Björndansen The Father

Made in Sweden #1

Four people lay waiting silently in a dark forest in suburban Stockholm. For the seventh night in a row they watch a guard circle one of the Swedish military’s secret weapon depots, pointing his flashlight to and fro aimlessly. Leo Djuvnac is the mastermind of the operation about to set in motion. He has the loyal backing of his younger brothers, Felix and Vincent. Many years earlier, the three Djuvnac boys were brought close together as their family fell apart around them. Their abusive father and repressed mother left them determined never, ever to become dependent on other people again. Money is the answer. The brothers are joined by their childhood friend and former military serviceman, Jasper, and Leo’s girlfriend Annelie who helps from the sidelines. None of the members of the newly minted gang have previous criminal records when they break into the depot and steal enough weapons to equip a small army. The plan is flawless. The escape is clean. The job is executed perfectly.

Pairing Leo’s meticulous cold-bloodedness and sophisticated planning with the stolen weapons from their initial coup, the group has their minds set on committing a wave of the most well equipped and ruthless armed robberies the nation has ever seen. And, as a grand finale, they plan to use the stolen weapons to blackmail the Swedish government, thereby securing their final payoff and making them financially set for life. Everything is rehearsed. Second by second. Movement by movement. Leo and his crew are impossible to identify, let alone track down. There will not be a single witness who can rat them out. But Detective Superintendent John Broncks is put on the case and he is as obsessive an investigator as Leo is fixated on executing his heists. Broncks searches the crime scenes for the scent of his prey and soon the hunt is on. Both Broncks and Leo will be driven to their limits before they come hurtling toward each other and an explosive end.

The Father is a tightly plotted, character-driven, and irresistibly action-packed novel about a group of unexpected criminals. But it is also a gripping story about a family, about the bonds of brotherly love and the complex relationship between fathers and sons.

The Father is based on a true story.

“Unique and stunning. One of the most powerful novels you’ll read this year.”
-Stephen Booth

“A thrilling and nail-biting novel about an unexpected gang of criminals, but also a deep and gripping story about the strength of family bonds. A mesmerizing page-turner by an outstanding author duo.”
-Erik Axl Sund

One of Publishers Weekly’s “best Mystery/Thrillers of 2016.”


The Konomys Award (Best International Suspense Novel of the Year) Japan 2017
The Konomys Award (Best International Suspense Novel of the Year) Japan 2017
Shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger UK 2016
Shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger UK 2016
Close award list


  • “An incredible crime novel /…/ An exciting, well written story… The Father is Stefan Thunberg's life story.”

    Brabants Dagblad, Netherlands

  • “This extensive work is stirring for two reasons. The meticulous preparation and execution of the robberies are depicted stunningly and remind one of classical movies like The Italian Job. Secondly, the boys, trained by their atrocious youth, have an instinctive insight in how to use extreme violence unaffectedly to make people defenseless, which is quite oppressive. /…/ The anti-heroes in The Father are experts in what they do, not because of their professionalism, but because they personally experienced how insecurity works and how it can be applied in everyday life. This successful thriller is about family and the boys' desperate wondering if they could've protected themselves and their mother better in the past. Sometimes these ponderings are as agonizing as the endless shower of bullets coming out of their weapons.”

    NRC Handelsblad, Netherlands

  • “It is amazing how much tension the authors create while merely describing the preparations for the robberies. Even more exciting are the robberies themselves.”

    VN Thriller & Detective Guide, Netherlands

  • “An astonishing story. /…/ A book that seems infallible: the combination of a successful screenwriter and an internationally acclaimed writer of incredibly suspenseful thrillers, and a sticker with 'based on a true story' on the cover. /…/ It seems like nothing can go wrong with The Father. Bring on the cartloads of stars, the stellar reviews and the millions of readers. /…/ A cut above the loads of Scandinavian thrillers that hit the bookshops each month. An unbelievable story, told with patience and precision, and a true one at that.”

    de Volkskrant, Netherlands

  • “The author's point of view in The Father is remarkable: a man describes how his three brothers (and his father) were able to completely steal away the Swedish innocence, all by themselves. /…/ You know it won't end well, and yet it remains exciting. Never before have I read a book that so succesfully explains how people can end up as criminals.”

    Het Nieuwsblad, Netherlands

  • The Father is a technically wonderful novel crafted with breathtaking cleverness.”

    Corriere della Sera, Italy

  • “Incredibly efficient and easy to read, even in the most disturbing passages. But that should come as no surprise: Thunberg writes film manuscripts, and we already know what Roslund can do. /…/ But the most gripping, thrilling aspect for readers is the story of Stefan Thunberg's family and the bonds among its members…”

    Helsingborgs Dagblad, Sweden

  • “An unbelievably exciting and authentic story. /…/ One of the year's best crime stories.”

    Östran, Sweden

  • “…an insider story that beats any action film.”

    Aftonbladet, Sweden

  • “A remarkable blend of fact and fiction. /…/ Fact is deftly disguised as fiction, making The Father a shocking portrayal of the evolution of hard crime and its consequences. /…/ Despite the strong personal presence, The Father is effectively and concisely narrated.”

    Skånska Dagbladet, Sweden

  • “Many of the scenes stick with you.”

    Expressen, Sweden

  • “A powerful and riveting reading experience.”

    Deckarbloggen, Sweden

  • “One of the summer's best thrillers.”

    Café, Sweden

  • “True fans of Roslund & Hellström won't be disappointed by Roslund & Thunberg's first collaborative novel.”

    Fokus, Sweden

  • “The action in The Father is captivating. This will likely be one of the year's most successful Swedish crime novels. /…/ The brothers' love for one another and their relationship with their father are some of the most significant aspects of the novel and are just as fascinating as the story of their crimes. /…/ The Father is a massive crime novel, yet it successfully holds us in suspense from the first page to the last.”

    LitteraturMagazinet, Sweden

  • “I was immediately drawn into the story. /…/ It drives constantly forward, yet not at the expense of the prose. /…/ I have a soft spot not only for suspense novels, but also for coming-of-age stories; here, I get both! More than anything, I like how the authors portray the relationships between characters, and these form the foundation of this book.”

    Bokbabbel, Sweden

  • “The craftsmanship in this novel is first-class. It is both exciting and dramatic in an almost cinematic way, especially in how it portrays the spectacular robberies. But what shines through most strongly is the underlying drama that can simply be described as the dream of having a family that sticks together.”

    Gefle Dagblad, Sweden

  • “Roslund and Thunberg are proving to be a powerful duo, and it is hard to put The Father down for more than the briefest moment. It is an empathetic story that vividly portrays perpetrators, victims and police.”

    Upsala Nya Tidning, Sweden

  • “It is captivating to read about the inner workings of a gang of robbers, and Roslund & Thunberg have access to unique material because Stefan Thunberg is the fourth brother of the group of siblings, the brother who didn't become a robber. They have access to the story from the very beginning and can depict the childhood and adolescence of the men who would later become the country's most infamous bank robbers.”

    Borås Tidning, Sweden

  • “Roslund & Thunberg have written a very clever suspense novel that is also a history of true crimes, a classic story of crime and punishment that is simultaneously a gripping family drama with a genuinely painful element.”

    BTJ, Sweden

  • “Let me say immediately that The Father is the most intense high-octane Swedish crime novel of the year so far. /…/ The Father is more than a traditional suspense novel. It is also a story of exclusion, a fractured family, an unfamiliar Sweden and a kind of honor culture. This is why it is so totally relevant to us in 2014.”

    Mariestads-Tidningen, Sweden

  • The Father isn't just exciting—it also gives a sincere picture of a home that is a far cry from that of your average Joe.”

    Ölandsbladet, Sweden

  • “A thrilling novel that becomes something much more than a book you can't put down.”

    Tara, Sweden

  • “A flawlessly constructed thriller”

    Femina, Sweden

  • The Father is thoroughly exciting from the first line to the last. No matter whether we're talking about the descriptions of bank heists, getaways, love between brothers, violence in their childhood home or just about the dream that keeps them going, this book is thrilling. Seductively well-written. /…/ The heists are brilliantly planned, which is also part of why the story is so engaging… But also how it begins to fall apart when the strongest glue of them all – the love between brothers – starts to crumble. When people pull in different directions, when blood is not thicker than water and when a life of crime becomes more frightening than exciting.”

    Kristianstadsbladet, Sweden

  • “A gripping coming-of-age story, flush with exciting scenes and the psychological battle between father and son.”

    Falu-Kuriren, Sweden

  • The Father is a suspenseful book, especially the portrayal of the studiously planned bank heists. /…/ The social game, the relationships within the dysfunctional family is more developed than in the average crime novel. /…/ The Father is a novel where we know already from the beginning how it will all end, but the way there is worth our while.”

    Aftonbladet, Sweden

  • The Father provides an intriguing insight in the criminal life.”

    De Telegraaf, Netherlands

  • “The very different ways in which children respond to extreme violence – while one copies the behavior, the other focuses obsessively on violent crimes – are portrayed magnificently. /…/ The writing duo aptly plays with time and perspective. Because of the parallel descriptions a minute can last for many pages and the reader will feel involved in a breathless experience./…/ The Father is a book that will elicit a lot of response, a must-read for every crime lover. Actually, a must for anyone who likes to read.”

    Hebban, Netherlands

  • “Totally crazy, totally reckless and totally brilliant: a well researched fictional reality of a book. … Roslund and Thunberg have written the best crime thriller of the year so far.”


    Nordjyske Stiftstidende, Denmark

  • “The structure is strictly cinematic: well formed scenes with sharp dialogue and seamless progress, making reading a pleasure. Nurture and nature are also thrown in to the mix with convincing style. Once you’ve started reading, it’s hard to put the book down.”


    Politiken, Denmark

  • “It’s extremely well written, thrilling, gripping, gruesome, cheerful, anguished, heartwarming, and ice cold – spectacular in all ways. The Father is a world-class piece of fiction.”

    Fredericia Dagblad, Denmark

  • “[An] action-packed page turner – nothing for the faint of heart.”

    Elle, Germany

  • “A powerful real-life story”

    The Guardian, UK

  • “The emotional central of the story is truly compelling /…/ the sweep and scope are epic.”

    The Herald, UK

  • “Builds to a breathless climax”

    The Sun, UK

  • “A deep, clean cut into the body of fathers, sons, loyalty and family.”

    Sainsburys Magazine, UK

  • “Roslund and Thunberg write flawlessly, hard-boiled and with a language that reverberates like angry machine-gun salves. Their story is perhaps already known and therefore the ending won’t surprise, but how their juggling of the material and inside knowledge make Made in Sweden a unique reading experience.”

    Weekendavisen, Denmark

  • The Father is a delightful book. [The novel] strikes at the heart with its humane story of three brothers’ fate in a family plagued by violence, where the Eastern European father dominates while the mother and three brothers huddle together in a shelter of solidarity and love.”


    Fyns Amts Avis, Denmark

  • “A true masterpiece of suspense, fascination and thrills.”

    Cosmopolitan, Germany

  • “It’s not easy to surprise fans of crime literature. Still, Swedish authors Anders Roslund and Stefan Thunberg have managed to do just that. /…/ That the story is based on real-life events makes the novel even more thrilling.”

    Stern, Germany

  • “Screenwriter Stefan Thunberg and investigative journalist Anders Roslund heartbreakingly blurs the line between criminal and victim in this stunning first of a two-novel series based on a sensational string of bank robberies in 1990s Sweden.”

    Publishers Weekly *Starred Review*, US

  • “Riveting /…/ Recommended for all fans of noir and Nordic crime fiction.”

    Booklist, US

  • “An exciting, yet tear-jerking thriller /…/ As the reader watches these young lads turn into the “Most Wanted” the action races, along with the crushing emotions of lives turned bad by a hideous parent.”

    Suspense Magazine, US

  • “[The Father] is a gripping, complete story.”

    Star Tribune, US

  • “An extraordinary book that works on every level for which it aims, as a fast-paced thriller, as a psychological portrait of the brilliant and charismatic older brother becoming the father he loathed, and as an exploration of the damage violence wreaks on victims even when they are not physically harmed.”

    Maclean’s, Canada

  • The Father is a heck of a story, skillfully written and — with the wondrous translating abilities of Elizabeth Clark Wessel — darkly told, perfect for sociologists and criminologists, and virtually anyone who has ever cracked open a crime fiction novel and been spellbound. Prepare to have it happen again.”

    The Book Reporter, US

  • “[Roslund & Thunberg] pens a compelling narrative with themes of loyalty, obligation, revenge, and independence, paced as tightly and methodically as military tactical maneuvers. /…/ For fans of Henning Mankell and Scandinavian thrillers in general, The Father is an excellent addition to the genre. /…/ After such a suspenseful thriller from Svensson, a sequel will be anticipated greatly.


    Foreword, US

Photo: Anna-Lena Ahlström Roslund & Thunberg
  • Crime
Reading material

Swedish edition

English edition

Rights sold

Brazil, DarkSide

Czech Republic, Euromedia

Denmark, Modtryk

Estonia, Pegasus

Finland, WSOY

France, Actes Sud

Germany, Goldmann

Greece, Klidarithmos

Hungary, Alexandra

Israel, Sela

Italy, Mondadori

Japan, Hayakawa

Korea, Sigongsa

Netherlands, De Geus

Poland, Sonia Draga

Portugal, Planeta

Russia, Corpus

Slovenia, Ucila

Spain, Suma

Sweden, Piratförlaget

UK, Little, Brown

Ukraine, Family Leisure Club

US, Quercus

Film rights sold

US, DreamWorks

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