Marked for Revenge follows Marked for Life in the Jana Berzelius trilogy.
When a girl overdoses smuggling drugs across the Swedish border, the trail points to the one man Jana Berzelius most wants to destroy.
Notorious criminal Danillo Pena knows the truth about Jana’s old identity – and, as one of Sweden’s best-respected public prosecutors, Jana can’t risk that information becoming public knowledge. With Danillo closing in, Jana knows she must hunt her nemesis down…and kill him, before he can reveal her secrets.
But, as she prepares for the fight of her life, Jana discovers an even more explosive betrayal—one that will take her deep into a deadly network of crime.
One of the things I love about trilogies is jumping into a story where you’re already familiar with the characters and the setting. When I read Marked for Revenge, I was easily transported back to Sweden, it was like I never left!
I enjoyed this novel, it’s Nordic Noir with a difference. I say that because what’s missing from this novel is the moody atmosphere I so love in this genre but this novel works without it and I attribute that to the main protagonist Jana Berzelius. I struggled with this missing element in book one but here, I wasn’t expecting it so I didn’t miss it. This novel is more hard hitting, more gritty than other books I’ve read in this genre so upon reflection, it was better there was no beautiful darkness/moody atmosphere. I think this is a case of, if you enjoyed the first book, you’ll enjoy this one too.
As with the first book, I love the character of Jana, Schepp has created a character that is unlikeable, that is distant and, as a reader, I struggled to connect with her, yet I found this enticing. Jana is such a complex character, ready to go rouge at any minute; you know what she’s capable of and that leaves the plot wide open because you’re never sure when she’s going to be ‘respected public prosecutor Jana’ or ‘bad-ass, do whatever it takes Jana’. It was also great to find out more about her backstory. Jana isn’t your usual protagonist, although some may find her more likeable in this book than in the first or at least you’ll gain a better understanding of why she acts the way she does.
If you read my review of Marked for Life, you’ll know I was interested in the back story of Jana’s colleague, Henrik, and his controlling wife – I felt like there was a chunk missing from this backstory, it did continue from where it left off in book one, but I felt like there was an unexplained shift in the nature of his and his wife’s relationship.
Just like the character of Jana is complex, the plot in this novel is too. Due to the complexity of the plot, I highly recommend reading Marked for Life first otherwise you’ll struggle to follow this one – as well as a new case, there’s plenty of returning characters and continuing narratives so this wouldn’t work well as a standalone.
The plot is raw, hard-hitting in its delivery and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading the last in this trilogy. Also, I love this books cover!
This book is available to buy from: Amazon UK