Cover Image: This Land is No Stranger

This Land is No Stranger

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Member Reviews

I had trouble getting sucked into this book despite a decent amount of thrills. It took a few false starts before I finally made it past the second chapter, and after the first part of the story, I was still struggling to hang on. The dialogue seemed a little too slow paced, there reaction scenes never really hit the same level of tension as the action, and I had a hard time connecting with the protagonist.

While I did enjoy the setting and I thought the area was well researched and presented, I feel that the storytelling fell a bit flat for my tastes. That doesn't mean it won't work well for someone else. Give it a try and see if it works for you!

(CW: This book is about human trafficking of young women)
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With a career that is spiraling out of control and a nasty drug habit that has taken her to rock bottom, NYC detective Veronika Brand is looking for a way out. I love Nordic thrillers so much! This book did not disappoint!
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This Land is No Stranger, co-written by Sarah Hollister and Gil Reavill  is s thriller set in Sweden  that any of the plethora of well-known "Nordic noir" authors would be proud to have written. In fact apart from the main character being female this book reminded me very much of Jo Nesbo's work both in style and the use of unusual methods of murder,flawed characters and murky goings on by people in authority. .

Veronika Brand is a troubled New York City detective with a drug habit and her life and career seemingly at a dead end . She receives a message from a very distant relative in Sweden almost demanding that she attend a  reunion with her Mother's side of her family,the Dalgrens. Suspicious that there's some kind of ulterior motive to the invitation,all of her Swedish relatives are strangers to her,she's proved right when she's given an old photograph and told of a  feud  with another family going back generations.These are the Voss's,powerful,rich and ruthless.
A supposedly "spur of the moment" bit of sight-seeing,suggested by distant relative by marriage human rights lawyer Krister Hammar she  finds her in the middle of a horrific situation and arousing the interest of the local police.. This is the beginning of a convoluted tale involving sex trafficking, events in wartime Sweden,family secrets, corruption,revenge and the culture and traditions of the Roma,which play a very big part.
It took me a little while to get into the book,Veronika isn't a particularly likeable character on first meeting but she did grow on me. There were a couple of things that had me thinking were too convenient ,only for me to to inwardly apologise to the authors when all became clear at the end.
Not having heard of either co-author before I didn't know what to expect but this is very good indeed,if you enjoy Jo Nesbo you'll love this.
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Veronika Brand, a  New York detective, is invited back to Sweden for a family reunion. It is a brutal story about young girls kidnapped and made sex slaves. The book is well written, but I couldn't connect with any of the characters.
Thank you Netgalley for this book.
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My thanks to Net Galley for this arc to review. 

I am a big fan of Scandinavian crime novels, which led to my request of this novel, but I had a hard time connecting to it.  Veronika Brand goes to Sweden for her grandmother s birthday.   Her grandmother whispers a secret to her, then tragedy strikes.  Veronika is a disgraced police officer from NYC who gets into a murder investigation,  a disappearance and a lot of other trouble.   I thought this was going to be a murder mystery,  but then it got into a fire of the past, family revenge,  gypsy families and culture, trafficking,  and a lost family secret.  I really didn't know where the story was going?  Could not relate to Veronika.   Did enjoy learning about Swedish culture.  This was just ok.
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I am a big fan of Scandinavian mysteries and was excited to read this book.  This is a good book, featuring Veronika Brand.  Brand is a suspended NYC police detective, who is visiting her relatives in Sweden for the first time for a family reunion.  She becomes involved in investigating murders, and in an old family feud.  I really enjoyed the atmospheric quality of the Swedish winter, of the cold and dark.  Recommended.
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Thank you to both #NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for providing me an advance copy of Sarah Hollister and Gil Reavill’s mystery novel, This Land is No Stranger, in exchange for an honest review.

#ThisLandisNoStranger is a well-penned crime thriller about NYC detective Veronika Brand and what she discovers when she takes a trip to Sweden to celebrate her estranged grandmother’s ninety-fifth birthday. Unbeknownst to Veronika at the time, her grandmother had her own motivations for luring her to Sweden. 

The novel alternates between Veronika’s story and that of characters associated with the Romani plotline. While the two eventually connect, Veronika’s story was easily the better of the two. Not sure whether it was due to the formatting of my advance copy, the multitude of unfamiliar Swedish names, or if the story was simply slow and could not hold my attention for long periods of time, but it felt as if it took forever to get through barely a ten-page chapter. 

The descriptions of the land were beautiful and there is no question that the author is talented, but I found myself growing bored through many parts of the novel. This feels like a book that would be offered through Amazon’s first reads program.

If you are a reader who enjoys wading through molasses to unravel a mystery or if you’re in the mood for a well-developed, but tedious story involving family secrets, then this might work for you. Unfortunately, it did not for me.
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My thanks to the Author publishers and NetGalley for providing me with a Paperback copy of this book to read and honestly review.
As a big fan of the Scandi Noir genre this book was right up my street. Clever entertaining intelligent and very well written, atmospheric descriptive with superb characters especially our heroine, who hopefully as the ending suggests will ride again soon. Some nail biting tense action and surprises along the way.
Totally recommended.
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🏞❄Visit to her ancestral homeland: what a welcome😲!

An excellent, thrill-filled action adventure set in a freezing Swedish winter, starkly beautiful and deadly.  Former NYPD Detective Veronika Brand has no idea of the web of violence and destruction she's been lured into with a simple invitation to her Swedish great aunt's 95th birthday celebration.  Political corruption, racial prejudice and bloody revenge feature prominently in this suspenseful noir novel.  It's quite graphically violent but that did not dampen my enjoyment of a well put together story with a strong though deeply flawed heroine.  

Using a first-time visitor to Sweden to question and explain some Swedish culture and issues of the contemporary Swedish social landscape was a great way to familiarize the reader with the setting.  Having lived for a few years in Sweden, I really enjoyed travelling back to the slippery, winding, cobblestone streets of Gamla Stan and Sweden's long, dark winter nights.  Another great element to the plot--the slow revelation of past tragic events now coming to roost.

My only issue was with the scene involving an Embassy representative visiting Veronika during one of her interviews with the local police.  There is no such thing as a Deputy Consul and the conversation was off.  But then, the whole plot is pretty incredible, exciting but straining the bounds of credulity.  It all makes for a page turner that held me enthralled right through to the surprising end.

This is an author whose work I would gladly read again.👍

Thanks to BooksGoSocial and NetGalley for providing a complimentary advance copy of the book;  this is my voluntary and honest review.
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THIS LAND IS NO STRANGER was quite a thrill ride! 

It was smarter than the average thriller in the sense that the reader has the opportunity to learn about a different culture and perhaps realize that the problems in our world are not sequestered to one geographical place or to one specific group?

Veronica Brand, a New York detective has been forced to retire. She is instantly shown as flawed, complex and very real as she struggles with issues in her personal life and the cause and effect of her tough choices on the job and at home. 

When she gets on a plane to attend a family reunion in Sweden and her relatives are basically strangers, there is a separation between the world she knows in New York City and life in rural Sweden.

The moment when a bored tourist becomes a witness to a grisly murder is when the story travels to dark and dangerous places. Showing us the unfathomable cost of human greed and how far one person is willing to go for revenge. 

The haunting character of Varzha Luna is a courageous teenager with an old soul, but she carries the dangerous assumption of youth that what she stands for is stronger than the generational evil she faces. 

There were more characters that fleshed out the story, but I took a deep liking to Dollar Boy. I have a soft spot for rebellious underdogs with Punk Rock hair. The assassins at the end felt a bit overdone for me, but it was exciting and quite unexpected.

Via unlikely partnerships and a game of cat and mouse, the truth reveals itself and the twist of what it is lurking in the woods was simply wild. I loved reading this book and having the opportunity to travel again and learn a little bit more about Swedish and Roma culture. 

I have had my own experiences with both groups and I hope that rather than this being the sum of the whole for readers, they explore and try to expand their minds, especially pertaining to the mysterious and often misunderstood Roma or Romani.

The ones I have been fortunate enough to meet are talented artists, poets, dancers and silversmiths and lead very different lives than the ones we meet in this story. I deeply appreciate conversations about how difficult and heartbreaking things are for immigrants––regardless of where they come from or what country they start over in.

“An out-of-time feel took over the moment. She wondered if the Swedes had a word for the sound that falling snow makes during a blizzard.”

“The storm dropped a veil over the whole scene. They seemed to be nowhere. It was peaceful, death-like.” 

Sentences like the ones above created a black and white noir over the landscape that often felt like a modernist canvas telling a story about class struggle, family values and the high price we all pay for our sins.  

If you enjoy crime stories, noir and strong female leads. You will devour this one.
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This book was a ride that I didn’t want to get off, but I also wanted to see how it ended. While I’m not a huge fan of the MC being a disgraced female, it lends the right perspective to allow this story to unfold beautifully. I was in Sweden with her, following the little bread crumbs that she discovers allowing her to slowly piece together both the past tragedy and the current murders she encounters at the same time.

As Veronika was linking them together, I was turning each page, hoping to get another piece of the puzzle myself.
If you love thrillers, murder, mystery, and family secrets that eventually come to light, this book is for you.
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Definitely Scandi-Noir of the more gory murderous kind bringing in family feuds going back generations, bent lawyers and sex slavery not to mention the lead character - New York detective, burnt out, using drugs too much and reluctantly coming home to northern Sweden for a family reunion following her suspension. The descriptions of small-town northern Sweden in between summer and winter are, however, stunning and feel so real These made the book for me. Thanks to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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This murder mystery is just the book I needed to get out of my slump. 
I enjoy a good Nordic Noir book! And this delivered. The writing was just fabulous. The characters I was automatically pulled into their lives. 
Just a really good story overall!
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What a way to learn more about Swedish culture and history!  This book has a lot going for it...mystery, suspense, historical glimpses, cultural interest and revenge.  The cold and dark atmosphere is akin to the story, too.  There's just something unnerving about slogging through deep snow and separating the layers of mystery, always suspiciously looking behind you.  Unnerving yet you can't stop.  That's how this book made me feel.  Discomfited and uncomfortable yet entrenched.

Veronika Brand feels the intense need to leave New York behind.  She has recently been suspended from her job as a detective so she decides to visit relatives in Sweden for a few reasons.  She has become addicted to prescription drugs which affects her, of course.  Trouble starts from the moment she arrives and just looms larger and larger as she becomes enveloped by brutal murder, sex trade, Romani issues and family secrets including the infamous Voss family which seems to be behind much of the evil in the country.  Veronika is surrounded by enemies all over the place though she befriends Krister Hammar, a lawyer, which comes in handy.  I really liked the premise and the story which is unique.  As a lover of Europe I gravitate toward books such as this which originate in or are set in Europe.  The glimpses into the past are fascinating and well written.

The only thing which didn't appeal was the brutality and quantity of deaths and murders.  It seemed to be a bit too much.  But I do still recommend this book to those seeking something different and riveting.

My sincere thank you to BooksGoSocial and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this suspenseful thriller!
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Veronika Brand, a former New York detective, is a granddaughter of the Dalgren family and is invited back to Sweden to attend a family reunion for her 95 year old relative where she becomes embroiled in an old feud. 
In 1940 when the Nazi’s occupied Sweden, her ancestors began printing pro-Nazi propaganda. 

A splinter group led by the family Voss decides to stop the paper by burning down the printing establishment. They are not aware that some of the Dalgrens are asleep in the apartment over the printing shop. The death of the Dalgrens in the fire starts the feud between the families. 

The Voss family is very wealthy, ruthless, and are involved in many nefarious endeavors including prostitution and slavery. They have the power. The Voss family also owns and operates the largest trucking firm in Europe. Young Romani girls are kidnapped or otherwise drawn into a world of sex slavery and poor diets. They finally die from poor nutrition and continual sexual brutality from customers who use them in total depravity.

The inter-familial war of revenge is continual and brutal. Vicious murders and lack of any social responsibility drove me to the conclusion that this may not be a bucket list destination. Cruelty and death are portrayed as an integral part of the psyche of the northern Swedish families. There seemed to be no division between the young and old regarding a more innocent mind set. 

The narrative is well written although exhausting to read. Continual brutal murder and total disregard for human life with wicked visuals of red snow were excessive. The ending, however, was satisfying and surprising! The conclusion explained a lot.  4 stars-CE Williams
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