Stockholm, September 2011.
Carina Dymek is on a fast track for promotion at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, when she is approached by a stranger and given a USB stick containing a report to circulate in her department. Unwittingly, she delivers a time bomb of classified information that sends her career up in flames and puts her on the radar of the security service, Säpo.
Tasked with investigating how Dymek gained access to the confidential report, the formidable Bente Jensen of Säpo is quietly approached by the British MI6, who have an undisclosed interest in the leak. She finds out that Dymek's boyfriend is an Egyptian Swedish national. But it's MI6 who link his family to an extreme faction within the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo.
The case explodes into an international manhunt. Liaising with the ruthless MI6, Bente uncovers the secretive plans contained in that leaked report: plans for an omnipotent Europe-wide Intelligence Service. Forces hone in on Dymek, while Bente begins to suspect she is a red herring caught in a far wider net: one in which social media is abused for intelligence and civil rights are sacrificed to national security.
Andreas Norman, a former Swedish Ministry official, has written an explosive expose of Anglo-American spying and surveillance on European civilians in the name of counter-terrorism. This dizzying thriller anticipated the Edward Snowden revelations and rocked Sweden on publication.
So plugged into the present that it's hard to believe its publication in Norman's native Sweden anticipated Edward Snowden's revelations by two months . . . Norman's understanding of the dark, destructive side of surveillance is second to none, and at its best,
Into a Raging Blaze is convincing and addictive (
A modern take on the spy thriller ... Norman's warning is a clear message to the 'nothing to hide, nothing to fear' camp who challenged the import of the Snowden revelations ... A Le Carré-esque yarn that's rooted in verisimilitude . No faint praise that (
An excellent and very up-to-the-minute novel ... Is this how others see us now? If so, alas! (
Norman handles its derring-do deftly. For British readers, however, the main source of interest is its unflattering reverse-angle view of our spooks at work (
Solid description of the insides of the corridors of power ... A Snowden-showdown whistle-blowing scandal (
Independent, Best Noir Newcomers)
Much hyped, but largely worthy of the hype; a strong debut by a Swedish Ministry insider moving provocatively in Snowden/Assange 'leaks' territory' (Barry Forshaw
Gripping and unnervingly believable, it's a fictionalised exposé of Anglo-American spying (
A first-rate debut thriller that asks: Who watches the watchers if they don't choose to be seen? The narrative starts slow but doesn't take long to build up speed. From then on, watch out! (
Rarely have I read such a well-written debut novel as this ... Well orchestrated dramaturgy, rich language, and extremely believable characters ... Andreas Norman has written a dizzying thriller (
Dagens Nyheter, Sweden)
I haven't been able to erase Andreas Norman's Into a Raging Blaze from my mind. In the aftermath of Edward Snowden, it all seems horribly prescient. It's written by a Swedish diplomat and is a salutary reminder that not everyone trusts the Brits! (
Times Higher Education)
Andreas Norman is a former diplomat, who worked for the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. For several years he was a member of the Ministry´s counter-terrorism unit, working with partners across the globe. During the Arab Spring he joined the team that outlined Swedish policy during this dramatic period. He currently lives in Stockholm, Sweden.
Into A Raging Blaze was Norman's debut novel. It anticipated the Edward Snowden revelations and received international acclaim. It was sh