Author: Anton Svensson
Published: March 24th 2016 by Sphere
Amazon | Amazon UK
Blurb: How does a child become a criminal? How does a father lose a son?
An epic crime novel with the excitement of Jo Nesbo'sHeadhunters and the narrative depth of We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Father is inspired by the extraordinary true story of three brothers who committed ten audacious bank robberies in Sweden over the course of just two years.
None had committed a crime before. All were under 24 years old. All of them would be changed forever as individuals and as a family.
This intoxicating, heartbreaking thriller tells the story of how three boys are transformed over the course of their lives from innocent children to the most wanted criminals in Sweden. And of the man who made them that way: their father.
First of all I would like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Review: What first caught my attention about The Father, was the fact that it is based on a true story. In the early 90s, three brothers committed ten extremely violent robberies in only a few months. This is their story, told by their own brother. Anton Svensson is actually the pseudonym for the two authors who co-wrote this story, one of them is Stefan Thunberg, the fourth brother.
The book focuses on two periods of time: then, when the brothers where young (the eldest was 12 and the youngest 3), and now, when the brothers have decided to rob their first target (the eldest is 24 and the youngest 17). I found the "then" parts highly interesting. Their family seemed to work but with each day the father went a bit further, teaching his son to fight, to defend himself from the bullies. Becoming more and more violent. Ignoring his wife and transforming his eldest into a machine. From those parts you could clearly see why and how those children had become criminals.
The "now" parts dragged a bit for me. They were dense, with lots of describing of their violent actions and assaults. And it seemed like the plot didn't really progressed for a while. Also, the book is classified as a thriller but there was something missing for me to call it that. It was tense but it felt more like reading the script of a documentary. With a narrator explaining everything that was happening.
The last part of the book was probably the most entertaining, the pace gained speed considerably and I really wanted to know how it all ended. And then, there was also a short interview with Stefan Thunberg discussing exactly what was true and what was fictional in the story. I was surprised to discover how true to the real events they were. Especially during the "then" parts.
All in all, I found this book interesting, especially if you regard it as a psychological analysis of the mind of a criminal. It is definitely not a light read but it is unique take on a true story.