Aldrig fucka upp

Aldrig fucka upp Never Fuck Up

Stockholm Noir #2

The debutant-turned-phenomenon Jens Lapidus is back with the second part of his Stockholm Noir trilogy. And this time, we’re talking real noir. Here, the coke dealers and root men of Easy Money have been joined by cops – good ones and bad ones, but real cops nonetheless, desperate about a situation that has long since spun of control. At the center of the narrative are three men: a fanatic ex-mercenary, a fallen cop, and a young Arab who involuntarily finds himself working for Radovan, Stockholm’s own Godfather. A puzzling murder that will prove to have links all the way up into the closed corridors of power connects the protagonists, and soon their paths cross. No one describes the underbelly of Stockholm better than Jens Lapidus – here, it emerges as a Northern Gehenna, a brutal and frightening dog-eat-dog world. Never Fuck Up is Jens Lapidus at the height of his creative powers.

Never Fuck Up is the second installment in the Stockholm Noir trilogy.

Click here for a video interview in English with Jens Lapidus about Never Fuck Up.
Click here for a video interview in English with Jens Lapidus about writing Never Fuck Up.


  • “Did you enjoy Easy Money? Then you’ll love Never Fuck Up. Everything that was good about Easy Money is just as good in Never Fuck Up. The brisk, efficient prose, the macho men and the cool scenes. The hot-tempered hunt, the drive. Radovan still rules and the underworld is the same, but the other characters are new and you’re going to fall in love with them one by one. Did you think that Easy Money was one of the best books you’d ever read? Then you had better stock up your refrigerator with fast food and pile up the cushions on your couch, because you won’t stand a chance. Never Fuck Up is going to win you over, page by page, until you – hollow-eyed – discover that you’ve devoured this brick of a novel from first page to last. Then you’ll be giving it an honorary place on your bookshelf, and you’ll remember Mahmud and Niklas and his mother Catharina. And you’ll remember that nothing was what it seemed. How you thought you had it all figured out, and how wrong you ended up being. How you were taken in until the very end, how you were never disappointed. Never Fuck Up is a classic in the making, and until it premiers as a film, I have only three words for you: read, read, read.”

    QX, Sweden

  • “Does the follow-up, Never Fuck Up, do the trick? The answer is, without a doubt: yes, yes it does. The subtitle “Stockholm Noir” tells you what it’s about. This is a dark, a very dark, account of the worlds that Jens Lapidus so deftly and so intelligently depicted in his debut. /…/ In the follow-up, the mood is even more hopeless, the losers bigger, the frustration greater. I read somewhere that the author himself said that his work is darker than reality itself. I have no way to assess the truth in that statement, I content myself with knowing that I have read one of this year’s best crime novels. Like a clever conductor, Jens Lapidus brings to life a sinister symphony of greater Stockholm, with three soloists playing the lead parts. /…/ Conductor Lapidus takes his reader along three different strands of reality that mercilessly converge in a spectacular denouement, when the three soloists meet in a way that none of them could have foreseen. /…/ If Jens Lapidus continues to write books of this quality, I think he will have to give his parallel job as a lawyer a rest.”

    Gefle Dagblad, Sweden

  • “There are a great many echoes of Easy Money: the dense, colon-infused style, the ghetto talk, the drugs, the violence. Several characters from the debut pop back up, but in supporting roles this time. However, Never Fuck Up also brings something new to the table: a suspenseful mystery that calls for a solution. The murder case which the policeman Thomas gets involved in turns out to be of a dignity that surprises main character and reader alike. /…/Never Fuck Up is a real page-turner.”

    Stockholm City, Sweden

  • “At first I note in myself a certain skepticism, but at last I surrender; [Lapidus] translates Ellroy into a Swedish setting, and he does it very well. /…/ I think Jens Lapidus will continue to develop as a writer; not only has he found his voice; he is a gifted writer, and I soak up the plot with interest and attention. When the novel is at its most suspenseful, the anxiety you feel as a reader produces that sinking feeling in your stomach. The author has given his work the subtitle "Stockholm Noir," and the melancholy and alienation are ever-present in the narrative, even in the most banal of drug-related showdowns. Strange, really, that these feelings push me into wanting to read more. But that’s the way it is.”

    Västerbottens Folkblad, Sweden

  • “According to his publishing house, Jens Lapidus’ first novel Easy Money is one of the most sold books on this side of the new millennium. It is currently being adapted into a film, and is to be published in 18 other countries. When the book came out a couple of years ago, everybody joined in singing its praise. /…/ To me, one of the best things about the book was the authenticity in the insight that the community governed by law is too slow to keep up with the sharp turns and fast dealings of the criminals. /…/ Another good thing aboutEasy Money was the fantastic writing – a style that truly propelled the story forward with its short, sometimes unfinished, sentences. Speech and thought captured spot on. Never Fuck Up, with the subtitle "Stockholm Noir," has all of this, too. /…/ Clearly much better than the blockbusters of the past years – Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, which, it must be said, really isn’t bad.”

    Värmlands Folkblad, Sweden

  • “Reading Jens Lapidus’ groundbreaking books Easy Money and the sequel Never Fuck Up, you get a pretty impressive dose of reality. We’re on the front row, and on the stage, the truth about the hypermodern underworld is being shown as though IRL. /…/ Lapidus is to our time what Sjöwall & Wahlöö were to the '70s.”

    Sydsvenskan, Sweden

  • “It is rare for a first novelist to emerge out of nowhere and turn an entire genre upside down. But that is exactly what happened when the lawyer Jens Lapidus roared into Swedish crime fiction with his novel Easy Money. /…/ Lapidus was praised by the critics, who were positively taken by surprise, and who quickly billed him Sweden’s answer to James Ellroy and Dennis Lehane. Now it is time for the follow-up,Never Fuck Up. /…/ The language… is flowing and efficient, with its choppy, almost cut-off sentences, strewn with slang and jargon. In parts, it is as though you are reading aggressively compressed stage directions for a film. It is in accord with the books’ contents and fully on a par with the role model Ellroy. Here are also the same minutely chiseled-out details, in everything from weapons and clothes to setting and expressions, as in the work of George Pelecanos. /…/ Another thing to be impressed by is the characterization. None of the characters can be called particularly sympathetic, far from it, but Lapidus makes them complex enough for you care about them, sometimes even root for them. /…./ Imitators will surely follow soon, but so far, [Lapidus] is alone in his game.”

    Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden

  • “The intense, almost heated tempo turns the book into a first-rate page-turner. And Lapidus has done his homework very well. The language, from the ghetto slang, to the bureaucratic tone of the legal documents, is utterly believable. /…/ Jens Lapidus should be able to calmly take a leave of absence from his job as a lawyer.Never Fuck Up is clearly a success.”

    Norran, Sweden

  • “The depictions of character are poignant and credible. /…/ The setting is perfectly evoked, and the plot provides enough suspense for the thriller reader throughout the book. /…/ This is cleverly done. Deftly plotted, the story contains a surprise at the end that forces the reader to re-think the events that have taken place.”

    Kristianstadsbladet, Sweden

  • “Jens Lapidus doesn’t fuck up. He delivers. After the sensationally successful debut Easy Money – in the process of conquering the rest of the world and becoming a film – it is now time for the next account about the underworld of Stockholm: Never Fuck Up. /…/ At the same time, there is a tangible intensity and a nerve in Never Fuck Up that is almost physical. Jens Lapidus has drive and guts – style-wise – that you feel to the core of your body. The many sections of dialog work, the depiction of setting is spot on.”

    Helsingborgs Dagblad, Sweden

  • “The illusionless, brutal realism is as excellent as that of Easy Money…”

    Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

  • “In the case of Jens Lapidus, success has been followed by more success. Never Fuck Up has the same raw energy as the debut. /…/ Jens Lapidus knows his way around the suburbs, he masters the slang, understands the frustration and desperation; he also manages to give us the responses and expressions of the lawyers and the policemen. /…/ This gives the dark story a good measure of authenticity.”

    Dagbladet, Sweden

  • “[With Easy Money] Lapidus found a good concept, which he continues to build on: in a way harsh, chopped-up and cynical, he tells a story that quickly snakes its way forward. /…/ If Easy Money established a connection between Robertsfors [JW’s home town] and Stureplan, between small-town safety and claustrophobia and over-consumption, then Never Fuck Up is takes place right in the middle of a Stockholm of gentrification. A snare is being pulled tighter, moving toward a chaotic focal point of alienation, class hatred, masculinity crises and violence. With the clichés of safety and security just out of reach.”

    Aftonbladet, Sweden

  • “The socially realistic, politically correct Swedish thrillers take a back seat in this deft and bold crime novel.”

    Berlingske, Denmark

  • “Jens Lapidus describes Stockholm’s blunt underworld so well that the violent, furious pulse thumps from each page. /…/ A book that is light years from today’s spineless and lukewarm women’s crime.”

    Ekstra Bladet, Denmark

  • “Both the unique literary style and the rough content is significant and gives an incredible but unfortunately very true look into a universe that we would rather not acknowledge.”

    Jydske Vestkysten, Denmark

  • “Effective and skillful entertainment. All the way.”

    Politiken, Denmark

  • “A contemporary image of today’s Sweden that is frightening and fascinating at the same time. With a steady hand [Lapidus] uses street jargon [that is] unfamiliar to begin with, but invigorating and credible towards the end.”

    Trønder-Avisa, Norway

  • “Jens Lapidus writes in an exceptionally direct language, and he appears to have very good knowledge of Stockholm’s criminal environments and jargon. The book makes a strong impression not only because it is suspenseful, but mostly because it is credible.”

    Dagbladet, Norway

  • “With a steady hand Lapidus builds a solid intrigue… One cannot help but be impressed by the energy in this powerful crime novel.”

    Verdens Gang, Norway

  • “Jens Lapidus is currently the best Nordic crime writer. His depiction of today’s Sweden is so rich in details, so intense, so frightening and so insightful that the reader will be hooked.”

    Gudbrandsdølen Dagningen, Norway

  • Never Fuck Up is an excellent novel about life in the dark shadows of Stockholm. /…/ Just like in [Easy Money], the city’s underworld, mafia and narcotics are central elements. Lapidus describes these topics with great credibility. /…/ Conclusion: an unusual reading experience that is recommended.”

    Hamar Arbeiderblad, Norway

  • “The most stylish man in Sweden is the jailbirds’ favorite guy.”

    Helsingin Sanomat, Finland

  • “Lapidus gives a new and long-awaited boost to Swedish, often self-repetitive, crime fiction.”

    Aamulehti, Finland

  • “Lapidus is a master raconteur. The story is irresistible.”

    Kouvolan Sanomat, Finland

  • “Lapidus has deserved his place at the very top of modern crime writing.”

    Ruumiin Kulttuuri, Finland

  • “Highly recommended – Lapidus' story is told from a three-way perspective in fast and hard-hitting prose and keeps the reader continuously in suspense. Even though some characters from the first part of the trilogy make a second appearance in Never Fuck Up and the author has announced that in the final book some loose ends will be tied together, this superb book reads like a stand alone.”

    Algemeen Dagblad, Netherlands

  • “While the world is waiting in vain for Stieg Larsson’s fourth Millennium book, we can revel in the knowledge that there is a host of other excellent Swedish crime novels to be read: Jens Lapidus' Never Fuck Up for example, the second installment in the so-called Stockholm Noir Trilogy. As in Easy Money, his strong debut, Lapidus shows a delightful mastery of street lingo in portraying society at its rawest. Never Fuck Up is – once again – an exquisite Lapidus!”

    Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant, Netherlands

  • “Who was, in 1986, the true assassin of [Swedish prime minister] Olof Palme? Lapidus has delivered a dark yet plausible plot which puts him in a long line of crime authors whose stance was always to remain critical towards Sweden’s welfare state: Sjöwall & Wahlöö for instance, and Henning Mankell, and Stieg Larsson. Lapidus stands out however because of his authentic use of language, which – like the murderous world that he depicts – renders the story a relentless appeal.”

    Elsevier, Netherlands

  • “Previously we gave Easy Money, part one in the Stockholm-trilogy, a four star review. With Never Fuck Up, Jens Lapidus delivers again as he takes us on a new tour through Stockholm’s underworld. The author assures us that this story is very realistic – which, far from reassuring, is a very scary thought.”

    Veronica Magazine, Netherlands

  • “Hardly anyone can claim to know the Swedish underworld as intimately as does criminal attorney Jens Lapidus. His portrayal of the underbelly of Stockholm is completely devoid of glamour. Never Fuck Up, the second installment of his bestseller trilogy, offers just as much quality as part one. Lapidus’ raw and rigorous prose keeps pounding away relentlessly in order to bring home a remarkably un-Scandinavian view of the world.”

    De Pers, Netherlands

  • “Previously we said that Easy Money, the debut of Swedish crime author Jens Lapidus, offered a rough excursion into Stockholm’s underworld and that it showed an uncanny, almost suspicious amount of similarities with the criminal scene of Amsterdam. The sequel, Never Fuck Up, is possibly even rougher, even more unnerving and even easier to compare with the situation in the Netherlands.”

    Panorama, Netherlands

  • “Three new names in much the same surroundings as those of part one. Same language, too. Short sentences. A lot of slang. Similar structure. In short: recognizable. Consequently, this books deals with the same issues as the first one, and if you “dig” the staccato style you’ll enjoy Never Fuck Up, too, for its delightfully murky tale of sunny Sweden’s rough ‘n tumble dark side. There is a repeat performance of several characters from part one, such as Jorge and some of the Yugoslavian mobsters, most notably Radovan. In that respect Never Fuck Up is like visiting the perfect party: exciting guests, great location.”

    8weekly, Netherlands

  • “A grand-scale portrait of Stockholm's criminal world that shares James Ellroy's hyperrealism and Richard Price's blend of atmosphere and sociology.”

    Booklist, US

  • “'Svens' (native Swedes) collide with immigrant groups, from Middle Easterners to ruthlessly organized gangs of 'Yugos' and 'Turks,' in the gritty second novel in Lapidus's Stockholm Noir trilogy (after 2011's Easy Money) /…/ its morally ambiguous characters and rough street argot will compel reader attention to the last page.”

    Publishers Weekly, US

  • “[Lapidus] sheds light on a rarely seen Stockholm—a city that is a 'Mecca of thieves, drug dealers, and gangs,' buzzing with ethnic tensions and social unrest.”

    New Yorker, US

  • “Amazing. The cleansing violence that swept through Stockholm in Easy Money has left the city no safer for three misfits who seem incapable of heeding this sequel’s title. … there's no doubt that Lapidus creates a dark world that feels, while you're immersed in it, like the whole world.”

    Kirkus Reviews, US

  • “This ambitious, bleak novel is set in a sordid, dysfunctional Sweden, awash in both corrupt police and ruthless indigenous and immigrant criminals. Lapidus is a criminal defense attorney, and his narrative demonstrates authentic criminal argot and mind-sets. … gripping and convincing. Marked by harsh and brash writing, authentic scenarios full of thugs and thug talk, this engaging novel will appeal to readers who like their crime fiction gritty and dark.”

    Library Journal, US

  • “A world whose vocabulary is shaped by American gangsta rap but whose greed and ambition is familiar to anybody who ever cracked open a Mario Puzo crime novel.”

    Wall Street Journal, US

Photo: Pierre Björk Jens Lapidus
  • Crime
Reading material

Swedish edition

English edition

German edition

French edition

Spanish edition

Rights sold

Bulgaria, Ciela

Croatia, VBZ

Denmark, Modtryk

Estonia, Varrak

Finland, Like

France, Plon

Germany, Fischer

Iceland, Forlagid

Japan, Kodansha Bunko

Lithuania, Lectio Divina

Netherlands, Bruna

Norway, Cappelen Damm

Poland, Marginesy

Romania, Niculescu

Russia, Azbooka

Serbia, VBZ

Spain, Suma (World Spanish)

Sweden, Wahlström & Widstrand

UK, Macmillan

Ukraine, Folio

US, Pantheon

Film rights sold

Sweden, SF Studios

US, Warner Bros.

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