REVIEW: The Sons by Anton Svensson (Made In Sweden #2)

Series: Made In Sweden

Book Number: 2

Read this book for: criminal’s perspective, sympathetic criminals, family matters, based on a true story, heist thriller

Quick Review: A continuation of the story begun in THE FATHER; a deep descent into a dysfunctional family, with a sensitive handling and thriller roots.


NOTE: SPOILERS for THE FATHER contained in this post. Do NOT read if you have not read THE FATHER!

After six years in prison, Leo Duvnjac is going free. Prosecuted for numerous crimes–including ten bank robberies, planting a bomb in Stockholm’s Central Station, and pulling off northern Europe’s largest-ever weapons theft–he was convicted of just two robberies (since the huge cache of automatic weapons was never found).

Unreformed, Leo has spent his imprisonment plotting one final heist, but he only has a brief window following his release to pull it off. The plan is to steal more than 100 million Swedish crowns from Sweden’s largest police station and then disappear forever. It is a decision that will threaten what remains of his relationships with his father and brothers, who also went to prison for the earlier robberies, and set him on a collision course with the aggressive cop who sent them to jail, John Broncks.

Detective Broncks quickly figures out that the newly released Leo is up to something and vows to stop him once and for all, no matter what rules have to be broken. Before it is all over, these two men will play out the consequences not just of the crime spree that first brought them into each other’s orbits, but of their earliest childhoods, when their destinies were being written by violence and abuse.

Each will have to look into the abyss and answer a terrible question: is he prepared to sacrifice everything, even family, to succeed?

THE SONS is the second novel in the Made In Sweden series. Based on a true story, these books follow a group of brothers, affected by strange and violent experiences in their childhood under their alcoholic father, who begin a string of successful, audacious bank robberies.

THE SONS absolutely must be read after THE FATHER; it will make very little sense if you are missing that portion of the story. In fact, these two novels are so connected that they should really be read back-to-back, as one long story — this is the second half of the events begun in THE FATHER.

As they are so closely related, THE SONS is very stylistically consistent with its predecessor. All of the same emotional connection and the beautiful balance between emotion and heist thriller are present in this novel. They flow from one to the other seamlessly.

However, as this starts after the close of THE FATHER, the tone is much more broken than the first novel. Instead of a unit of brothers, cemented together due to their experiences at the hands of their now-absent father, this novel sees their father back in their lives, and a splintering of the choices and lives of the brothers. They act more as individuals rather than as the well-coordinated group of the first novel.

This actually gives this novel more opportunity to explore the thoughts and backgrounds of the individual brothers (and their father) than the first novel. In this respect, it is almost more interesting, despite the decreased amount of movie-slick robberies. It is tense for other reasons, and a necessary conclusion to the stories begun in the first novel.

If you have read THE FATHER, THE SONS is an absolute must-read. And if you haven’t read THE FATHER… pick it up today!

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