Cover image for Pen 33 / Roslund & Hellstrom ; translated from the Swedish by Elizabeth Clark Wessel.
Pen 33 / Roslund & Hellstrom ; translated from the Swedish by Elizabeth Clark Wessel.
Title Variants:
Pen thirty-three
Publication Information:
New York : Quercus : distributed by Hachette Book Group, 2017.
Physical Description:
311 pages ; 24 cm
Serial killer and child molester Bernt Lund escapes from prison custody, leading Detective Superintendent Ewert Grens to the most disturbing case of his career.


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1 Bob Harkins Branch ROS Book Adult General Collection

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Bernt Lund harbors a sickness. He is a monster, an unrepentant child molester and serial killer. In the mind of society, in the minds of his nine-year-old victims' parents, and in the minds of his fellow inmates, he is a waking nightmare. And now he has escaped from custody--the worst scenario imaginable for Aspsås Prison's Department for Sexual Crimes.

Detective Superintendent Ewert Grens is about to encounter the most profoundly appalling case in his career, and perhaps in Stockholm's history. During the course of one long, hot summer, Sweden will face an explosive series of events that spread across the country like wildfire, events that call into question the very nature of humanity, duty, forgiveness, and self-defense. And justice.

Pen 33 is an unflinching exploration of what people--both criminals and victims--are capable of when they relinquish self-control.

Author Notes

Award-winning journalist Anders Roslund and ex-con Börge Hellström are Sweden's most acclaimed crime-fiction duo. Their unique ability to combine inside knowledge of the brutal reality of criminal life with searing social criticism in complex, intelligent plots has put them at the forefront of modern Scandinavian crime writing. Three Seconds was awarded the Crime Wrtiers' Association International Dagger Award and the Best Swedish Crime Novel Award, previously won by both Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell, and it was a New York Times bestseller.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Roslund and Hellström's blistering sixth series novel to be published in the U.S. (after Three Minutes) opens with the vicious rape and murder of two nine-year-old girls by a psychopath, Bernt Lund, who has escaped from custody. The authors explore the ramifications of Lund's crime from multiple viewpoints, including those of 60ish Det. Sgt. Ewert Grens, who's disillusioned and cynical; Grens's 40-year-old assistant, Sven Sundkvist, who's burning out; and Fredrik Steffansson, the father of one of the victims. Steffansson, who was abused as a child, kills Lund and is put on trial for murder. In one of Sweden's most high-profile trials, ambitious prosecutor Lars Ågestam feels he must demand life imprisonment for Steffansson, even though doing so will likely end his career. In addition to subjecting readers to the stomach-wrenching minutiae of prison life, Roslund and Hellström force them to consider who in this denunciation of governmental policies and practices are the victims and who are the criminals. The authors' most chilling observation: these characters "are all somewhere among us." Hellström, an ex-convict, died earlier this year. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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