everything she thought she knew about her life.
Alternating chapters focus on Agneta, who she is, and what she has done. But her job or mission is nowhere near finished, and between her and what Sara discovers, a disturbing and dangerous narrative emerges. 
Did all the cold war and spy stuff have me glued to the pages? No. As for Sara, while I appreciated knowing what it was like as a child in the Broman household, I could have skipped her current family story. That being said, when the plot moved between Agneta and Sara, and the body count continued to rise, I was hooked and I would read another book by this author in a heartbeat. Potential trigger warnings are littering these pages like landmines, so you might want to search for them before starting this riveting debut.
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Man this had me entertained right up until the disappointing ending. And what a disappointment it was! Some parts of the plot were predictable but the end just cuts off in haste. What happened? Did the author just give up? 

I can’t really recommend this due to the ending.
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This book started out really strong and had me intrigued, but the story slowed way down after that.  I understand why, but the details about the Cold War were not interesting to me and made me feel like the story was dragging.  DNF at 52%.
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The synopsis and first chapter of this book sucked me in.  I was really intrigued with where it was going, however I found the book to be a bit slow and dragging.  Political type of books aren't always for me and maybe that's why I was losing interest the more I read.  I enjoyed the history as well as Agneta's storyline, but everything else just wasn't for me unfortunately.
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As I was reading this Swedish thriller I was planning on only giving it 3 stars. Other reviews had called it fast paced, but I felt I was getting bogged down in the competing storylines. Soviet sleeper units up to no good after a long period of time drew my attention and kept my interest even though superfluous meanderings made me want to skip parts. 

Don’t let that above paragraph discourage you. Keep reading for a jackpot ending and twists you won’t see coming. Don’t let this one slip by. I believe it is a series and I am going to check out the others. 

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