“After the Monsoon: An Ernst Grip Novel” by Robert Karjel— A Swede in the Horn of Africa

Karjel, Robert. “After the Monsoon: An Ernst Grip Novel”, Harper, 2018.

A Swede in the Horn of Africa

Amos Lassen

Robert Karjel’s “After the Monsoon” is a thriller set in the terrorist- and pirate infested world of the Horn of Africa. It is also a place where Ernest Grip, a Swedish detective can count on nothing but his own shrewdness to survive.

When a Swedish army lieutenant drops dead on a shooting range in the desert, it is unsure if it was an accident or something much more serious. Ernst Grip, an agent of the Swedish security police and a bisexual male, is sent to the Horn of Africa to find out what really happened. Once off the plane and on the ground, he quickly learns he’s on his own and that no one wants him snooping around—especially not the American Embassy’s CIA station. With military transport planes leaving from the base carrying untraceable pallets loaded with cash, this is not surprising.

Grip’s investigation is complicated by another dangerous situation. Somali pirates have kidnapped a wealthy Swedish family during their adventure of a lifetime: a sailing trip from Sweden to the Great Barrier Reef. Grip wonders why no one in Sweden is willing to pay the ransom in order to save these innocent lives.

Solving the mystery of the soldier’s death is a tipping point that leads him deep into a web of intrigue, greed, and dark dealings with both allies and enemies. It seems that we live in a world where no one can be trusted.

The plot looks at the tough compromises made every day for the greater good. How do we know which is the lesser of two evils? How much is the cost of betraying one interest to save another? Robert Karjel has created a world in which the sins of good men forced impossible choices. The characters are compelling and the suspense us reading. This is Karjel’s second novel to be translated into English and after reading the first, “The Swede”, I found myself wishing for more. Someone at Harper’s must have heard my wishing for here is the sequel and in English. I can’t discuss the plot since it is a thriller but I can tell you that I was turning pages as quickly as possible. The only problem is that now I have to wait for Karjel’s next book to be translated into English.

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