Hungerelden The Hunger Fire
Victoria Bergman #2
Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg’s efforts to solve the cases of the dead immigrant boys is interrupted when a successful businessman is murdered in Stockholm, in what appears to be a ritual killing. A number of peculiar details suggest that it was an act of revenge. But revenge for what? Psychotherapist Sofia Zetterlund is unofficially brought in to put together a profile of the perpetrator, a task that becomes problematic seeing as the pair of them are now engaged in an affair with each other.
Jeanette’s ongoing search for the missing Victoria Bergman leads not only to an exclusive boarding school in Sigtuna, but also to Denmark and events deep in the past. Alongside her work as a psychotherapist Sofia Zetterlund is also trying to find her way back to her own true self.
The Hunger Fire is the second part of the trilogy about Victoria Bergman. Like its hugely successful forerunner, The Hunger Fire contains breathtaking twists and turns, and an equally shocking and unexpected conclusion.
“Insanely creepy psycho-thriller that places the thin veneer of normality under the microscope.”
“The Victoria Bergman trilogy has, after this second installment, proved to be not a trilogy but one, vast novel. The first volume was indisputably one of last year’s strongest debuts. It mystified, fascinated and entrenched itself in my memory thanks to the authors’ suggestive language, skillfully evoked atmospheres and bare depiction of vulnerability, humiliation, fear and rage. The ending was breathlessly suspenseful, right in the middle of a hectic scene and with a shocking disappearance… the authors are amazingly skilled at manipulating both their characters and the reactions of the readers. /…/ The Victoria Bergman trilogy stands out. It borrows the elements that are needed from psychological thrillers, police procedurals, and serial killer stories – only to deconstruct them and reshape them into something new: kind of like Stieg Larsson did in his Millennium trilogy, the authors master their medium so excellently that they can afford to play with it, be sarcastic about it and transform it. /…/ If the authors manage to complete and conclude The Victoria Bergman trilogy with the same high level that distinguishes the first two volumes, they’ve written one of the centerpieces of Swedish crime literature. And there is nothing that suggests that they aren’t capable of that task.”
“You will not be disappointed by the second installment, The Hunger Fire. It is so exceptionally good and so incredibly suspenseful that I can’t imagine how I will be able to wait for the third installment. /…/ I mentioned Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy and there are indeed similarities between the two series. They have surprising turns, conspiracy, and suspense. There even have two main characters with a complex and sometimes very close relationship. One of them is also at times evasive and goes her own way. Now, I don’t really think that Erik Axl Sund has attempted to write a Millennium series, because there are big differences. One is that Erik Axl Sund writes a whole lot better. The prose is pure satisfaction from start to finish. Another is that the turns and the mystique is so much more suspenseful and surprising. /…/ Just like in The Crow Girl, the authors manage the delicate balancing act of depicting horrific abuse and violence without lapsing into bloody excess. I’m very impressed. And just like in The Crow Girl I had a very hard time putting the book down. But sometimes you have to take a break, if only to get this amazing reading experience to last longer.”
“Goodbye, Hannibal Lecter. That old cannibal is as psychologically interesting as a pet canary in comparison to Victoria Bergman. /…/ The second part of the Victoria Bergman trilogy is overwhelming. Although the debut novel impressed me, I had objections. Despite the cunning and dark intrigue, the story felt meager. But now I understand why. The Crow Girl was the skeleton. The Hunger Fire gives Victoria Bergman flesh and blood.”
“The Hunger Fire is both brilliant and horrific. The psychological depth is sublime.”
- Erik Axl Sund
- Reading material
- Rights sold
Brazil, Companhia das Letras
Canada, Penguin Random House
Czech Republic, Euromedia
Denmark, Lindhardt og Ringhof
France, Actes Sud
Latvia, Zvaigzne ABC
North Macedonia, Heart Books
Poland, Sonia Draga
Spain, Mondadori (World Spanish)
Taiwan, Locus (Complex Chinese)
UK, Harvill Secker